Vegan Thai coconut soup for a warm appetizer on Meatless Monday
Need an appetizer to impress some guests -- or just to tickle your own tastebuds? This vegan Thai-style coconut soup (adapted from a recipe in Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook) is smooth, complex and satisfying. You can buy mung bean sprouts at the store, or sprout them yourself -- but then you'll need at least an extra 24 hours of prep time.
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You will need:
1/4 cup whole mung beans
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
4-6 cups homemade vegetable broth (you can use boxed or canned in a pinch)
1 piece fresh ginger
2 stalks dried lemongrass
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
3 tablespoons Shoyu soy sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is our preferred brand)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 head baby bok choy
1/4 cup chopped basil (preferably Thai basil)
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1. Soak the mung beans overnight in more than enough water to cover them.
Drain the beans after they've been soaked.
Dampen a clean cloth towel and line a large bowl with it. Wrap the towel around the beans. Place the bowl in a cool, dark place. Check the cloth every six hours and dampen it again. The beans should start to sprout after about twelve hours; you can prepare them right then or wait and continue to grow them. If you do continue to grow them, rinse the growing sprouts every twelve hours and return to the towel.