Monday, March 1, 2010

Heaven in a Bowl

This recipe is from our Scallop Night, a few weeks ago. You almost didn't need the scallops, the broth was so delicious. Probably chunks of tofu would be good in it, too.

Thai-Inspired Scallop Soup
serves four as an entrée or 6 as an appetizer

2 teas. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 scallions, sliced thin, whites and greens separated
6 inch square of cheese cloth and string to tie it, or just string
2 Thai red chiles
1 inch ginger, peeled and cut into 4 chunks
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed if brown, cut into 4 or 5 long thin strips, then each piece cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 pieces
13.5 oz. coconut milk
1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 lb. sea scallops, quartered (or bay scallops or peeled shrimp)
1 teas. salt 
1 1/2 - 2 limes, juiced
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

In a dutch oven or medium to large heavy soup pot or deep-sided saute pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-low heat and then add garlic, stirring frequently until golden but not burned, ~ 4 minutes. Remove garlic, setting aside.

Add whites of scallions to the pan and saute ~ 3 minutes, until softening.

Lay out the cheese cloth and in the center pile the chiles, ginger, and lemongrass. Fold sides up and tie closed with string. If only using string, tie chiles and lemongrass and keep ginger separate.

Add coconut milk, broth, and cheese cloth bag (or string-tied lemongrass and chiles and ginger). Cover and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Remove cheesecloth bundle (and ginger if separate) and discard. Add scallops and cook until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add salt, lime juice, cilantro, scallion greens, and garlic pieces. Add more salt, if necessary. Serve with a salad and biscuits.