This creamy soup is full of Thai flavor. Lemongrass, lime, coconut milk, ginger and cilantro elevate this soup to an exotic treat.
The ‘tongue of fire’ in the title refers to a variety of heirloom beans with that name, which have a meaty texture and an undertone of spice in them. They are firm like kidney beans – which you can use in their place if you can’t find the exotic ones.
In case it’s hard for you to find some of the more exotic ingredients near you, I have some easier-to-find substitutions below.
Thai Coconut Tongue of Fire Soup
- 2 cups (470 ml) water
- 1 can (14 ounces, or 400 ml) light coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste or 3 pieces lemongrass, smashed with the flat side of a knife (or substitute 1 teaspoon other lemony herbs such as verbena or lemon balm, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
- 1 teaspoon galangal root paste or grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- Two 1-inch-long (2.5-cm) slices ginger
- 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced or minced
- 1 1/2 cups (375 g) cooked Tongue of Fire or kidney beans or 1 can (15 ounces, or 420 g), rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (164 g) corn kernels
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- zest of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, plus more for serving
- lime wedges, for serving
- Put the water, coconut milk, garlic, lemon grass paste, galangal root paste, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, mushrooms, beans, corn, and salt into a large saucepan or small stockpot.
- Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes so the flavors can infuse into the broth.
- Add the red pepper, lime zest, and cayenne and cook until the veggies are tender but still firm, and cook for about 15 more minutes.
- Add the cilantro and taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
- Serve with the lime wedges and extra cilantro.