Enjoy this Thai-Style Creamy Coconut Lentil Mushroom Soup on rainy days
14 g dried mixed mushrooms
2 tablespoons coconut oil or sesame oil
5 green onions, white and green parts, sliced and separated
1 cup cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
3cm piece ginger, minced or grated
3 Thai or red cayenne chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 to 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, to taste
2 large tomatoes, chopped
400 mL can coconut milk
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup green lentils
3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, cut into quarters and slit lengthwise
1 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce
225 g oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
small handful of bean sprouts
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 1/4 cups of hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and roughly chop the mushrooms. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the white parts of the green onion to the pan along with the cauliflower. Stir for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion has softened and the cauliflower begins to brown a little.
Add the garlic, ginger, chilies and spices to the pan. Stir for a minute or two. Add the Thai green curry paste, stir once, and then add the tomatoes. Cook for another few minutes to slightly reduce the tomatoes. Pour in the coconut milk, 3 cups stock or water, lemongrass, the reserved mushroom soaking water, and the lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender — about 25 minutes.
Now add the tamari, green parts of the green onion, dried and fresh mushrooms, red pepper and bean sprouts. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, adding a up to 1 cup more stock or water as necessary to achieve your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the lime juice. Cook for another few minutes and discard the lemongrass pieces.
Serve hot, alongside a bed of fresh cooked white jasmine rice.