Another new priority I have for the new year is to make new meals. I want to learn how to cook more authentic meals with ingredients fresh from where we live. I also need to learn how to cut our monthly budget down but still provide wholesome, healthy, and SAFE meals for my family to enjoy. (check back for a blog post on food safety)
One new meal I made was just this week and both my husband and daughter LOVED it! I simply grabbed things I already had in our pantry and whipped together a wonderful Thai flavored creamy tomato soup! We aren’t really dairy free here though we tend to stick to verifiable imported UHT milk here for cooking & baking, so for this recipe I didn’t need one type of milk over the other. Coconut milk which I use for a lot of Thai dishes is cheaper than UHT milk by far when needed for cooking. I thought about the flavor of tomato and coconut milk together and decided the two would probably blend well together. I WAS RIGHT!
It turned my dinner into a wonderful creamy vegetable soup with tomato broth for the base, a good helping of fresh vegetables, some finely chopped up fresh beef, and a bit of ABC pasta (I have a baby in the house so naturally alphabet pasta is a staple in my pantry). Here is a picture of the finished product and a list of the essential ingredients needed:
- 1 large can or jar tomato sauce (I used the traditional as I like to add my own spices)
- 1 can of coconut milk (be sure to shake the can up well before adding it to the soup)
- 1 8oz-10oz cut of beef (my favored cut from a Mongolian supplier is chuck tender)
- 1-2 cups dry uncooked pasta of your choice (ABCs certainly make it a favorite for us)
- an assortment of fresh vegetables chopped or sliced thin
- 1 large carrot thinly sliced
- 1 regular size potato chopped
- 1/2 zucchini thin sliced (skin on for more nutritional value)
- 2 sliced tomatoes
- 1 bunch of chopped spinach
- Italian blend of seasonings (I like to use basil, parsley, and a bit of sea salt)
Directions: wash, slice, and chop all vegetables then add them to a pot. Fill pot with water until the vegetables are floating freely (you don’t want to crowd the vegetables in the pot) and not crowded. Add a splash of olive oil to the water and bring to a roiling boil. Once you’ve got a roiling boil, add the can of tomato sauce to the pot and seasoning. Cover the pot, reduce the heat and let simmer until the vegetables are just aldente. Stir Occasionally. Remove cover and add 1 can of coconut milk, your choice of pasta & 8-10oz of thinly chopped beef. The trick to cooking beef in the soup is to cut it up into small diced pieces or thin slices. This will allow the beef to evenly cook and soak up the broth into it while it cooks. Put cover back on and cook until pasta and beef are fully cooked. *For a thicker soup, you can add a tablespoon of flour.
This made enough soup for a family of 3 for two-three days! We had a good portion left over and had it the next day for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich – yum.