Tom Kha Soup

I first had this soup at our favorite Thai restaurant last month and I fell in love! I knew I had to try to make my own version of it…often. My first attempt was amazing, and it was lucky for me too, since we had two great friends over for dinner! But, as my husband said, “Even if it’s bad, they won’t care. Plus, it would be payback for them making me eat some pretty odd things—one meal they made for me had Doritos in it….” But, no payback was given! You really can’t go wrong with this soup: it is flavorful, light, healthy, and delicious. We all slurped it happily.

It makes me think of 10 other things that are “life-changing” for me and give me an extra spring in my step!

  1. Baking soda: Use it as an exfoliator! This is great to use with a wash cloth to remove sunless tanner. I use it weekly!
  2. DIY lotion: make your own lotion and give it as gifts (or keep it for yourself)! Use 1 20oz container unscented lotion, 8 oz good Vitamin E cream, and 8oz coconut oil + any essential oils you would like! I used lemon. Throw all ingredients in a bowl and whip with a hand mixer!
  3. Have bangs? Save time in the morning and only wash your bangs in the sink, not your whole head! This is such an awesome trick! I have it to thank for the extra glorious sleep I got this week. Dry shampoo or flour is good too, but freshly washed bangs are awesome.
  4. Eyebrow gel:  I don’t have the time or money to go get my eyebrows tinted every couple weeks, but I love the way it looks when they are really defined in that way. Eyebrow gel is the perfect beauty tool, as it makes me look so polished! I use Lancome’s in brunet.
  5. Bone broth: I made this last weekend and it was fun! Plus, it is REALLY healthy for you. It has great vitamins, calcium, and collagen. It also heals your gut and helps to kick start your immune system!
  6. Water + Lemon: I do a mug of warm water + the juice from ½ a lemon in the morning. It’s an Ayurveda method that gives you a good dose of Vitamin C and helps to cleanse and flush out toxins.
  7. Magnesium: drink magnesium at night before bed to calm and relax. This also helps with slower metabolisms and helps you get a good night sleep. I use Natural Calm from Whole Foods.
  8. Vitamin D: I take about 4,000 IUD every day to help ease my stress and moods. I do notice a difference if I don’t take it!
  9. Hot yoga: It. Is. Amazing. I feel like a new woman after it. It helps to flush out toxins, calm, tone, and stretch your muscles. I can only go once a week now, but I hope to go more over the summer! It’s like a religious experience for me.
  10. Healthy fats + proteins: healthy fats do not make you fat. They are so healthy for you! While “bad fats increase cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your heart and support overall health. In fact, good fats—such as omega-3 fats—are essential to physical and emotional health” (helpguide.org). I eat canned yellow fin tuna, smoked oysters, salmon, omega-3 fortified eggs, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, coconut oil, olives, sardines, trout, organic chicken, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, grass fed beef, dark chocolate, and bone broth. I also take fish oil daily, and I’ve heard cod oil is great as well!

Tom Kha Soup (delicious coconut Thai soup)

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entrée

6 cups gluten free vegetable (or chicken) stock (Trader Joe’s is the best!) don’t get the low-sodium one…

1 ½ lb fresh peeled shrimp or cubed chicken thighs (I used shrimp!)

1 1” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped roughly

2 stalks fresh lemon grass, cut into 1 inch pieces and smashed with your knife (Whole Foods! The container came with 5 little ones…I used 4 of them)

5 bay leaves

2 limes, juiced and zested

1-2 tablespoons fish sauce (Ralphs)—I used 1 tablespoon and it was perfect!

4 cups chopped (large, bite-sized pieced) mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms and shitake from Whole Foods) any light tasting mushroom should work

1 can organic full-fat coconut milk (Whole Foods is the BEST!)

1 + ½ teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)

2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or other spicy chili sauce + more for serving

3-4 stalks green onions, chopped

Optional topping: fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add the broth, ginger, lemon grass, bay leaves, lime juice and zest. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so to meld the flavors together. Over a large bowl, strain the soup so that only the infused broth is left (you don’t want to eat huge chunks of ginger, can’t eat the bay leaves, and the lemongrass is too tough to eat at this stage—don’t worry, all of those flavors are infused into the broth!). Discard solids.

Put strained broth back in the pot and bring to a boil again. Then lower heat and simmer, adding the mushrooms, fish sauce, Sriracha, sugar, coconut milk, and green onions, and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Then, if you are adding shrimp, add it to the pot and simmer for a few more minutes, or until shrimp is cooked (it will turn pink and curl up). If you are using chicken, add it with the mushrooms and other ingredients and simmer for 20-25, until done.

Ladle into bowls and top with fresh cilantro leaves, if using!

*To make this vegan, just leave out the shrimp! You can also add other veggies to this if you want! I’m pretty sure the Thai restaurant we go to puts zucchini in it.

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Inspired by 3-4 different recipes.