There are many decisions in life. Some as simple as, “Should I brush my teeth now, or just go to bed and take care of it tomorrow,” and others much more difficult, like, “ughhh….I should probably go back and pick up that Plasma Rifle, I’m gonna’ need it for the boss in the Corridor of Peril.” And then there are ones that fall in the middle, “What am I gonna’ do with a giant freezer bag full of diced red bell peppers?”
*By the way, my company produces a massive amount of food every Sunday, inevitably saddling me with fresh unused veggies…veggies that I spend every Monday afternoon staring at, trying to figure out how to not let them go to waste.*
In this case, the decision was a no-brainer…the tried and true user-upper of excess vegetables…and, incidentally, my favorite thing in the world to make, was the answer: Soup.
My initial plan was to toss in the peppers with some onions garlic, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and veggie stock, puree it, and call it a day. Only after I began sweating down the veggies, did I have a thought: Coconut Milk! I think it was a combination of the new bottle of Thai Chili Sauce that I just bought, and the Thai Basil that I held in my hand at the farmer’s market today, but (regrettably) forgot to come back and purchase, that sent me in that direction...it just popped in there. While I wasn’t too psyched about turning off my fire mid-sweat, and making a run to Trader Joe’s for the coconut milk, my psychedness for the soup idea outweighed my non-psychedness about leaving the house.
You’re gonna have to pare this recipe down, since I’m starting with a ridiculous amount of stuff. I ended up with approx. 8 -73 servings with this recipe.
These are mostly estimations (hence, "HALF-ASSED"), but here goes:
4 lbs. bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow only) seeded and diced
2 onions diced
3 cloves garlic chopped
8-10 leaves of Thai basil
1 can light coconut milk
1-2 TB Thai chili sauce (e.g. Siracha) to taste
1 TB agave
Juice of one lime
About 1 cup of water
1 TB olive oil
Olive oil in a large pot heating at medium. Add onion, sweat for a few minutes. Add garlic, sweat for another few minutes. Open a window, or you’ll be sweating too. Add the peppers, and cook the veggies until they’re nice and soft, and have released a lot of their liquid (seems lots of things get soft after releasing their liquid…hmm). Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the basil leaves and two TB of the coconut milk, and let it simmer for a few minutes. The amount of water to add may vary…start with a cup and add more. It’s got to be thin enough to puree into soup form. Next step, puree. I recommend a hand immersion blender like this one. It is my single favorite tool in the kitchen (besides my knife, of course). It’s 17, 000, 000 times easier to clean than a food processor or blender, and can do most of the tasks that they can do. Get one, get one, get one!!
Jesus!! All this typing is fuckin’ ponderous man…this is why I do videos!
O.k., so, once it’s pureed, add the basil leaves whole, and let it simmer for just a few more minutes. Serve it up, and garnish with a basil leaf and a little drizzle of the reserved coconut milk. I had to use cilantro for garnish since, as you remember, I failed to buy the basil earlier.