Thai-Inspired Veggie and Rice Soup
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 small-medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2-1 quart vegetable broth
1-2 cups water
1/2-1 cup brown rice
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1/2 pound extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed, squeezed, and cubed
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2-1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
1. Heat vegetable oil in large soup pot over medium-high. Add onion and zucchini, and let cook until they start to "sweat." Add bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook until all vegetables begin to get tender (5 minutes or so). Add greens and let cook down until they begin to wilt.
2. Add canned tomatoes, broth and water, and rice. Here is where you can make a choice: if you want a thinner soup, add more liquid, and less rice, but if you want a thicker "stoup" type dish, add less liquid, and more rice, or anything in between (I added 1/2 quart broth, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1 cup rice, and it was soupier right after the rice was cooked, but as it set it became very thick-great either way).
3. Add the spices to taste, and the curry paste. Turn heat to low, and let simmer until rice is tender (45 minutes-1 hour). At the end of this time, you can fry your tofu in a little oil until it is golden and crisp on both sides. Once the rice is done, add the coconut milk, lime, peanut butter, and tofu.
4. Taste, and adjust the seasonings (spices, peanut butter, curry paste, etc.). You can also add more liquid at this time, or let it set and it will get thicker. I loved it both ways!