Thai Curry Bean Soup with Lemongrass and Lime
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
- 2 cups navy beans
- 3 quarts water
- 2 small to medium ripe red tomatoes - peeled, seeded, and chopped
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar
- 2 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves stripped and discarded
- 8 lime leaves, bruised
- 8 large kale leaves, stems removed and leaves chopped
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until light golden, about 10 minutes. Add the carrot and red curry paste and continue to saute until the paste is breaking down, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and stir to toast the beans until a shade darker, about 2 minutes.
- Add 3 quarts water, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar,and kaffir lime leaves. Pound the lemongrass stalks to soften and tie each into a simple knot; add to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the beans have absorbed about ⅔ of the water, about 3 hours.
- Add 1 quart water and continue to cook until the beans are very tender and some have broken down, about 3 hours more.
- Add the kale and cook to soften completely, about 30 minutes more. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, stir and serve.
Soaking beans is not necessary prior to cooking them. It is simply a preference, affecting cooking time. Unsoaked, the beans will require more time to cook. However, this also gives them more time to absorb flavor, making it well worth the long cooking hours. Add any kind of green vegetables to enhance the flavor and texture of the soup—chopped green beans, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts, for example. Like any soup or stew, while delicious freshly made, it is even better reheated the next day, after the flavors have rested overnight.
What others are saying
Greg Jones says:
This thai curry soup is amazing. So much flavor, it's definitely in my list of dinner favorites.
Anne McClure says:
This is so good, and really has the depth of flavor in a great Thai soup! I added a jalapeño for more another layer with heat💗