I've often find that we come home from long days to a house of silence - it's a big house, and there aren't nearly enough of us living in it to fill the spacious rooms and vaulted ceilings with chatter and the ease of laughter. Perhaps it is the kitchen which brings us together. Put a pot on the stove and fill it with aromatic flavours which instead will fill the air around us, a comforting hug around stooped shoulders.
It seems as if gathering in the kitchen and cooking with others is the perfect cure for a sense of loneliness. Encourage and invite others to cook around or with you, and instantly, there's a sense of communion and chatter in effort to achieve a common goal, to beat the eggs, to sauté the onions. Because we all know everyone's there for the comfort of really good food.
As we cut circles out of flattened pastry we begin to chat comfortably, sharing stories of past events of our weeks and expressing the things which bother us or fill us with joy. Yesterday, mum and I sat in the kitchen around mugs of tea to chat, and later put the weeks events behind us with our focus on chopping and mixing something delicious for dinner. As we laid the ingredients across the counter and placed a large chopping board beside us, I began to smile at myself, and a sparkle glimmered as if the sun had once again reappeared.
I really love cooking, I thought, cooking is like our own therapy, you take simple ingredients and turn them into a delicious masterpiece. And if cooking is our therapy, then the friendships we have must also be. The same sense of fulfilment is acquired from both.
And so we bake cookies. Try our hands at scones and kneading gluten-free bread. On weekends we try pizzas. We make stir-fries and soups. We make discoveries in gluten-free baking, and try new ingredients, sometimes learning what not to do, often learning new techniques. Then as we sit around the table we make conversation about the meal, remarking on the complements in flavours and textures, and slowly moving on to talk about ourselves, and our days. Then we begin to laugh, and we can no longer stop, we are enjoying the full feeling in our bellies, and the complete feeling of unity around us with a full house.
Coconut Lime Thai Soup
Print recipe here.
A shrimp dish with the sweetness of coconut milk and spice of red curry paste which are complemented by the strong flavour of limes in this simple dish. Served with rice noodles, dinner guests will be slurping the bowl for more.
Garlic and ginger are all known fighters of that pesky everyday cold and flu, which seems to be sticking around longer and longer each year. Plus, the kick of thai chilli in this soup will remind you that you are alive and strong, so get back into action with a hearty bowl and the warm flavours of good, gluten free, food again.
1 tbsp grape seed oil, or other oil suitable for frying
1 shallot, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce (check to make sure it is gluten free!)
zest of 1 lime, juice of 2 limes, 1 sliced to serve (3 in total)
1 1/2 cans of unsweetened coconut milk
400 g fresh or frozen baby shrimp
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
approximately 200 g flat rice noodles
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sliced shallot and diced red pepper, cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger, and red Thai curry paste. Stir frequently until you can smell the garlic, about 30 seconds. Add the fish sauce, zest of one lime, and freshly squeezed lime juice, stirring until well combined. Pour in the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook until noodles are tender. Rinse and set aside.
Add the shrimp and continue to simmer until the shrimp is completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the noodles and stir together, then add herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning to your personal preference.
Serve in large bowls with sliced lime quarters.
Enjoy! xx S.
Labels: coconut, dinner, garlic, ginger, lime, noodles, rice, soup, thai