Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mushroom and bell pepper soup

I came across the recipe for this soup on the Vegetarian Society website and was attracted by what seemed to me like rather an odd selection of ingredients - red bell pepper, chunky peanut butter, coconut milk and mushrooms, not forgetting rice. Amazingly, no fresh herbs were required. I didnt have the spring onions called for, so I used shallots instead. And since I didnt have button mushrooms at that point, I used a mixture of chestnut and large white mushrooms.

I wasnt sure how the ingredients would work together, but decided to try it anyway. And what a pleasant surprise I got, because the soup was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Hearty, filling, flavourful and very tasty - despite not having any chillies in it (I like chillies in most things). It was a definite hit with me, and a HUGE hit with Pete. Not only that, it was pretty easy to make, too... maybe just a wee bit of preparation, but otherwise really easy. A definite keeper, this recipe.

I cant wait to try it with different mushrooms and different coloured bell peppers, and see if the taste differs!

Recipe for:
Mushroom and bell pepper soup


1 cup boiling water
3 tbsp fresh grated coconut
2 cups mushrooms (chestnut and white), sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4 shallots, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1/3 cup long grain rice, uncooked
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
salt to taste


1. Mix together the mushrooms, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Set aside.

2. Pour one cup boiling over the grated coconut and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Squeeze the coconut to extract the milk, strain and reserve the liquid.

3. In a large pan, add the shallots, coconut milk, vegetable stock, lemon juice, sugar, rice, peanut butter and red pepper. Stir well.

4. Bring to the boil, stirring to make sure the peanut butter melts, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 5 minutes, until the rice is tender. Add salt to taste, if necessary. (The soup can be had as is, or if you prefer, you can blend some of it to create a better texture.)

6. Remove about half of the soup, let it cool, then blend to a puree. Add it back to the remaining soup.

Serve hot with fresh baked, buttered baguette slices.


Anonymous said...

Hi shammi,
This seems like a great alternative when "Dal" prices are going thru the roof.Do you think canned coconut milk would be ok to use or would it be too creamy?? And is the rice added just to give it a thick consistency or is it like one meal dish?( so that i could add it later too just the way they put a scoop of it on Gumbo just before serving)


Anonymous said...

Hi Eve,

Canned coconut milk should be fine to use (saves time) if you thin it down - perhaps 3 tbsp of canned to one cup of water or so.

As for the rice, yeah, I think it was to give it a thick consistency. If you want to keep the rice grains whole, you could always add them at the end. It shouldnt make that much difference to the taste, really. :)

Vaishali said...

Interesting that the soup was delicious. Because the combination of ingredients is really weird. But if you say that it tastes good, then I'm sure it does. :)

Shubha Ravikoti said...

Nice combination... unheard of... the subtle mudhroom and the sweet bell peppers... maybe some jalapenos can add more flavours.... yummm will surely try it...
First time to ur blog shyamala... and u have great one...:)
Thanx for ur lovely encouraging comments on my blog...:)

Archana said...

Another winner from you! I used brown rice instead of white (cooked it a bit before adding it to the soup) and use spring onions instead of shallots. The end result was very nice. Both me and my husband thought it tasted a bit like sambhar (now how did that happen?)- nevertheless we enjoyed it a lot.

t said...

Tried the dish with a minor changes.. like added grated ginger .. gave that extra zing! Overall, I just googled for the recipe and landed on this.. It tastes very nice and very Thai.. a perfect and easy recipe. My husband , who is hard to please on taste palate .. liked it too! Thanks... :)