Notes on Tonight’s Dinner

Eating Well ran a little series on “green soups” recently. The idea is that these soups are a good way to get your daily dose (plus, if you ask me) of leafy green vegetables, but in a hearty soup form because it’s winter and I can’t face salad day after day.

I like the idea very much, but there’s a nuance in the series that irks me: the idea that we can live on these soups for a number of weeks and reach some fitness/clothing/happiness goal. Which—don’t get me wrong—is absolutely true. But a big bowl of one of these soups has about 130 calories. So if you eat four bowls of this per day (I guess you get a snack because I am generous), of course you will suddenly find yourself in your skinny jeans. You’ll also be a Class A Bitch and no one will want to spend more than three minutes with you.

I am making Green Curry Soup this evening, but I am making some modifications. I know it seems wrong to try to add more calories to something, but I find lately that I can’t make it to the gym after work because I am so damned tired—from not eating enough, I think.

The pot that’s simmering on my stove now smells divine, and my sample tastes as I’ve gone along are just as good. So I encourage you to make this for yourself, but I also suggest you find way to elevate it beyond a caloric level fit for a 2-year-old. Here are mine, along with a few notes that may save you some pain.

  1. I added three links of jalapeño chicken sausage. For me, protein is the secret to feeling full longer than 20 minutes. I would be interested in seeing what it’s like with shrimp next time.
  2. I will serve this over some rice vermicelli, which will not only make me happy (and give me much-needed chopstick practice), but it will turn this dish into an actual meal.
  3. Check the section of your produce section where the dressings are for a little green tube. It’s absurd to buy a whole stalk of lemongrass for this recipe when some helpful person has turned it into a paste and tubed it up for you. Then you can just squeeze some out and get on with your life.
  4. I did not slice broccoli stalks for this. I dumped some frozen florets in the pot. I am a working woman and don’t have time for that crap.
  5. My store only carries serrano chilis in packs of about 10. A spoonful of sriracha is much easier here (and you can measure the expected heat more precisely, which is important for me).
  6. If you put spinach and water into a food processor, you’re not going to get “confetti.” You’re going to get a slightly darker version of the aforementioned tubed paste. I don’t know what they were thinking writing that bit, but it’s silly. And anyway, this paste is a good thing! It helps thicken the soup.
  7. Bon appetit, kiddos.