Lovage and Snap Pea Soup
Kaeng Jued Pak
There is no real Thai name for this soup, but I started the process by stir-frying, adding broth and cooking until the vegetables are soft. It’s like a Thai soup that is called Kaeng Jued Pak. I pureed it down like western soup. It is best to enjoy lovage that way. It’s not a typical Thai dish but my grandma would have done the same — a dish from the garden or the nearest farm to the table. The freshness and simplicity were key. I don’t make it a habit to call for take-out or frozen food. I prefer to enjoy real food. When there is nothing else, steamed rice and fried eggs with some soy sauce and cucumber on top is enough. This is a kind of lunch; I enjoy it when I am at home by myself.
This morning while working in the garden, I trimmed overgrown lovage. Some was young and tender; so I decided not to throw it away. Then around lunch break, I made a soup with some snap peas that I got from the farmers market the day before. All I had to do is find the right spice to go with it. I had some freshly ground coriander powder–seeds that I brought from Thailand. I gave it a try, and it was right on. It was a quick and easy summer soup. With a lovage plant, you will receive an annual return every summer with flavorful soup–the best tasting soup that no other restaurants can compete with because you have got the freshest one a few steps from your kitchen.
Yield: 2 cups3 tablespoons canola oil or extra light olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped lovage 1 cup whole snap peas, end trimmed — about 20 snap peas 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground-toasted coriander powder 2 cups chicken brother or 2 cups water plus 2 teaspoons chicken powder
Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and when it is hot add canola oil. Stir in garlic and onion until fragrant and onion become translucent. Stir in lovage for 30 seconds before adding snap pea, sea salt and coriander. Pour into a large pot and add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lets it cook on medium heat until snap peas is cooked. About 8 minutes. Serve as is or use a blend in the blender. Garnish with chopped lovage or lovage leaf.
Vegetarian option: substitute chicken broth with vegetable or mushroom broth.© 2010 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com