Tuesday Dinner: Thai Carrot

Thai Carrot Soup with Ginger & Turmeric • Vegetable & Fruit Slaw with Peanut Dressing •
Levain Rolls • Coconut Cake

I’m reeling. You too? I guess we’ll see. That’s what we’re all doing, isn’t it? Taking this new situation day by day, trusting that we’ll figure it out one way or another.

One of you guys (hi Jay!) mentioned that I should only make immune-boosting soups from now on. It was said semi-jokingly, but you know what? That’s not a bad idea. I follow quite a few witchy-hippie folks on Instagram, and I keep seeing suggestions for herbs and spices that boost your immune system. Ginger—check! This soup is full of ginger. Garlic—of course! Turmeric—added it, no problem! (And the soup is gorgeously bright orange as a result.)

Besides all those wonderful spices, the soup is seasoned with lots of punchy lime juice and umami-rich Red Boat salt and fish sauce. Usually with Thai soups, I balance out the flavors with a little brown sugar or honey, but these carrots and the slow-cooked onions were so sweet on their own that I didn’t need to add any sugar. I like the soup spicier—I feel like spicy-hot foods help ward off sickness—but I also wanted to keep it kid-friendly, so all the heat is in the garnish. It’s a decidedly non-traditional sauce made mostly from green onions, cilantro, and jalapeños, which adds just the right amount of heat for those who want it.

The peanut dressing I made for the slaw today might be my favorite ever. Peanut butter makes it creamy, and the flavor of the dressing hits all those Southeast Asian notes: sour, sweet, hot, and funky. It would make a shoe taste good, so you know it will sing in the mixture of cabbage, pineapple, and red bell pepper we’ve got for a salad today.

For dessert, I went all out and made coconut cake. Two layers of vanilla sponge cake soaked with coconut-rum syrup, with coconut custard in the middle and whipped cream on top. I say “all out” because of the eggs: ten whole eggs for the cake, and then ten more yolks for the coconut custard filling. That delicious custard could be made with fewer yolks, but my gosh, they make it so rich and golden and luscious… Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be eating dessert. Maybe it’s even more reason to eat dessert.

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