When we have the chance to go to a Thai restaurant, David, Mikel and I always want the Tom Kha soup - a coconut-lime soup. Invariably though, there is either fish sauce in it or it is made with chicken stock. There was a time we received it with a piece of chicken, even after interrogating the server; makes you think they weren't being completely forthright...maybe?
If we are able to find a place that follows our one simple rule of 'no animals in our food,' they charge an arm and a leg for a teeny, tiny bowl. It just makes more sense to make it at home and load it up with all your favorite vegetables, fungi or soy products.
This soup should really be called Tom Yum, but that is this same soup without the coconut milk - so unfair.
We made ours with shiitake, green beans, red peppers, spinach, carrots, shallots and basil. This is one of those Thai meals, that although would be even better with the addition of kaffir, lemongrass and galanga, tastes spectacular with just lime, lemon zest and ginger. This is so because I've gone to the extent of having gotten those exotic ingredients, but not tonight. Still totally wonderful.
coconut milk: $3
homemade stock: $1
lemon, lime, basil, ginger: $3
Total to feed 6 people your way: