Spiralized zucchini, sweet potato and carrot in a hot red Thai curry soup, with chunks of silken eggplant and crunchy peanuts.
I’m more than a little bit late to the spiral party, but that’s fine with me. Better late than never. And now I TOTALLY GET IT. Spiralized vegetables are awesome. In exactly the same way that macaroni and spaghetti taste totally different just because they’re a different shape, spiralized veges also turn into something else entirely.
I tried a few cheap hand held spiralizers, found them hopeless and abandoned the idea. Then I finally bought a proper free-standing spiralizer last month (still cheap, from K Mart) and it’s got me all excited about the possibilities.
I have to admit cooking is a struggle sometimes. It’s certainly not all raw cheesecakes and fig salads every day. My life is really busy and I feel stretched in so many different directions. It often feels like there’s more to do than I can possibly get done, and that by choosing one priority, I’ll be letting something else slip. That’s really mentally exhausting! And don’t even get me started on trying to get anything done with a toddler in the house. One day this week I found her standing in the middle of the dining table grinning like a cheshire cat…! Of course eating well is even more important when life feels busy, but it’s often the first thing to fall by the wayside. And the irony of eating peanut butter sandwiches so that I have more time to blog about food is not lost on me.
This day, I fought the peanut butter sandwich battle and won. The spiralizer was my weapon of choice.
I spiralized what seemed like a mountain of zucchini (zoodles), sweet potato (swoodles?) and carrot (coodles…?!) and added them to a quick soup made with a red Thai curry paste base, vegetable stock and coconut cream. Some tender fried eggplant and toasted peanuts topped it off and provided a welcome textural contrast. I really love how easy this is to make, how colourful it is and how many serves of vegetables you can fit into one meal without even trying (four actually, and yes I ate it all!).
This soup was exactly the kind of sustenance I needed – full of complex flavour and infinitely more interesting than a salad. This meal is also really high in vitamin A and C, has 14.2g of protein and 24 per cent of your daily iron RDI. Not bad, not bad at all.
Thai zoodle soup with eggplant and peanuts
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 1 zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1/2 an orange kumara, (sweet potato) peeled
- 1 long Asian eggplant or small round eggplant, thickly sliced into chunks
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or finely grated
- 1 knob fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 kaffir lime leaf, optional
- 3 tbsp red Thai curry paste, check label if vegan
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup light coconut cream
- 2 tbsp peanuts, dry toasted
- Spring onion, thinly sliced
- Red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- Kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced
- Lime wedges, for squeezing
- Begin by spiralizing your zucchini, carrot and sweet potato. Set aside in separate piles.
- Heat a frypan to a moderate heat and fry eggplant in 2 tbsp cooking oil until deep golden brown on all sides. Season with salt and set aside to drain on kitchen towels.
- Heat remaining 1 tbsp cooking oil in a deep frypan or saucepan. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
- Add curry paste and kaffir lime leaf and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Curry pastes vary a lot in their intensity, so if you know you don't like too much heat start with less (maybe 1-2 tbsp) as you can always add more later on if needed.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Taste and add more curry paste if needed.
- Add coconut cream and bring back up to heat.
- Add sweet potato spirals and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add carrot spirals and cook for 1 minute.
- Add zucchini spirals and cook for about 30 seconds - just enough to heat them through.
- Ladle soup and spirals into a deep bowl. Add eggplant into the broth around the edges and sprinkle with peanuts. Add garnishes and serve immediately.
You could also add tofu or another protein of your choice to make this a more substantial meal.