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Favorite food for cold days - Curry soups

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I crave the Japanese noodle soups and the Thai curry soups I used to have when I lived in New York. I always mean to make them at home with the umpteen specialty cookbooks I have, but I never take the time to do them right. But it's bitterly cold, so today I just decided to make up a quick and easy curry soup, borrowing from all my favorite sources. Usually, you're supposed to only paint from the same palate, so to speak, but I just decided to mix it all up. I thought it came out great! Here's my new recipe:

Mixed-up, Lazy Curry Soup for Cold, Cold Days

Scallion, leek or onion, sliced thin
Red bell pepper, juillienned
Indian curry powder of your choice, or garam masala
Red Thai curry paste
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese red pepper mix for noodle soup), optional
Green beans/string beans [small dice on diagonal], snap peas or snow peas
Daishi stock or instant daishi and water if you want, but chicken, fish or vegetable broth is fine (I just used chicken broth)
Red miso paste
Sirimi or kani, or shrimp
tamago if you want, or raw egg (optional)
mushrooms would be great
udon or ramen noodles (but not instant ramen!), or any kind of noodles or pasta (I didn't use noodles this time)
anything else you can think of

In a large sauce pan or deep saute pan/skillet, saute sliced scallions/leeks/onions in oil. Add bell pepper. Add about 1 tsp of curry powder. Cook and allow the vegetables to soften slightly, then add about 1 tsp (or more) of Thai red curry paste. Stir in with aromatics and allow to cook a bit. Sprinkle a bit of the noodle soup pepper mix as you stir. Add green beans.

Add about 1-2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer. Spoon off some broth and in a small bowl, mix in about 1 Tbsp of miso paste. Stir or whisk until dissolved, then mix into soup.

Add whatever else you want. Sirimi or shrimp is good. Kani is good, or you could stir a raw egg in like egg drop soup. Mushrooms would be ideal (I didn't have any today). Add noodles if you want to. Check your refrigerator for anything that needs to be used up.

Taste soup. Ramp up the heat with more Thai curry paste or Japanese pepper mix if needed. Dilute with more broth if it’s too spicy.

Enjoy, and try not to think about what a mish-mash this is. Just notice that it’s really, really good. Realize you didn’t even use ginger. Wonder if adding a bit of coconut milk and galangal would be too much. Plan your next batch.

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