Stems from one bunch of cilantro...
Me: Honey.... - (asking my husband whose idea of cooking is grilling and making chili) -do you think she means JUST the stems or the whole stem including the leaves?
Husband: Just the stems.
Me: So, I need to pull off EACH leaf??!!?
Husband: No, just cut off the top half off where the leaves are.
Me: Oh, okay. Hey, do you think this is a bunch - or more than a bunch? It's kind of a lot.
Husband: Looks like a bunch to me, I'd use it all.
Me: Sounds good.
Other questions I had along the way - what does she means by two POINTS star anise? What is a garlic germ?? Do you think these dried red chiles are okay?? Does the market sell thai basil?
Each question followed with a conversation similar to the cilantro talk above. Some obvious answer out of my husband who rarely cooks, who was watching football, and whose main objective was probably trying to get me to pipe down as quickly as possible. Well mission accomplished by him, I took his word for everything he said.
I'm obviously still learning here, and hopefully always will be. This soup was something completely different than anything I'd typically make. I tend to base my weekly menus on ease, convenience, and shopping budget! And usually when some ethnic recipes pops up that I'd think I might like, I continue to put it aside due to time/lack of available ingredients... whatever.
I'm committed to trying as much as I can out of Around My French Table - to expand my skills in the kitchen and my palette - I refuse to not try a recipe because it doesn't look appealing. I'll make, I'll try, I'll feed to my husband (or dog) if I don't like it. Well, I'd feed it to my dog if I gave her people food. Sorry Rae.
Anyway, the soup. I'm looking at the photo in AMFT right now. I can taste the soup just looking at it. When I first saw the photo, I thought it was beautiful, of course, but really had no idea what I would taste in the end. It was a smooth, sweet, citrusy, spicy, chewy, crunchy masterpiece. You could taste each flavor distinctly with each bite. The cilantro, the star anise, the lime, the fish sauce, the chili. The flavors married and melded together perfectly.
I really enjoyed this soup, and the leftovers. Everything about it was new to me. I love that.
Check us out at French Fridays With Dorie - - and buy Dorie's newest book Around My French Table (so worth it) over at Amazon.