Reprinted from Blue Apron
In this rich, lightly spicy soup, we’re using lemongrass — a traditional Southeast Asian herb — two different ways. First, you’ll use a smashed lemongrass stalk to infuse the coconut milk with a bright, lemony flavor. Second, you’ll mince an additional stalk and sauté it with ginger, garlic and scallion, and add it directly to the soup, bringing a wonderful crunch to and depth to each bite.
Makes 2 servings; about 460 calories per serving
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Roughly chop the cilantro. Cut both ends off of the lemongrass stalks; then peel away the fibrous outer layers until you reach the white, pliable cores. Mince one of the lemongrass stalks. Cut the remaining stalk in half lengthwise; then bruise both sides by whacking them with the back of your knife.
Using a peeler, remove the lime peel (avoiding the white pith); mince the peel to make 2 teaspoons of zest. Cut the lime into quarters. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then into bite-sized cubes. Cut the red pepper into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the scallion, keeping the white and green parts separate.
In a small pot, combine the rice, 1½ cups of water and a generous pinch of salt. Heat to boiling on high; then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer 14 to 16 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and uncover. Fluff the finished rice with a fork and set aside.
While the rice cooks, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, minced lemongrass and white parts of the scallion. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the red bell pepper and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bell pepper has softened, stirring occasionally.
To the pot with the aromatics, add as much of the red curry paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the curry paste is toasted and fragrant.
To the pot with the toasted curry paste and aromatics, add the coconut milk, palm sugar, lime zest, smashed lemongrass and 1 cup of water; then season with a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (Be careful not to boil the soup as the coconut milk may separate.)
Gently add the tofu to the soup and cook, occasionally stirring gently, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the tofu has absorbed some of the curry flavor; season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and stir in half of the cilantro and the juice from 2 lime wedges. To plate your dish, discard the smashed lemongrass, then divide the rice and soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions and the remaining cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!