We are finally back into the swing of things at home in Okinawa, for better or worse, after our extended trip around Europe. One of the perks of working for the military is the ability to take extended leave and get paid. In other countries, it is pretty standard to get an annual “holiday” but in the US, we seem to work ourselves longer hours and take fewer breaks. Sigh.
In our future, we don’t plan to stay in the military indefinitely but instead want to make a home, somewhere to have roots. For some time, we have told ourselves that Seattle will be our future home. Seattle, though perhaps a bit overcast, enables one to get outside and enjoy all kinds of activities year round, and I know we will love it.
Not working for the military, I hope that we will be able to take a bit of time off work now and again to go explore the world. Living in Japan and traveling around the world as we have for the last few years, I have become more internationally minded. When I moved to Japan and saw things they did differently than me, I wondered to myself why they did things their way. Being ethnocentric as I was I thought that my way was the right way. Now when I go places, I don’t wonder if things are different than where I grew up. I know they are different, I wonder how they are different, and if they perhaps have ideas we should adopt. Maybe they are doing things better.
When we finally came home from our trip, I picked up where we left off in Europe. My last meal in London was a red pepper soup and tomato soup, which warmed me up on that rainy day. If I do say so the recipe I made after some testing was much better than what they served me. The coconut milk and yellow curry give roasted red peppers a unique flavor that pulls them out of the Western hemisphere into a much more interesting, spicy place: that is Thailand. Since I used jarred roasted red peppers it was as fast as it was delicious. Garnish with just a bit of peanut and cilantro and you’re good to go!
- 2 Tablespoons butter (or olive oil if you want a nondairy option)
- 1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped medium fine
- 1 large carrot, chopped medium fine
- 1 to 1½ inch piece fresh ginger, skin removed and chopped very finely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken would work fine)
- 3 12-ounce cans roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Thai yellow curry paste
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- ¼ cup plain roasted peanuts, finely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, very finely chopped
- In a large stockpot over medium low heat, add olive oil or butter, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, and sea salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened but not browned.
- Add flour and stir to coat. Cook for one minute before adding vegetable stock, red peppers, and curry paste. Turn to high heat and bring to boil. Lower temperature to a simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
- Puree using immersion blender or in batches in your blender. Return to pot and add coconut milk. Warm further over low heat if desired. If more water than desired was lost in simmering, add a bit more now. Taste and add more salt or curry paste if desired.
- Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro