Thomas and I have lived in the countryside for several years now. And when I say countryside, I don’t mean village, but COUNTRYSIDE. With sheep in the meadow and rare species of birds on the windowsill, with donkeys that eat our carefully planted flowers after escaping our neighbors garden. Or peacocks looking curiously through our window – after escaping from another neighbors garden. In case you were about to ask: yes, our neighbors have a rather unusual taste for pets.
When people visit us for the first time, most of them say: “Oh, it’s nice here!” Then there is a short pause and the addition: “I couldn’t imagine living here”. Because it’s so quiet that some visitors from big cities can‘t sleep a wink / because the nearest neighbor is at least 200 meters away / because it’s dangerous to be alone in the countryside … Thomas and I think that’s just right. We like living in the wild. We don’t miss the big cities where we have lived for a long time. You can really get used to the silence and then you find it quite noisy elsewhere – and if you’re there you can’t sleep a wink the first few nights.
I don’t want to deny it: some things are of course different on the countryside. Some are good and healthy, like the fact that I could never call a pizza delivery because it is very unlikely that the driver would find our house. The nearest snack bar is also at least 15 kilometers away, so there is no alternative either. You have to adjust to other things. For example, that you don’t get every exotic foods that you want to buy spontaneously. In cities, I would often go to the supermarket quickly every day to buy a few things for my next meal. There was every possible ingredient you could imagine within a 2-kilometer radius. Hand-pulled chia seeds from Brandenburg? No problem. Rare spices from the Himalayas? Here you go! In the country it is of course … different. Here you can’t just go to the village shop and expect them to sell you lemongrass or curry paste.
That’s why I like to buy my favorite exotic ingredients in larger quantities whenever I see them somewhere, for example fresh coriander, which is rarely missing in our fridge. Well, and some rare ingredient that I just can’t get will be replaced by “normal” foods. That’s how I prepare my everyday Thai soup. It consists of fairly “normal” ingredients that you can get everywhere and just expects to have some ingredients handy at all times, just like cilantro, rice noodles and coconut milk.
Even if the soup contains hardly any ingredients from the Asia shop, it still tastes fairly authentic in the end – and that’s what counts, do you agree? Thomas and I have this soup so often that it’s almost a bit embarrassing. But what can you do if you live on the countryside and there is no good Thai takeout nearby? Exactly.
And now my question for you: do you like to live in the city or do you prefer to live on the countryside? Or are you considering moving from the country to the city or from the city to the country? And what are – from a culinary point of view – your greatest challenges in your living environment? I look forward to your comment under this post!
EVERYDAY THAI SOUP
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 3 spring onions cut into thin rings
- 1 small red pepper pitted and cut into fine strips
- 200 g carrots cut into thin diagonal slices
- 150 g tomatoes diced
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 600 ml hot water
- 1 grated zest of organic lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice to taste
- 2 tsp salt or more to taste
- 50 g coriander
- some chilli or cayenne pepper to taste
- 100 g rice noodles
- Put on a pot of water to boil the rice noodles.
- Heat coconut oil in another saucepan and briefly sauté the ginger, garlic and spring onions in it. Add peppers, carrots and tomatoes and stir-fry as well. Deglaze with coconut milk and hot water. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and simmer gently for 10–15 minutes, until the carrots are al dente. Finely chop the coriander stalks and some of the leaves and add to the soup towards the end of the cooking time. Season the soup with chilli and, if necessary, additional salt and lemon juice.
- In the meantime, cook the rice noodles in salted water according to the instructions on the packet until al dente. Pour into a sieve and rinse briefly with cold water so that they do not stick together.
- Put noodles in bowls and fill up with soup. Serve sprinkled with more chopped coriander.