I love the color of this soup…incredibly vibrant.  A good rule of thumb when it comes to food — if it’s naturally vibrant in color, it’s mother nature’s way of telling us to eat it.

A few weeks ago, I made this yellow tomato soup topped with seared sea scallops.  Today’s soup is an adaptation of the former, with a slight Asian twist.  Like the other soup, the base of this soup is yellow-orange tomatoes; however, today’s soup uses a stock infused with extremely fresh lemongrass and ginger that I picked up at my local farmers’ market.  The ginger and lemongrass lend a subtle presence to the dish; just enough so you know it’s there, but not overpowering.  I sauteed the onion, garlic, and ginger in extra-virgin coconut oil, so that you get hints of coconut, without it being overwhelming or rich — all the ingredients are harmoniously integrated with the front-and-center flavor from those beautiful tomatoes.

This particular variety of tomato — German Striped — is yellow-orange-reddish in color (with a similar marbled interior).  They’re sweet and juicy, and their flavor is outstanding.  When you start with a tomato like this, it doesn’t take much to transform it into an equally flavorful soup.  Don’t worry if you can’t find German Striped tomatoes; rather, use whatever locally-grown varieties you can find and you won’t go wrong (just avoid those cardboard-tasting, flavorless [store-bought] tomatoes).  Look for yellow-to-orange tomatoes, which are lower in acidity and make for a more delicate soup.

You can enjoy this soup on its own or with the addition of mussels.  Garnish with sliced scallions, a few slices of toasted bread, and you’re all set.


Yellow Tomato Lemongrass Soup with Mussels

serves 4 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
6 large yellow-orange tomatoes (~3 pounds), cored and quartered
1 quart lemongrass stock (recipe below)
12 Thai basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds of mussels
Thinly sliced scallion, sliced on a bias, for garnish

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until the onion is translucent.  Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in the lemongrass stock and add the Thai basil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then puree in a blender, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the soup is smooth.  Taste, adding more salt if needed.

Return the soup to the pot.  Bring to a simmer, add the mussels, and cover.  Cook until the mussels open.  Discard any mussels that do not open.  Ladle into individual bowls.  Top with sliced scallions.

Serve with some grilled/toasted bread (rubbed with garlic, a good drizzle of peppery olive oil, and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt).  This soup is bound to make you smile.  Enjoy.

Lemongrass Stock

makes 1 quart
4 stalks lemongrass dried outer leaves removed
1 yellow onion or leek, sliced
8 thin slices ginger
10 sprigs cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
6 cups cold water

Place the lemongrass on a hard wooden surface and pound gently (with the bottom of a sauce pot or rolling pin) to help release its oils.  In a stockpot, combine all the ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for about 40 minutes.  Pour the stock through a strainer, pressing as much liquid as possible from the vegetables before discarding them.

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I have tons of lemongrass in my garden and I never know what to do with it…thanks for the tip. Great pics as always:)


Fresh lemongrass makes a big difference, much more flavorful. That's so great that you have tons growing in your garden.


Fresh lemongrass makes a big difference, much more flavorful. That's so great that you have tons growing in your garden.

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