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Red Curry Carrot Soup

Categories: Heart Qi Vacuity, Lung Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Red Curry Carrot Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil
6 large carrots, peeled-4 thickly sliced and 2 cut into fine matchsticks
2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 teaspoon red curry paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 scallion, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil


Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced carrots and ginger and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the carrots are crisp-tender and lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, water, coconut milk and curry paste to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Strain the cooking liquid into another saucepan, reserving the solids; discard the ginger. Transfer the carrots to a blender and puree with 1 cup of the cooking liquid until very smooth. Return the puree to the cooking liquid, add the carrot matchsticks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the scallion, cilantro and basil and serve.

Carrots: Benefit the Lung, nourish the Heart and Spleen, especially with skin inflammation.
Ginger, Onion, Curry, Basil: all warm the middle Jiao, harmonize the Stomach, and generally improve digestion of the soup. These spices also have an outward directionality, bringing the effects to the skin.

Chinese Duck Curry

Categories: Kidney Yin Vacuity

Anna Strong

Recipe for Kidney Yin Vacuity


4 duck breast portions, with out skin and bone
2 tbsp 5 spice powder
2 tbsp sesame oil
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
2 fresh red chilis
4 lime leaves
Cilantro to garnish

Cut the duck meat into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with 5 spice powder, sesame oil in orange rind and juice. Stir well to mix all ingredients and coat the duck. Cover and set aside to cool.
Bring a pan of water to boil. Add the squash and cook until just tender. Drain and set aside.
Pour the marinade from the duck into wok and heat until boiling. Stir in curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, until well blended and fragrant. Add the duck and cook for 3-4 min. until browned.
Add the fish sauce and palm sugar and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the coconut milk until the mixture is smooth then add the cooked squash with chillies and lime leaves
Simmer gently, stirring frequently for 5 min., then spoon into a dish sprinkle with coriander and serve.

Duck: sweet, salty, cold. Lung, spleen, Kidney. Nourishes Kidney, moistens dryness.
Sesame oil: sl warm, sweet. Nourish LV and KD. Lubricates, tonifies.
Orange rind: warm, bitter, acrid. Inivogorates qi, dries damp
Orange juice: cool, sweet, sour. Resolves mucus, lubricates lung, promotes fluids.
Squash: cool, sweet. Dispels dampness, reduces fever, stops dysentery.
Brown sugar: sweet, warm. SP/ST/LV. Supplements MJ, invigorates blood
Red chili pepper: warm, acrid
Coconut milk: neutral, sweet
Cilantro: sl. Cool, acrid. Promotes sweating, moves qi

This recipe is overall nourishing of Kidney yin. The duck is cold and salty. The sesame oil and orange juice promote fluid. There is also an acrid and damp moving quality to help with concurrent dampness and qi stagnation.