This is the plainest Thai ‘Gaeng’ which translates as curry, this is more of a Chinese style veggie soup. It’s easy to make and adaptable depending on the ingredients you have. It’s good on its own but also works well as part of a Thai meal to balance other spicier dishes.
I start by making a stock / base for the soup by peeling a daikon radish and chopping it into cubes which I boil in a covered large pan with about 2 litres of water and 3 tbsp of light (mushroom) soy sauce. If you don’t have this use a carrot instead. After about 10 mins of simmering I add about 200g of mushrooms, here I used oyster mushrooms torn into chunks and a handful of shredded dried seaweed, and simmer for another 5 mins. While this Is cooking heat a couple of tbsp of sesame oil in my wok and finely chop 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and gently fry them until golden, watch they don’t burn and go bitter. Then I add some greens to the soup, a small bunch of chopped spring onions and some chopped cabbage, I used a medium sized head of Chinese leaf. I simmer this for another 5 minutes then add a tube or two of soft tofu (about 200g) cut into discs and a handful of vermicelli noodles (optional and good if you plan to eat the soup on its own without rice). I warm this through. Then add some ground white pepper and taste the soup and add more soy sauce if necessary.
Serve the soup either in a large serving bowl, or individual bowls, topped with a sprinkle of white pepper, some of the garlic and oil and a few coriander leaves.