A recipe for the holiday blues

warm your bones & pause the "doing"

Thai Coconut Soup

Away from gift guides & towards gut feelings

Our little Jenny Pennywood team spent some time brainstorming about how to best position the business for success during the holidays - “Oh, let’s make a gift guide” -  was one of the thoughts. Gift guides are awesome & we love them. And it also seems like exactly the right time to make one. But, every single time I thought about it, I felt heavy in my gut, so in the spirit of self care and lightness all around, I’m opting out of what I think I’m “supposed to be” doing this holiday season and rolling with exactly where I am. In other words, I’m phoning it in - going low key. The vibe is loooooow key. 

 What I’ll be doing instead is taking a long pause to hold gratitude for 2021. To whisper a big THANK YOU to the #jennypennywoodcommunity. Without your love of pattern & color and small-batch, women-owned businesses (including painters who, most of the time, don't know what they’re doing), Jenny Pennywood would simply be a thought.

Join me in running from the craze of the holidaze & enjoy a soul warming recipe that always brings me joy & ease amidst the hectic holidays.

Thai Coconut Soup

As you can tell by the crumbling recipe page, I’ve been making this bone warming soup for ages to ward off the chill of the San Francisco fog. I adapted my version of the recipe from a Cooks Illustrated 2007 recipe & it’s been a staple in my home ever since.

This recipe serves 4 adults as a main course. Serve it with rice & lots of fresh lime!


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 lemon grass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, bottom 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 8 sprig fresh cilantro, chopped course
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 cups of broth OR even better, homemade broth *we like chicken broth but vegetable broth is delicious too
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk, well shaken *I like to use 1 full fat and one light
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ pound white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • ½ a package of extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons juice from 2 to 3 limes
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste


  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 Serrano chiles, sliced thin
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
  • 1 lime cut into wedges


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Add lemon grass, shallots and cilantro and 1 tablespoon fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2 to 5 minutes (vegetables should not brown). Stir in broth and 1 can coconut milk, bring to simmer over high heat, Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors have blended, 10 minutes. Put broth through fine-mesh strainer and discard solids in strainer, Rinse saucepan and return mixture to pan.
  2. Return pan to medium high heat. Stir remaining can coconut milk and sugar into broth mixture and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tofu and cook stirring constantly. Remove soup from heat.
  3. Combine lime juice, curry paste and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce in small bowl; stir into soup. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chiles, and scallion. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
  4. Enjoy!

Have a recipe that drops you back into your body like this one? We want it! Share in the comments section below.

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