From the White Lotus Kitchen

Spicy Thai Potato Soup with Spinach


Try saying the name of this recipe three times really quickly…it’s like a yoga asana for your tongue!  Try something really delicious and just a little bit spicy to warm you up this fall from the White Lotus Kitchen and our extraordinary chef, Beatrix Rohlsen.  Something a little unconventional might be just the twist to enliven your holiday menu this Thanksgiving.

In this recipe Beatrix uses Sambal Oelek, a chili-based condiment that has a kick.  Sambals are typically made using any of a variety of hot chilies such as habanero, red chili or cayenne and can be found in gourmet and specialty food stores.  Sambals have been introduced to us through Indonesian, Malaysian and Sri Lankan culture.  And oelek, which is actually a Dutch spelling, refers both to the stoneware mortar in which the chili pastes are ground and to the twisting or grinding motion of the pestle.  Sambal Oelek which differs from other Sambals is a raw chili paste which is bright red, thin and sharp tasting.  In the following recipe Beatrix shares how to make our own substitute for this distinct, spicy, and flavorful ingredient.

Remember; try saying the name three times really fast!  And may you be warm all season long.


1 medium sized yellow onion,  chop medium
2-3 leeks,  half lengthwise and slice
4 stalks chopped celery
3 cups  raw spinach, medium chop
4 - 6  medium sized white potatoes, peeled--medium chop
1 -3 Tbs. minced ginger
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup coconut milk (regular or light)
2 cups water or low-sodium veggie broth
1 bunch green onions, thin angle slice
1/2 -3/4 tsp. Sambal Oelek  or (1/4 -1/2 minced red chili pepper,  pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp. minced garlic, 2 drops lemon juice)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbs. coconut oil


Serves 4-6

In a medium sized pot heat 1 Tbs. coconut oil. Add the onions and sauté for about 2 minutes then lower heat and sauté for 8 minutes longer.  Add leeks and sauté for a moment before adding celery and sautéing for 5 minutes more.  Add 3/4 of the ginger and garlic, saving the rest for later.

Add the potatoes, then the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Add 1  1/2 cups of the water or vegetable broth returning soup to a boil.  Once boiling, turn heat to low to let the soup simmer. After 5 minutes check the soup to see if you need to add more liquid (water, broth or coconut milk).  The soup will be done when the potatoes are creamy, after about 10 minutes.

In the meantime heat a small frying pan, sauté the green onions in little coconut oil, adding the rest of the ginger and garlic.  After about 5 minutes onions will be done. Set aside for later.

Add the Sambal Oelek to the soup a small amount at a time deciding what kind of kick you desire.  Add salt to taste. Add the spinach and cilantro, then the green onions.  Stir, serve and savor! </p