The more we study the cannabis plant, the more we learn not only about our own bodies and how they react to cannabis, but how they react to plants and chemicals found elsewhere in nature. Terpenes are responsible for the effects we know and love, and they’re in mostly all good-smelling and medicinal plants.
Lemongrass is the first thing many reach for when boosting a cannabis experience with other botanicals. This is thanks to it’s super high amount of the myrcene terpene found in cannabis, mangoes, and many other plants. It’s also got limonene which is known for reducing THC induced anxiety in certain strains, and why smelling fresh bud is so aromatic and lemony.
Experimenting with ways to make them intersect is way more fun than many realize. Thai Tom Kha soup is genuinely one of my favorite things to eat on earth, so I won’t call this concoction that at all out of respect to it’s deliciousness and all Thai chefs who make it. This at-home soup is very much inspired by the milky, bright and sour delight that is Tom Kha, but is a bit more herbaceous and not just from the addition of cannabis.
Lemongrass Coconut Soup
Danielle Guercio 2013
Serves 4 with leftovers; estimated THC Per serving 7mg
- 4 c Vegetable broth (mine was homemade, more on that below)
- 1 c coconut milk
- ½ oz infused coconut oil
- 1 Tbs mushroom bullion
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¼ lb ginger, sliced
- 5-6 Thai basil leaves
- 2 birds eye chilis
- 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into segments
- 1 c cherry tomatoes
- 1 c diced yam
- Half an onion, sliced
- 1 packet enoki mushrooms
- 1-2 chopped scallions for garnish
- Cilantro chopped for garnish
- Red chili flakes for garnish
First, you need to make broth if you want to make your own, which is a fun thing I’ve been doing in my kitchen for a few months now. I save vegetable scraps from prep that would normally be discarded in a strong ziplock. One bag is for vaguely ‘Western’ scraps like kale and dill stems, mirepoix and herbs/lettuces that were about to die in the fridge, the other for ‘Eastern’ scraps like cilantro, scallions, Chinese celery, mushroom stems, ginger, lemongrass, pepper tops, etc.
When it’s time to make broth I simply fill up a pot with the scraps, top with water, add salt and some other appropriate seasonings, and in one hour you have a fantastic vegetable broth base that you can use to cool plenty of yummy things. You probably don’t have to separate, but I don’t want ginger in cheese soup or dill in my ramen for the most part.
If using store bought, rock on! Heat broth and add the mushroom bouillon and all of your aromatics the basil, chilis, lemongrass, turmeric, and ginger. Simmer for 20 minutes. Skim ¾ of the lemongrass and ginger chunks so you won’t be fighting them off in the finished soup. You want some in there to continue to release their magic in your leftovers.
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Add onions, coconut milk and infused oil and allow to simmer while stirring to combine. Add yams and cook for 10 minutes. Puncture cherry tomatoes so they cook without bursting and their juices flavor the broth. Dunk in the soup and cook until tomatoes are just wrinkled, roughly 5 minutes.
To serve, stack some mushrooms in the bowl and add a ladle full of the vegetable chunks. Fill up with broth until the mushrooms are covered, but still sticking out. Garnish with chopped cilantro, scallion, and red chili flakes.
*Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil
Decarboxylate 3.5g of finely ground cannabis at 225 degrees for 20 minutes in a tightly sealed, oven safe container. Put in lidded mason jar or vacuum sealed bag with cannabis and four ounces of coconut oil. Heat in water bath just under boiling for at least 1 hour. Strain and chill to use in recipes.
I hope you find this as delicious as I did, it’s fragrant and satisfying, and much more filling than you’d first imagine for a soup with no meat, rice, or noodles. As with most soup recipes, you can very simply tailor this to have tofu, chicken, shrimp, or any meat you choose, just cook it all the way to be safe or add it to the soup par-cooked so that it doesn’t toughen from being boiled. The lighter THC dose will be majorly boosted by the pinene, Eugenol, myrcene, and limonene from the lemongrass, basil, and cilantro, and your nose will rejoice alongside your cannabinoid receptors.
Photos: Maria Penaloza