Emerald Soup (Somlah Marakot)

Also known as Italian Frying peppers. Cubanelle peppers are large and blocky. They are light green in appearance and they mature red. The thin walls of this pepper make it an excellent choice for frying. This pepper is not hot.

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1 tsp. lemongrass
juice of 1 lime
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp. galangal, finely chopped
2/3 cup water
2 pounds chicken, chopped
3 large cubanelle peppers, seeded
3 large poblano peppers, seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups coconut milk
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. shrimp paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup peas
basil leaves, for garnish
Thai chiles, sliced for garnish


In a plender or food processor, puree the lemon grass, lime juice, garlic, shallot, galangal and water for about 2 minutes and set aside. Finely chop the chiles and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot and add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. Simmer until the oil separates from the milk and add the spice paste. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the fish sauce, sugar, salt, shrimp paste and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the chicken broth and the remaining coconut milk. Return the pot to a simmer and add the peppers and peas. Cook, partially covered, for another 15 minutes.

Ladle the sop into individual bowls and garnish with the basil leaves and sliced chiles. Serve with a small dollop of rice on top of the soup.

Recipe adapted from “The Elephant Walk Cookbook” by Longteine de Monteiro and Katherine Neustadt.