A jarred red curry paste is the central flavor of this wonderfully restorative and nourishing broth. Coconut milk lends a subtle creaminess, and the cherry tomatoes become bright little jammy bursts. You can use fresh tomatoes when in season, but canned tomatoes do just as well. Ladle the piping hot broth over seasoned tofu pieces and fresh herbs: The delicate silken tofu used here will absorb big flavors from the surrounding liquid.
2(14-ounce) packages silken tofu, drained (I use ONE only here) You could try other things here.
2tablespoons neutral oil
2shallots, peeled and minced
3garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1(1-inch) piece ginger, scrubbed and grated
3tablespoons red curry paste (I use a whole can of the Maesri paste)
1(14-ounce) can cherry tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes
1quart vegetable stock (4 cups water and 2 tablespoons better than bullion)
1(13½-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
Salt and black pepper
¼cup soy sauce
1½cups mixed fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil and dill
2scallions, thinly sliced
1lime, cut into wedges, for squeezing
Pat the tofu blocks dry with a clean kitchen or paper towel. Cut each block into 3 slices.
Heat a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high. Add the oil and shallots, and stir until softened, 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste, stir, and cook until fragrant and the paste turns deep red, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the tomato juices thicken slightly, 4 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock, stir, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer to slightly reduce the liquid, 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, season to taste with salt and remove from the heat.
While the broth is simmering, divide the soft tofu into 6 bowls. Break each slice into 4 or 5 pieces. Season each bowl of tofu with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and a few cracks of black pepper, and top with about ¼ cup of the fresh herb mix.
Ladle the hot broth and tomatoes over the bowls of silken tofu. Top with sliced scallions and serve hot, with lime wedges for squeezing.