First in the Nation & Thai Soup with Shrimp, Greens & Noodles

We Granite Staters are ever so proud to hold the first in the nation primary. A lot of pundits complain that New Hampshire has too much visibility and sway in the presidential election. Although not known for its diversity, the people of our little state take presidential politics seriously.

For months now, we have been changing or cancelling other plans to attend rallies and town halls to meet the candidates. That’s one of the cool things about New Hampshire. If you’re willing to make the effort, you can shake the hand of every candidate. Which in turn means, you can meet each and every president. Or it did until Mike Bloomberg. He’s skipping the Granite State and pinning his hopes on Super Tuesday. If he wins the oval office there are going be more than a few disgruntled, old guys who can no longer brag that they’ve shaken the hand of every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Along with seeing the candidates up close and personal, we get a lot of telephone calls. Sometimes it’s professional pollsters. Their survey can be short; press a few keys and you’re done. Others take forever. Still, I do my best to stay on the line while the poor kid at the other end takes me through round after round of what-ifs. In the final week leading up to the primary, phones rang nonstop with invitation after invitation to see the candidates – giving us one final chance to cement or change our choices.

That’s right, today’s the day to get off any fences and make a decision. No more top three, it’s time to pick one. So, here’s a thought, before you cast your vote, consider all the people who matter to you. How will your vote affect them? And don’t forget your forefathers and foremothers. While no longer with us, they certainly had opinions.

Let’s start with Nana, as in – what would Nana say? If your grandmother or great grandmother was born before the 19th amendment was passed, what would she tell you? What issues would she want you to consider? For one thing, I bet she’d tell you to get to the polls. No excuses.

On the other hand, what about grandpa? Isn’t he due to sign up for Medicare or social security in a year or two? Or maybe it’s your son who’s about to join you in one or both of these programs. What’s on his mind when it comes to the candidates?

Think of your children. If they’re full grown, think of them but also your grandchildren and great grandchildren. As the youngest members of your family make their way to school or work on this chilly, winter morning, what’s important to them and for them. Go beyond today’s concern and worries, imagine the future and what it could hold for them.

If you’re one of those children and old enough to vote, think of your mom and dad. Whether they’re living large and spending the winter in a condo in Florida or struggling to pay the propane bill, what’s best for them and their future?

Embrace your spouse or the memory of your spouse. How will he or she vote today … or would have? When you cast your ballot, stop and think about how your vote could help make your mate’s life better.

Beyond your near and dear, think of your friends and neighbors and their families plus the strangers from towns near and far and all their families. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to vote and bon appétit!

Thai Soup with Shrimp, Greens & Noodles

Special enough for company and quick for a weeknight, this flavorful soup will be the perfect end to a busy day. Enjoy!

Serves 8

  • Vegetable oil
  • About 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons Thai curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 pounds extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • About 1 pound baby spinach or your favorite greens
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • Garnish: cilantro leaves, thinly sliced scallions, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.

Lightly coat a soup kettle with oil and heat over medium-high, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté until lightly browned. Remove from the pot and reserve.

If necessary, add more oil to coat the kettle along with the onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste and cumin, and sauté until the onion is translucent.

Add the stock, soy and fish sauces and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Prepare the noodles according to package directions and drain.

Raise the heat under the soup and bring it a rapid boil. Add the shrimp, spinach and mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

To serve: divide the noodles among individual bowls, ladle the soup over the noodles and garnish with cilantro, scallions, peanuts and lime wedges.

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Who will you be thinking of when you vote? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020

4 thoughts on “First in the Nation & Thai Soup with Shrimp, Greens & Noodles

  1. I live in Vermont in a border town just a river’s width from all the presidential candidates. As a former newspaper reporter, I managed to meet every candidate and thus all the presidents! It’s quite an experience. Thank you for the post Susan; we can’t take our right to vote for granted! It was too hard fought for.

    Liked by 1 person

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