Friday, February 27, 2015

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup

This soup was unintentional. Let me explain: I was going to make a "traditional" chicken noodle soup but I changed my mind when I saw that coconut milk was on sale at the market. I stocked up and then decided to make a Thai-style soup. We already had some cilantro and lemongrass in the fridge so it was pretty perfect.
Ingredients [yields 8 to 10 servings]:
chicken stock
2 bone-in chicken breasts (or thighs)
10 cups water
4 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ onion

Thai red curry chicken soup
1 teaspoon oil
¼ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemongrass, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
6 thai chilis, chopped
handful cilantro stems
2 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
+ rice noodles (2 oz.)*
+ baby portabello (2 to 3)*
+ sprouts (small handful)*
+ cilantro leaves (4 to 6)*

*This stuff is optional, it's just super delicious garnish, and the quantities shown are per person portions.

Also, if you wanted a vegetarian/vegan version of this soup, use a vegetable stock in lieu of the chicken stock, add a pound of cubed tofu for protein, and substitute the fish sauce with tamari.
Make the stock by adding the chicken, garlic, onion, and water to a stock pot. Bring to a rapid boil, skim off the foam, and then reduce to a simmer. Let the stock cook for 1 hour.
Remove the chicken from the stock and shred. There should be approximately 8 cups of stock left in the pot.
To make the actual soup, prepare all of the aromatics. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, grate the ginger, chop the chilis, and strip some cilantro.
Grab another pot and drizzle in some oil. Add in the onions, peppers, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and cilantro stems. Saute until the onions are soft and then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then stir in the red curry and fish sauce. Add in the shredded chicken and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
The soup should be lovely and red and at this point, you can salt the soup to taste, if necessary.
Boil some water and cook a portion of rice noodles.
Drain the noodles and add them to the bottom of your bowl. Ladle in some soup and garnish with mushrooms, sprouts, and cilantro leaves.

Dig in and enjoy the spicy, fragrant soup. The lemongrass adds brightness, the coconut milk adds a subtle creaminess, the shredded chicken makes this soup filling, and I love the various textural elements of chewy noodles, crunchy sprouts, and tender chicken.
And the great thing about rice noodles is how quickly they soak up the flavor of the soup. Ugh, so delicious, I can barely take it.
Here's the recipe page:

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