So, it’s finally chilly outside. You are trying to get over a cold. You are craving comfort food, something warm and spicy. (I’m not speaking from personal experience, of course). You have come to the right place.
I made this soup a few times to perfect the recipe, and this last time it turned out just right. Right amount of veggies, broth, and spice. And lots of coconut milk.
I have been using coconut milk frequently lately, since I recently found out that I have an intolerance to milk (le sigh…). I have been putting it in my coffee and pretty much anything else that calls for milk.
One of the best things about this soup is how versatile it is. As long as you have the ingredients for the base, you could substitute the protein and vegetables for whatever you have on hand. I want to try substituting the chicken with shrimp at some point.
To help cut the spice, top this soup with lots of cilantro and green onions, and squeeze a half of lime over each bowl. Serve it up with some naan bread to help soak up the broth. This recipe makes about 4 large servings.
Because this is a spicy dish, I’d recommend a semi-sweet or sweet white wine such as the Sarah’s Patio White from Chrysalis Vineyards, a local wine from Middleburg, VA. Don’t get too excited, as you will not regularly find me recommending a sweet wine. Normally I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it, but with spicy dishes, it balances out the sweet. So go for it. (You’re probably one of those people that secretly prefer sweet wine anyway.)
For this recipe, you’ll need a pound or so of chicken, olive oil, red curry paste, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, asparagus, onion, chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce (not pictured), rice noodles, cilantro, green onion, and limes.
Start by slicing up your chicken and seasoning it with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut up your veggies next. My favorite combo for this soup is a red bell pepper (I used a little bit of yellow too for color), a medium onion, and about 1/2 of a bunch of asparagus. A prepared package of asparagus was on sale at the store, so I used about half of the package. Slice the pepper in thin strips. Cut the asparagus in half (snap off the ends first if needed). Cut the onion in half and then slice into crescent-shaped rings. Set aside.
Get out a large pan and set it to medium-low heat and add in the olive oil, ginger, garlic, and red curry paste. I used a tube of ginger paste from Trader Joe’s (I buy this stuff in bulk, it makes prep so much easier), minced garlic, and Thai Kitchen red curry paste. If you can’t handle spice, you may want to cut back from 4 tbs of curry paste to about 3. You could always add sriracha at the end if you need more spice.
Cook this up for about 5 minutes or so, until it becomes fragrant, stirring frequently to keep it from burning. Then turn the heat to medium and add in the sliced chicken and cook for a few more minutes, until the chicken is no longer opaque.
Dump your veggies into the pan with the chicken (I put them all in at the same time because I’m inpatient).
And give it all a good stir so everything is well coated. Let this cook for about 10 minutes or so, or until the veggies have softened.
When the veggies are ready, pour in the chicken stock, can of coconut milk (shaken up first – as you can see in the picture, mine had separated some, but that’s fine), and fish sauce. Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Check the broth at this point to see if it needs more salt or more spice. If it’s too salty (or too spicy) you could add a little bit of water to help cut it down.
Your once pretty and nicely cleaned kitchen should now look like this:
When the soup is boiling, grab your rice noodles. I used about 6 oz of “straight cut” rice noodles, but you could use vermicelli or any rice noodles you want.
Put the noodles in the pot and give it a stir. Follow the package directions – mine took about 6 minutes to cook.
While the noodles are cooking, chop up some green onions and cilantro and slice some limes. If so desired, put some naan on a cookie sheet and broil them for a few minutes.
Test your noodles to see if they’re done —
And then serve the soup in bowls (you’ll want tongs for the meat and veggies and a soup ladle for the liquid), and add plenty of cilantro and green onions on top. Squeeze a half of a lime in each bowl.
Last, (but certainly not least), tell your husband to stop answering emails and enjoy the delicious meal you made for him.
It’s so pretty, and yummy, too.
This is what I like to call a “multi-tool” meal. I end up using chopsticks for the noodles, chicken, and veggies, and a soup spoon for the broth. Use the naan to help soak up any extra liquid. Enjoy!