Mood: Cozy! Thai Chicken Soup

Okay so Ole Man Winter has officially arrived and it is Flippin’ Freezing!!  It’s currently minus 15 plus windchill and let’s just say I have absolutely no desire to do anything that involves leaving my cozy little house.  Seriously, the fire place is going, the lion is colouring and apparently writing letters to his friends and i’m in the mood to make soup…so why would any of us leave?

Today my mood and desire to be cozy is drawing me to a delicious soup that is spicy (clearly I need the heat), packed with flavour and something that is going to crush the lunch circuit this week at work because I just know there will be lots of leftovers.  Then of course…I had to look at the reality of what’s in stock in the pantry and the fridge.  As I gazed in to my pantry with pride….because I just finished organizing it about 2 weeks ago!  I remembered that coconut milk was on sale at my grocery store for ridiculous cheap about a week ago so I stocked up (it is soup and curry season after all).  Then I noticed I had some red curry paste and I immediately knew that I had to go for some kind of Thai inspired soup.

For the record, I don’t claim to be an expert on Thai food or Thai flavours.  I’ve been to Thailand before, sure…I took a thai cooking class… but if i’m being honest….I just really like to eat all those kind of flavours like chili’s, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro…MMM. Simple stuff that is packed with flavour maximus is my kinda style.  Thailand does hold a special place in my heart though because that’s where I travelled back in 2011 while I was pregnant with the lion.  Since I was growing a tiny human, all I did was eat all the delicious food and that’s probably why I grew such a biggie!!

Steph at Market in Bangkok, Thailand

Shopping at the market in Bangkok enroute to Thai Cooking School. The little lion was in my belly in this picture!!!

Just making my own coconut milk...no big deal

Just making my own coconut milk…no big deal

So let’s get cracking with this uber simple soup shall we? First thing you want to do is mix up a bit of your ‘soup broth’ ingredients.  I mix together, 1 can of coconut milk, peanut butter, fish sauce, red curry paste and brown sugar.  I normally mix them together in a glass measuring cup but seriously, you can do this directly in the pot if you want to save another dish from being washed.

Ingredients for the Broth.  Coconut Milk, Peanut Butter, Fish Sauce, Red Curry Paste, Brown Sugar and Chicken Broth

Ingredients for the Broth. Coconut Milk, Peanut Butter, Fish Sauce, Red Curry Paste, Brown Sugar and Chicken Broth

Mix it up baby

Mix it up baby

Just a little note about using red curry paste.  Here’s the deal, I would love to be one of those people that makes curry paste from scratch but I just don’t have the time or energy to do that all the time.  The paste is just as good and it saves me from buying a whole schwak of ingredients.  Sounds good to me!!  Having the paste on hand is an awesome way to make curries, soup and add tonnes of flavours to stuff in a pinch.  Drop the guilt and seriously congratulate yourself on being wicked smart with your time and money!!

Don't be afraid of store bought curry paste.  It's a time saver and a way to save money on buying heaps of ingredients.  Let's keep it real!!

Don’t be afraid of store bought curry paste. It’s a time saver and a way to save money on buying heaps of ingredients. Let’s keep it real!!

Pour the mixture in to a large soup pot and add the second can of coconut milk, 4 cups chicken broth (or 1 900ml tetra pack) and 1 cup of water.  Bring mixture to a soft boil

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Next you will want to add 2 chopped chicken breasts, chopped ginger and chopped garlic to the soup mixture.  Let the chicken cook in the creamy broth for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat to cook completely through.  *If you want to add more chicken to this, go for it.  I had 2 on hand so that’s what I used.

Add your chicken (raw)

Add your chicken (raw)

Add the ginger and garlic

Add the ginger and garlic

Sorry for the dud of a picture but this is as close as I could get to letting you know what I mean buy a soft boil.

Sorry for the dud of a picture but this is as close as I could get to letting you know what I mean buy a soft boil.

Kay, seriously….at this point the soup already smells AH-MAH-ZING!!  Seriously, the whole house is super fragrant and smells delicious.

Once the chicken is cooked, you are ready to add the veggies.  I added a combination of red pepper, onion, carrots and celery.  You can omit the carrots and the celery if you want, it tastes just as good…trust me.  Again, I had them on hand and thought…why not throw them in there??  Sometimes I even add some left over cooked rice to the pot and some frozen peas but today I had no desire to cook rice and I ran out of frozen peas so decided not to include them.

Veggie Power

Veggie Power

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Let those veggies cook for about 5-10 minutes and then add your lime zest and the juice of half or a whole lime (depending on your taste).  Seriously, the lime cuts a bit of the heat out and balances the flavour.  If you like it mega hot, just use the zest and don’t worry about the juice.  Totally your call.

Add your Lime zest and lime juice to balance the flavour

Add your Lime zest and lime juice to balance the flavour

Now you are ready to make yourself a nice little cup of cozy or a mega bowl of awesome!  If you are a cilantro lover, I highly recommend garnishing the soup with some cilantro because it is delicious.  If you are one of those people that absolutely loathes cilantro then 1) you are crazy and 2) just leave it out and get on with your day.

Thai Chicken Soup *Sorry that the lighting in my kitchen is so terrible in the evening so I swear it tastes way better than this picture looks

Thai Chicken Soup
*Sorry that the lighting in my kitchen is so terrible in the evening so I swear it tastes way better than this picture looks

Look at that final product!!  Seriously, my moody little friends…this soup is so full of flavour that you will look forward to lunch in your cubicle all week long!!  ENJOY!!

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Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2-3 Tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Chicken Breasts chopped in to small chunks
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Carrot chopped or julienned
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • cilantro to garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix the curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter and 1 can of coconut milk in a bowl or large measuring cup.  Make sure all of the ingredients are fully mixed together and you don’t have any clumps.
  2. Pour the mixture in a large soup pot and add the 2nd can of coconut milk, chicken broth and water and bring to a soft rolling boil.
  3. Add chicken, ginger and garlic to the pot and let the chicken cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through.
  4. Add veggies and let cook for about 5-10 minutes
  5. Add lime zest and juice
  6. To serve garnish with cilantro

Variations

  • Add a cup of cooked rice to the soup to make it more hearty
  • Add 1 cup of frozen green peas
  • Instead of chicken, follow directions exactly but after veggies, add shrimps and let cook for the last 2 minutes until they turn pink

 

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