Curry and Spice and Everything Nice
Posted on Jan 23, 2011 | 2 comments
I have been making a lot of soup lately. Way more than usual. It's just so good, so easy, and it's usually even better the next day. I often make soup on Sunday and Tuesday afternoons, before Hebrew class from 5-8pm. That way I have something warm and tasty to come home to. I've made chicken, mushroom, cauliflower, tortilla, you name it. This time I wanted something a little different.
Inspired vaguely by the Tom Yum soup you can get at most Thai restaurants in the US, this soup has coconut milk, chicken (or vegetable) broth, noodles, chicken (optional) and any kind of vegetables you have on hand. The meal can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and fish sauce, although I'm not going to do that any time soon. The chicken poaches in the broth and leaves it incredibly tender with a subtle, coconut taste. This soup is versatile, filling, and has layers of flavor. And it takes less than an hour to make.
Thai Coconut Curry Soup
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
6 ounces bean vermicelli, rice noodles, or cellophane noodles
1 onion, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon dried ginger (or grated fresh ginger)
1 sweet potato, chopped
12 ounces coconut milk (1 can)
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound chicken breast, cubed
6 to 8 ounces shitake (or any) mushrooms, sliced
Lemon juice to taste
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Chopped radishes, for garnish (optional)
Put the noodles in a large bowl and add hot water to cover. Let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain most of the water and set noodles aside. (Check periodically; if noodles appear to be drying out or sticking add a ladle of broth.)
Saute the onion, red pepper, garlic, curry paste, fish sauce, and ginger over medium high heat until vegetables are softened. Add the sweet potato and coconut milk and stir to combine, scraping any bits off the bottom. Bring to a simmer and season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Add the chicken broth and chicken and simmer, stirring, until chicken is cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Add mushrooms. Add lemon juice and additional fish sauce to taste.
To serve, put a portion of noodles in each bowl and top with soup. Garnish with cilantro and sliced radishes. Soup will keep, refrigerated, for up to a week and can be reheated.