Friday, February 08, 2013

Coconut and Chicken Curry Soup

I made this soup from a blog called Cooking for Seven. It basically served to remind me that I have a tendency of following recipes almost blindly the first time I make them, trusting the instructions to a fault. I read the ingredients and wrote them down on our grocery list, noting that the soup was supposed to make 6 servings and thinking to myself, “Great, we’ll have enough for two or three days!” But then I made the soup. And granted, I changed some things, like omitting the green bell pepper and the jalapeño and using 2 chicken breasts instead of 3, but with a grand total of 14 oz. of coconut milk plus 1 ½ cups of chicken broth… Ain’t no way that’s 6 servings! We had small servings the first evening, and supplemented them with bread. On the second evening, I added 2 cups of broth and threw in 2 servings of red rice noodles, and that was just perfect! The soup was so good that I decided to modify the recipe before keeping it. What you see below is my version, which is roughly a double batch of the original recipe, with a few modifications. You are obviously free to make the original version if you only want 2 large servings.

vegetable oil
3 or 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 to 4 cups chicken broth (or more, to taste)
2 14-oz. cans of unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp. curry powder (I use mild curry)
1 jalapeño, seeded, minced (optional, I omitted it)
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
½ cup unsweetened toasted coconut chips, for garnish (optional)
rice noodles (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium sized soup pot over medium heat. Add the chicken to the oil, season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked through and golden. Remove chicken and set aside. Sauté the onion, adding more oil if necessary, until tender.

Return the chicken to the pot with the onion. Add the ginger; cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, curry powder and jalapeño, if using. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cilantro and simmer an additional 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Optional: Spoon rice noodles into 4 bowls. Top with a few ladles of soup. Garnish with additional cilantro and a sprinkling of coconut chips. Serve.

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