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Monday, January 5, 2009

Chicken and Coconut Thai Curry Soup

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thai soup1

Here at home we just love Thai food. It is often our food of choice when dining out.  We like it so much that I had to learn to make it so we could have it at home anytime we want. This soup is one of our favourites specially during the cold months. It is actually pretty easy as long as you don't decide to make your own red curry paste. You can find red curry paste in pretty much any large grocery store these days,or at least any Asian market. It took a while for us to find a brand that we really liked, some were too spicy, some too strong. You have to experiment and find one that works for you. Once you do, making red curry dishes are a breeze.

I make a vegetarian version for myself by omitting the fish sauce and swapping the meat for tofu and mushrooms. 

I also make sure there is always a pot of fresh cooked rice to go with it.

This recipe makes enough for 4 soup bowls.

 

thai soup

 

 Chicken and Coconut Thai Curry Soup Recipe:

You will need

2 teaspoons of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste

4 cups of chicken stock

1 14 oz can of coconut milk

1 piece of ginger, peeled, about 2 inches

2 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken meat of your choice: breasts or thighs

2 teaspoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

Chopped vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and celery (see notes)

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro

1 small bunch of Thai basil leaves (see notes)

 

Cut the chicken meat into cubes of about 1 inch in size.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and cook quickly for about 30 seconds without burning it. Add the stock, coconut milk and ginger and bring it to a boil. Add the chicken, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, lime juice,  fish sauce and vegetables. Turn heat up and cook until vegetables are just cooked but still crunchy, about 5 minutes.  Stir in basil leaves and pour into bowls. Top each soup bowl with cilantro and serve with rice.

 

Notes:

  If I am making this soup just for Andrew, meaning that there will be left overs, I add just enough vegetables for one serving and then add more when it's time to reheat the soup. This way the veggies stay crunchy and retain their colour too. The same goes for the basil leaves.

35 comments:

Kevin said...

That soup looks nice an fresh and good!

Jeff said...

I just stumbled across your blog recently and have been very impressed with it and the recipes! I've attempted a few myself and will continue to do so. What's the curry paste brand you use if I may ask.

Rita said...

Thanks Kevin.

Jeff - Thanks a lot! When I lived in BC, I used a brand called Asian Home Gourmet, they came in 50gr packages, it is very good. I couldn't find it here in Seattle, so after trying out a few others, I settle for the Aroy D one. It comes in a container with a lid, kind of a yogurt container, so it's easy to use as well. Hope it helps!

Peter G said...

Thanks for dropping by recently...I LOVE this soup...I even have it in warmer weather because it reminds me of Thailand! Delicious!

Tartelette said...

Like Jeff, I have been reading your blog all week long and catching up on your previous posts and I am loving it. Your pictures are great and this soup....Yum! I made it for lunch today and I think I almost had to lock it up for us not to finish it all!

Keep it up!

Rita said...

Thanks Helene (Tartelette)... I can make this soup as many times as I want, it never gets old...

gaga said...

Mmm, that looks fantastic. I wish I had a bowl of that right now!

Rita said...

Thanks gaga.

Marianne said...

Three bowls in one day, this is my new favourite soup.

PS. I love your blog.

Rita said...

Marianne - thanks so much, I am so glad you enjoyed it!

Young said...

I have a queation.... Why my soup so watery?

Rita said...

Hi Young

I am not sure what you mean by watery, since it's a soup. This soup is not really a thick one, but you can make it thicker by using coconut cream instead of milk and perhaps reducing the liquid (chicken stock) amount a bit. You can always add more liquid if necessary or reduce it by boiling the soup without a lid. Hope this helps you!

Anonymous said...

A word to the wise, not all curry paste is created equal. I love the flavor of this soup and serve it often with noodles (and I use light coconut milk) but the jar of chili paste I used tonight was so hot, I had to triple the recipe, and it was still a little over the top(for my guests)!

Rita said...

Anonymous- you are right about the paste, that's why at the post I mentioned to use the kind you like best. I use Aroy D and like it a lot, but had to go through a few ba \d ones too, before I found what worked for us. I prefer to buy curries that are not spicy at all and control the heat myself by adding thai chillies to the broth. I hope you have better luck next time!

heidilee1 said...

This is GREAT! I had a soup similar to this when at a restaurant in Germany and did a lot of "googling" to find it! Your picture was PERFECT and I've made it several times now. My sons and boyfriend absolutely love it! Thanks so very much. (my biggest challenge is the Thai basil, since it's only available at Asian markets and in New Hampshire, there are very few of those! Happy 2010!!

Anonymous said...

Do you know a good recipe for making your own paste for this recipe? I want to use all fresh and organic ingredients. : )

Rita said...

@Anonymous: I am sorry I can't help you with that one, I always use the paste to make thai curries here at home. Making your own sounds nice, but it also sounds time consumming and I don't use it all that much.

Anonymous said...

hello i was wondering if could substitute coconut milk with coconut cream powder since i dont have any cocunut milk

Rita said...

@Anonymous: I never heard of coconut cream powder, but if it works like dry milk, I bet it will work, just disolve it in milk.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous-I don't know about making your own curry paste, but our co-op carries an organic paste...can't remember the brand off hand, I think it actually comes from one of our local Thai restaurants.

Marianne said...

Hi! It`s Marianne again, making this fab soup today! :)

Hannah Noel said...

I've been looking for a recipe like this for quite some time now! Can't wait to try it out :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. I usually make the authetic version (which takes longer and has more complex ingredients)but this one tastes just as good with lesser amount of prep time and items. During cold season I will pack up a microwavable continer of soup broth and sandwich bagged some rice or rice noodle to work. Heat up the soup really hot and then dump in the rice. Boy does it draw my co-workers like a moth to flame. *smilez*

Faye said...

I was wondering what type of tofu you recommend for the vegetarian version, and when in the recipe you add it, if you do anything to prepare it, etc. I love love love this recipe, and have had it many times with chicken, but I need to make it for a vegetarian friend.
Thanks!

Rita said...

@Faye - I don't have a preference of brand when it comes to tofu. I use a fim tofu on this soup. What I found that makes a big difference is draining the tofu very, very well before you add to the soup. I normally cut the block in half horizontally and then place in between two kitchen towels (paper towels soak too fast in my opinion), put a plate on top and a large can of beans on top of it all. It takes a good half an hour. I then cut the tofu into squares and add to the soup at the very end, letting it simmer in the soup for about 15 minutes or so. Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

I am going to try this! Could I use a tsp or tbsp of jarred ginger instead? Is there a big difference between Thai basil and just plain basil?

Rita said...

@Anonymous - If you don't have fresh ginger, try using a teaspoon of the jarred stuff, cook it together with the curry paste at the beginning of the recipe. Thai basil has a different flavour than regular basil, but it is not a crutial ingredient here, go ahead and use the regural basil if it's easier for you. Have fun cooking!

Anonymous said...

Do you chop up the ginger or just leave it whole and remove it?

Rita said...

@Anonymous - I leave it whole and just fish it out later.

Anonymous said...

I found this soup a while back and I make all the time... Thanks for sharing it :)I crave it if it's been too long!!!

Anonymous said...

great soup... i find the curry paste i get isnt hot enough so i add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper also i fry a small onion in the oil b4 adding the curry paste thanks for the recipie

veronicamade said...

How much chicken do you use? 1 or 2 cups? I've found that sizes of chicken pieces vary widely in different regions of the country.

Anonymous said...

This is the most amazing soup! I made this for dinner tonight.

Anonymous said...

Currently making your soup and our whole place smels amazing, looking forward to have it all made! :) Great recipe

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this recipe. I was craving a Thai soup today and this recipe was just as fantastic as any restaurant soup I've tasted. Love cooking the chicken in the soup base, makes it a one pot wonder! This recipes has now moved to my 'keep' binder. ;-) mmmmmmm... wish you could smell it!

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