I always welcome recipes from others for me to post and share. This one is from one of my sisters. She is a Naturopathic Doctor (www.cancercenter.com) by profession, but sister to me. One of my other sisters asked her for this recipe, so now we all benefit. I would say it is a modern and international take on Chicken Soup For the Soul!
I modified the ingredient amounts very slightly (offering vegetarian/vegan options), but took some liberty with the steps and explanations. I did send it to her for review before I posted it!
This recipe uses chicken. You can use whatever type of chicken you wish, but I find that using boneless, skinless chicken thighs offer so much more flavor and keep more moisture than chicken breasts. Plus it is less expensive. Or you can buy a whole chicken, section it up and use whatever parts you wish.
When selecting stock, always use low sodium and low-fat. This allows you more control over the flavor and salt content in your dish. I also always use unsalted butter, but to all of our benefit, there is no butter in this recipe.
I hope you all enjoy and try it out. All ingredients can be found at your local grocery store.
1.5 – 2.5 TBS Sesame Oil
1 – 1.5 LBS Chicken (thighs preferred), Sliced and cut into bite sized cubes, about the size of a nickle (or use 1 package tofu cubed)
1 large onion, thinly sliced into strips (half moons, cut the onion in 1/2 then slice), then slice the strips so you end up with 1/2 in slices
1 – 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, first cut in half, then sliced (your choice, if you like mushrooms – go for the 2 cups)
2 – 3 TBS Red Curry Paste (Thai Kitchen Brand), start with 2 TBS, taste and add more if you wish. I do not eat spicy food and I added about 3 TBS of the curry paste. Good flavor, not spicy
2 cans coconut milk (avail in the international isle)
2 cups stock – veggie or chicken – low sodium / low fat
2 inches (2-3 TBS) of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 TBS Soy Sauce (can use low sodium if you wish)
1 TBS Maple Syrup (or 1/2 TBS sugar)
1 tsp or so Fish Sauce (optional)
1/4 cup Cilantro, diced (reserve a little for garnish)
2 – 3 Green Onions, sliced on the diagonal (reserve a little for garnish)
Juice of 1/2 – 1 lime
1/2 cup cashews, chopped (optional and for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste
- Toss the chicken / tofu with 1 – 1.5 TBS of the sesame oil and a pinch or two of salt and pepper (you don’t have to add pepper, but I like it. You can also add a pinch of white pepper instead of black so you do not have black bits floating in your soup)
- Let sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature and stir once. This will impart the sesame flavor to the chicken.
- In a 6 – 8 quart soup pan, heat up an additional 1 TBS sesame oil over med-high heat, then add the chicken (tofu). Sear about 2 minutes, then flip/toss to get the other side. Chicken should be cooked almost all the way through. Remember, when you remove it from the pan, it will finish cooking, and then you will add it back in to re-heat and finish up the rest of the cooking. The sesame Oil will add tons of flavor. YUM!
- Remove the chicken and set it aside. Make sure you retain all of the juice.
- Add the onions and mushrooms to the same pan. Saute until the onions are just starting to become opaque, but still have a little crunch to them. I added an additional pinch of salt and I couldn’t help it, a very small pat of butter. NOT needed, but ohhhhh mushrooms and butter? Who could ask for anything more?
- Turn down the heat to medium
- Add in 1 can of coconut milk and the red curry paste. Stir until the curry paste dissolves.
- Add in the second can of coconut milk and the 2 cups of broth. Stir to mix.
- Add the cooked chicken (tofu) back in, along with any juices that may have accumulated at the bottom of the dish.
- Add in the ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup (or sugar if using), fish sauce (if using). Mix the soup well to combine all ingredients. Taste – do not add extra salt yet, as the liquid will reduce and the flavors concentrate. But do taste to see if you want to add more red curry paste or not. If you don’t taste it – add a little more and be sure to stir to dissolve it.
- Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to med-low and let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes until the flavors blend and the liquid reduces a bit. Stir a couple of times.
- Taste. If you like the flavors you are good to go ahead. If you feel it tastes too watery, let it simmer a few minutes longer. If too concentrated, add about 1/4 cup of water at a time to bring it back to a level you like.
- If you feel it is not as spicy as you wish after you taste, the by all means, HEAT it up! Add in red pepper flakes or a bit of sirachai
- Now add the pizzazz: Lime Juice (start with 1/2 a lime), cilantro, and chopped green onion. Stir. Taste, and if you want more lime, add it. When I first made this, I thought it was wonderful, then realized I forgot the lime juice. I then added in the lime juice and I fell in love all over again.
- Let it simmer about 3 more minutes (you want the greens to stay green) – then you are ready to serve and garnish.
- Garnish with a little fresh cilantro, green onion and the chopped cashews
Make a big batch and freeze for future use when someone in your family or you are feeling a little under the weather, or the COLD outside has crept inside.
This recipe makes 4 – 5 quarts of soup.
Here is to a sniffle free winter!