I seriously could eat Thai food everyday and be completely happy, and that’s saying a lot because I love variety. Thai soup is actually comfort food for me. When I’m getting a scratchy throat, I send Husband to the local Thai restaurant for some take-out soup. There’s something about the spicy broth that does wonders for me. This soup is a little different than the one I order at a Thai restaurant but just as delicious.
I pretty much followed the recipe with the exception of a few additions. I substituted a teaspoon of ground coriander for the coriander seeds (didn’t have them and didn’t want to buy them). Because I wanted the soup to be spicy, I added more green curry paste (at least twice as much…taste as you go if you add more). I also added carrots, thinly sliced onions and sliced mushrooms to the simmering soup; a few minutes before serving, I added a few handfuls of fresh spinach. Once the spinach wilted, I served the soup. Also, taste for seasoning before adding salt to the finished soup…I didn’t think it needed it. The curry, coconut milk and ginger blended together to make an exotic, fragrant and very flavorful soup, while the snow peas and other vegetables added crunch and color.
Thai-Style Chicken and Rice Soup
– recipe from Gourmet Magazine – www.epicurious.com
Using shrimp instead of chicken in this recipe makes for an equally delicious soup.
Yield: Makes 8 main-course servings
8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (64 fl oz)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste*
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 cups loosely packed whole fresh cilantro leaves plus 1/2 cup chopped (from 2 large bunches)
1 cup jasmine rice
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced crosswise, then slices cut lengthwise into thin strips, or 3/4 lb medium shrimp in shell (31 to 35 per lb), peeled and deveined
1 (13- to 14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred well
1/4 lb snow peas, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Accompaniment: lime wedges
Combine stock, water, curry paste, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, and whole cilantro leaves in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, until ginger is softened, about 15 minutes. Pour through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot and discard solids. Stir rice into soup and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.
Add chicken or shrimp and poach at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, snow peas, and fish sauce and simmer, uncovered, until peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, salt, and chopped cilantro.
*Available at Asian markets, some specialty foods shops, and some supermarkets.