What is more comforting than being able to pop out of a snowstorm and into a friend or neighbor’s house for a nice warm bowl of soup and some great conversation? At this moment, nothing comes to mind. This Coconut Curry Soup made a treacherous storm a little more tolerable for us last week.
Being firmly planted in December, we have oh-so-recently had the occasion of precarious weather with displaced friends at our doorstep to remind us of these facts. When the cars and busses start sliding on our steep Portland hills, it is definitely time to stay put, dive into the kitchen and make some magic happen. A couple of key staples from the pantry and fridge can turn into just the right flavor, color, and warmth that helps us ride out these challenging winter days.
Since soup is easy to make for the masses, and the leftovers so often taste better the next day anyway, you cannot go wrong with a spontaneous soup night. The beauty of this Coconut Curry Soup is that the base of its flavor and body are a clear winner every time. A couple of shallots and garlic cloves, some ginger, lemongrass, curry paste, and curry powder are the key ingredients in creating an incredibly fragrant base. Coconut milk and chicken broth come together beautifully to complete a silky body with an aroma to soothe whatever is ailing you. To this warm foundation, you can successfully add many different things.
The other night, as the weather started getting worse in our neighborhood and friends stopped in for a respite from traffic that had turned the city into a parking lot, we pulled a few things from here and there to fortify our soup. A bag of peas and a chicken breast from the freezer, a few carrots from the crisper, along with some angel hair pasta from the pantry stretched our small pot of soup into a larger one. After you have created the base, you can be creative with what you add to your version.
As we slurped our soup and laughed with our friends, we were reminded of the treasures that the winter holidays bring to our lives. Thread & Whisk wish you and yours a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Slow down and share a humble but delicious pot of soup with friends!
Coconut Curry Soup
2 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
4 Tbsp minced shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp minced lemongrass (from bottom 4 inches of stalks, discard tough outer leaves)
4 Tbsp minced ginger
3 Tbsp red curry paste
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 - 13.5 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp fish sauce
5 carrots, peeled and diced into small cubes
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 lb dried angel hair pasta
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 limes, cut into wedges
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the shallots, garlic, lemon grass and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes and stir occasionally to avoid burning. Add the curry paste and powder. Stir for one minute. Slowly add the coconut milk. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, fish sauce and carrots. Cook for about 3 minutes, until carrots start becoming tender. Add frozen peas and angel hair pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente.
Portion chicken into bowls. Ladle soup over the chicken and top it with scallions and cilantro leaves. Add a generous squeeze of lime.