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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thai Coconut Soup

Its fall! My favorite season! Makes me want to make warm and spicy soups. This soup was recommended to me months ago by my friend Dani and is loosely based off of a Cook's Illustrated recipe. It turned out quite well and has many layers of flavor- spicy, salty, tart, etc. Just as it should be. Mmm-mm-mm. If you can find lemon grass at your store/market, add 3 stalks (with the first few layers removed, halved) with the shallots and cilantro.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 cups chicken broth
2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 lb. chicken breasts, 1/8 inch slice
5 oz thin rice noodles, cooked and drained
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon red thai curry paste

In a large pot heat the oil. Add the shallots, cilantro and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and the soy sauce (pour the rest in a small bowl and add the lime juice and curry paste, stirring together- set aside). Stir and cook the vegetables just until they begin to soften- about 3 or 4 minutes. Add chicken broth and 1 can of shaken coconut milk. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Then cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain soup into a large bowl, discarding the onion/cilantro mixture. Wipe out the pot and put the broth mixture back into the pot.

Return heat to medium-high and add the other can of shaken coconut milk, along with the sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the sliced red bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the noodles and the curry/lime juice/fish sauce mixture. Taste and add extra seasoning if necessary (ex: more curry paste, more lemon juice, etc.).

Serve in bowls, sprinkling freshly chopped cilantro, scallions, and jalepeno on top of each bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top and serve.

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