Thai Coconut Curry Soup
28 ounces premium coconut milk (I used one can of light and one can of regular)
1 heaping tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 bunch cilantro roots, rinsed well
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1 carrot, shredded
4-5 lime leaves
2 stalks lemon grass, halved lengthwise, woody leaves removed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 limes zest and juice
a small knob frozen ginger
a handful bean sprouts
8 ounce package rice noodles
1 bunch cilantro leaves, rinsed well
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
a sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce
Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.
Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.
Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.
Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.
Changes: I have no idea where to find cilantro root so I didn’t use it. I found fresh lemongrass in the refrigerated herb section of a local chain grocery store and lime leaves in the same store’s health food aisles. They also had lemongrass in that section that was dried. I did not use grated ginger root but rather 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. I did not add sprouts and I only used about a 1/2 cup of cilantro. And fish sauce scared me so I didn’t use any of that, either. OAM doesn’t like rice noodles so I used tiny shell pasta, turning the heat up to boiling for about 5 minutes for the pasta to cook. Oh, and I had already cooked rotisserie chicken so I used that instead of starting with raw chicken breast. This isn’t quite as bad as an All Recipes review, right?
This is a lot of lime/lemon flavor. Next time I’m going to go with one lime rather than the 2 that are called for. I also could see adding more red curry paste, possibly some diced red and green bell peppers, some hot red pepper flakes and maybe omitting noodles and serving over rice, as curry rather than a soup. Probably also add another grated carrot as well.
I thought the texture was rich without seeming to be an overly rich tasting soup, if that makes any sense. I will definitely make it again, and probably soon.