What We’re Cooking Now: Thai Chicken Soup

I am on a soup kick lately – probably because soup is filling; with the way I cook usually pretty healthy; and an open slate for trying new flavors and ideas.  I made this one last night for Gary and his partners to have over a dinner meeting.  Quick and easy, and the bowl I kept for myself was delicious!

Pairing idea, a crisp Riesling from Washington State, like Naked Riesling from Snoqualmie in Columbia Valley.  Made with certified organic grapes, in an organic facility, Naked wines are made with in the most natural process available, allowing both mother nature to be pleased, and your palate as these wines are expressive and representative of the land they come from.  The Riesling is crisp and light with good acidity balanced with fruit forward, floral flavors of golden apple, honeysuckle and stone fruit.  The crisp characteristics of the wine will balance out the hot chili spice of the soup, without masking the flavors.


Thai Chicken Soup
Ingredients for about 12 cups of soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (Asian chili sauce) – Sambal is fiery, so adjust to your taste. 
Juice and zest of two limes + additional lime slices for garnish
2 teaspoons sea salt + additional for final seasoning, if needed
1 teaspoon pepper + additional for final seasoning, if needed
3 or 4 good size chicken breasts, roasted on the bone/skin on or 2 rotisserie chickens
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 can coconut milt (light or regular – the regular will add more weight and depth of flavor to the soup, but the light is better for you)
1 1/2 cups milk – like the coconut milk, whole milk will add a more weight, but skim milk is better for you.  I would not use cream, it would be too heavy and take away from the clean flavors of the soup.
1 small bunch fresh cilantro – chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil – chopped
3 green onions – dark green to light green parts, sliced

Remove the skin and bone from the chicken (plain breast or rotisserie, if you use the rotisserie use all the meat on the chicken – the dark meat will add richness to the soup) and shred the meat either by hand or using two forks, pulling the meat away in opposite directions.  Set aside.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot heat your oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the Sambal, salt and pepper, zest and juice of two limes and cook for 2 minutes to incorporate the flavors and seasoning.  Add the chicken stock.  Stir in the cilantro and basil.  Add the coconut milt and regular milk and bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat.  Add in the shredded chicken and stir to incorporate.  Simmer over low heat until ready to serve.  When ready finish with the chopped green onions.  Soup can be served on its own with a lime wedge or over steamed white rice.


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