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Soup’s On - Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

By Anthony Todd in Food on Mar 4, 2009 5:30PM

In today’s soup, we move onto an entirely different set of flavors. Rather than onions, celery, crushed red pepper or sausage, this soup has some new ingredients: curry paste, coriander seeds, coconut milk, ginger. The end result is a creamy broth that, depending on your taste, can be as spicy or as savory as you like. Play with the optional ingredients, try something new, or substitute something familiar - this is a very versatile soup and a good introduction to some basic Thai spices. We bought all of our ingredients at a normal grocery store - the “Thai Kitchen” brand is usually reliable.

ThaiSoup1.jpg Anthony’s Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
2 cups of whole cilantro leaves
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds (Optional)
8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 cup snow peas (or sliced carrots)
1 can of coconut milk
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up into pieces
½ package of rice noodles
3 tbsp Lime Juice (optional)
2 tbsp Nam Pla (Thai Fish Sauce) (optional)
2 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper

In a medium sized pot, combine broth, water, cilantro, ginger, coriander seeds, garlic and curry paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. After simmering, strain into a larger soup pot - no solids should remain.

This method of flavoring the broth is one way to get around the frequently-encountered hatred of cilantro. Don’t try this on anyone who is actually allergic, but many people will be willing to try something that has cilantro simmered into the broth, rather than floating in their soup.

Once you have strained the broth, bring back to a simmer. Add the chicken and the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, sugar, salt and carrots. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through, then remove from the heat. Add the lime juice and Nam Pla. Serve with sliced limes and cilantro, so guests can customize the seasonings.

Nam Pla, or Thai Fish Sauce, is a common condiment and ingredient in Thai cooking, often used instead of salt. Don’t be put off by the smell in the bottle - it can be a little strong! In a soup, it doesn’t add a fishy taste - more of a salty, savory taste. If you don’t like it (or can’t find it) leave it out.