It’s been cold and dreary in Portland this week and with every increasingly strong gust of wind, it’s becoming very clear that winter is approaching. A few weekends ago, the wind was so relentless that it took down trees all over town. We were lucky to only lose a 14-foot branch from the fir tree in our backyard. After talking to some of my co-workers, it sounds like we fared pretty well.
Since then, the wind has died down but the rain has not. Being a daily bike commuter means I come home every evening drenched, peeling off my soaked rain jacket, rain pants and booties.
It’s days like these that call for soup — something both warming in temperature and in spiciness.
I’ve been on a coconut milk kick lately so something with curry seemed like a good place to start. I also wanted to incorporate a lot of vegetables to really make this soup a meal. I basically used it as a fridge cleaning exercise, throwing in carrots, summer squash, sugar snap peas and peppers. I had a few boneless skinless chicken breasts to up the protein level and then, since I love my citrus, I added a ton of fresh lime juice at the end.
And when I sat down to a steaming bowl of this goodness and took my first bite, I realized two things immediately. This soup totally rocks and I should have made twice as much! It was so good I ate it for three days straight and am going to make another batch tomorrow.
The last day, to help it stretch, I served it over a bowl full of roasted kabocha squash and it was marvelously delicious.
If you need something to warm you up from head to toes and make you happy, this will do the trick!
Coconut & Thai Red Curry Soup
Serves 3-4, depending on appetites
Inspired by this recipe from Meatified
- 2 TB coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced thinly into half moons
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger minced
- 2 small summer squash or zucchini, diced small
- 2 yellow peppers, sliced thinly
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
- 10-12 oz sugar snap peas, sliced on a bias
- 1-2 TB Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand) – adjust to your spice level
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, sliced fairly thin (you can use thighs or breasts)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts and/or Thai basil – optional garnishes
- Roasted diced sweet potatoes or kabocha squash — optional
Start by heating oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, peppers and ginger. Sauté over medium heat until they start to soften. Add the red curry paste and let cook until fragrant.
Add coconut milk, stock, carrots and squash. Simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Add sliced chicken, simmering until meat is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
Add sugar snap peas, cook until crisp-tender, should only take 20 seconds or so. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, lime juice and chili flake.
Top with garnishes of your choosing. Serve on top of roasted sweet potatoes or squash if desired.