Friday, May 3, 2013

Thai Coconut Soup

recipe slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

There is this little Thai restaurant that our friends introduced us to and at first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Hello!  What was I thinking? Thai food is now something I crave.  And when we were there, we had some Coconut soup. The broth base has this rich coconut flavor that is just awesome. I always wondered how I could recreate this delicious soup at home and then I stumbled across this recipe from the girls at Our Best Bites and this soup is exactly what I was looking for.  So if you need something easy and a little different than your classic chicken noodle soup, try this. I hope you like it as much as I do.

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper (Make sure to remove the seeds)
1 1/2 Tablespoons *freshly minced ginger, or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground, dried ginger
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packages ramen noodles (don't use the seasoning packet)
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
3/4 cup carrots, julienned
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Sliced green onions and lime wedges, for garnish

*You can buy ginger root in the produce section of the grocery store. I usually buy mine and cut the skin off and then chop it into individual pieces roughly about the size of a teaspoon. Then I store the pieces in my freezer and have fresh ginger whenever it is called for in a recipe.

1. Heat medium-sized pot to medium-high heat on stove. Add oil, jalapeno, and ginger (if using fresh ginger). Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until jalapeno and ginger are softened and fragrant.  If using ground ginger, add to softened jalapeno and stir. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, carrots, and salt and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add noodles. Simmer 3-5 minutes, until noodles are softened. If using mushrooms, add them in the final 2-3 minutes of cooking the noodles.

2. Add chicken and simmer about 30 seconds to heat through.  Remove pot from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Ladle into serving bowl and garnish with additional chopped cilantro, green onions, and lime wedges, if desired.

For vegetarian option, omit chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.