Friday, September 7, 2012

Can't Thai Me Down

Thai-Style Red Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
This year September has been much more summery than July and August were. The warm weather, however, was not enough to stop my sweetie from catching a nasty little cold bug.  A big pot of brothy chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite sick-day meals, but I was in the mood for something a little more weather-appropriate. (I'm still wearing sandals for crying out loud, I'm not quite ready to make the transition to sweaters and comfort food.) This spicy take on traditional chicken noodle soup uses lots of fresh garden and framers market ingredients. I really like taking the time to slow cook the chicken breast meat so it's really tender. It's good for a warm summer evening and (fingers crossed) just might have enough punch to drive away a case of the sniffles.

- 1 qt. chicken broth
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
- juice from 3 limes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 14.5 oz. can coconut milk
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise into disks
- 2 Japanese eggplants, trimmed and sliced crosswise into disks
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 yellow onion, peeled, sliced in half, and then sliced into half-moons
- 2 fresh green onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 1 package rice noodles (fresh rice noodles work great if you can find them)

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small sauce pan over medium. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute until it begins to turn fragrant. Add about 2 cups of the chicken broth and the seasoned chicken breasts. You'll want enough liquid to just cover the meat. Add 1 Tbsp. of the lime juice and 1 Tbsp. of the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken begins to turn very tender. This will probably take about an hour or so.

After the chicken has been cooking on the back burner for 45 minutes or so, start preparing the rest of the soup. Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add sliced onions and carrots and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant and red pepper slices, season with salt and pepper, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add red curry paste and fish sauce and stir to combine over medium heat. Add remaining broth, lime juice, ground coriander, red pepper flakes, and coconut milk to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer.

Carefully pour the chicken breast pieces and liquid into the pot with the vegetables. Using tongs you should be able to easy shred the meat into the hot broth. Cover, and simmer soup for an additional 30 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft and the flavors have melded nicely, remove lid and add rice noodles and fresh green onions. The rice noodles will cook quickly. Stir soup to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Once the noodles are cooked (2-3 minutes), remove from heat and sprinkle with remaining fresh cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with hot red pepper sauce such as Sriracha for an extra kick.


  1. Oh my gosh this looks heavenly!  Have to try soon!

  2.  Hit the farmer's market up for some tasty egg plant while they are still in season! There are so many unique varieties!