“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Thai-Inspired Chicken Soup - With Soba Noodles

I’m such a huge fan of warm soups in the colder months. From simple broths that I sip like tea to thick, hearty stew-like versions, I have stacks of recipes and often throw together whatever I have on hand in the kitchen. They’re filling and one of my favorite ways to get plenty vegetables in the winter. And if fresh varieties are not available, I will often use frozen because their nutrients have been preserved by freezing just after harvesting. Last year, I found a recipe for a coconut-curry chicken soup in Cooking Light Magazine that has become one of my favorites. It is a Thai inspired recipe that gets a lot of heat from the curries and a bit of sweet from the coconut milk. I’ve altered the recipe a bit by using coconut oil in place of canola oil, a natural sugar referred to as sucanat (half the original amount) instead of regular white sugar, and for the original pad thai rice noodles, I substituted a variety of soba (buckwheat) noodle that is made with green tea called chasaba. The result was a warm, flavorful and satisfying soup that I’ll be making for years to come.

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup with Soba Noodles

3.5 oz soba noodles (about 1 pre-measured serving)

½ tbsp virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp shallots, sliced thin

1 tsp red or green curry paste

.75 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp tumeric powder

¼ tsp ground coriander

1 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, simmering

½ can light coconut milk

½ lb cooked and shredded chicken breast

¼ cup chopped scallions

½ tbsp sucanat (or other sugar)

1 tbsp fish sauce

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 handful fresh spinach leaves

¼ pound snow peas, trimmed and chopped in half

chopped and seeded hot red chiles or crushed red pepper

fresh lime wedges

Cook soba noodles in boiling water for two to three minutes, then drain and transfer to a bowl. Heat coconut oil in a heavy medium pot over medium high heat. Add shallots and sauté for a minute, then add next five ingredients. Stir and cook for one minute more. Add simmering broth to pot, bring to boil, add coconut milk, reduce heat and simmer for ~five minutes. Add chicken, sucanat, and fish sauce and simmer for two minutes. Add noodles, spinach and snow peas to pot. Cook for one minute then add cilantro and hot pepper and stir. Ladle into bowls and serve with lime. Makes 3 servings.

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