Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thai Chicken Soup

This is one of our favorite soups from a well loved magazine of soups and stews by Better Homes and Gardens.  I have made it many times and it's always eaten with happy noises and taken in thermos containers for lunch the next day.  I finally availed myself of the option of getting some of the big packages of cooked roasted chicken meat that Costco makes from its unsold whole rotisserie chickens.  I never even knew about that until last year, but it sure makes throwing together a last minute meal that much easier.  Easy enough to dispel the possibility of falling back on fast food.  If you pre-portion the chicken pieces and freeze them, you can thaw them fairly quickly for a meal, or even just dump the frozen chunk into a soup to thaw and heat through in about 10 minutes.  I made another favorite soup from the previous page last night with the first chicken portion and avocados that I had also picked up at Costco.  Those, I had prepared ahead for that soup by mashing with lime juice and freezing.  So yummy, I'll have to share that one next time I make it since there is still one more pack of avocado in the freezer.

The first time I made this soup, my youngest wasn't so sure about the mushrooms.  That was over two years ago though and now she loves them, I think in no small part due to this recipe.  It has nice color from the carrots and peppers, and even more if you garnish it with some fresh cilantro or parsley.  A great soup for any time of year.

Thai Chicken Soup
Serves 6
From Soups and Stews by BHG

2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about a cup)
1 32 oz. carton chicken broth (or 1 Qt home made)
2 cups carrots, sliced on the diagonal (4 medium carrots)
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups cubed or shredded roasted chicken
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (8 oz)
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½" pieces
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts (optional)
¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro (or freeze dried, 2 tbsp)
Lime wedges (optional)

In a large soup pot, cook and stir ginger  and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the onion and cook and stir for 4-6 minutes until the onion is tender.
Add broth and bring to a boil.
Stir in carrots, lemon peel, and red pepper flakes.  Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender.
Add the chicken, mushrooms, coconut milk, and red bell pepper and heat through.  Add dried cilantro at this time if using.
To serve, top each bowl with a sprinkle of peanuts and cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges on the side if desired.


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