I have an obsession. Ok, maybe more than one. But the overarching obsession is with comfort and that includes comfort food. And for sometime now, my favorite comfort food has been the Red Curry Coconut Chicken Soup from the Safeway Deli. So imagine my disappointment when for almost three weeks in a row as I did my weekly shopping, I always came home without my favorite comfort food. Last week, I finally saw a Deli Manager near by the soup display and asked him when they expected to have my favorite soup in again. “Oh, its out of season,” he said. “It won’t come back until November or December.” I was a bit dumbfounded. Really, “out of season”? But there was still tomato rice soup and clam chowder…not exactly what I think of as summer soups.
Well, I wallowed in the disappointment of possibly living without Red Curry Coconut Chicken Soup for six months when I decided to see how difficult it would be to make it. And as it turns out, not very difficult at all. Of course, as is my style I adapted the recipe to fit my tastes and cooking style. You can find the original recipe here. My adaptation follows:
Thai Red Curry Coconut Soup
- 2 tablespoon Thai red curry paste, or to taste
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes (could easily be replaced with vegetables of your choice)
- 3 cups canned or homemade chicken stock
- 2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste (available in produce section)
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (available in produce section)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- fresh or frozen peas (optional)
- Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of one of the cans of coconut milk into a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.
- Add the chicken and saute until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining coconut milk from the 2 cans, the chicken broth, lemon grass, fish sauce, lime juice, ginger and brown sugar. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Stir in peas (optional). Simmer for 5 minutes.
I really enjoy this soup served over rice (you could cook rice in it actually) or for a super comforting meal, mashed potatoes. Personally, I would spice up this recipe just a bit more after having tried it now. Next time I’ll add more red curry paste for more of a kick. It’s also a little thin. Cooking rice in the soup would help to thicken it up, otherwise I’ll likely add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it a bit more next time. Also, it’s a great base for just about any kind of vegetable addition. I feel like this was a really good first try at making my favorite comfort food. It was certainly satisfying. I’ll definitely continue to tweak the recipe as I make it again in the future.
Also an awesome lesson at not settling for what the world tells us is available. When I know there is something that I want I don’t need to find it elsewhere, I’m perfectly capable of creating it on my own.