I find home cooks usually fall into one of two categories… people who follow the recipe to the letter and people who take it all with a grain of salt and wing it. Having closely watched my mother in the kitchen numerous times growing up as a child (relegated to bystander after my hair got tangled up in a hand mixer), I definitely learned the skills of the latter (much to the chagrin of my hubby who panics at mere mention of an ingredient substitution). This “rebel may care” attitude has resulted in many yummy creations (if I do say so myself). Unfortunately however, it also means that I can never exactly replicate these masterpieces!
At any rate… soup season is upon us and with soups being one of my “specialties”, I’m throwing out some rough notes for a delish, (relative I guess to, “Thai”) soup I made just yesterday. Note that you can throw in as much or as little of each ingredient as you like (beauty of just “winging it!”).
Finely dice some ginger and garlic and throw into a pot (I prefer Le Creuset… see Hudson’s Bay) with some extra virgin olive oil. Let hang out for a few minutes before adding some curry powder, turmeric powder (fresh turmeric, if in stock), lemongrass powder (fresh lemongrass, if in stock) and coriander powder. Let everything hang out and really come together here but of course, don’t let it burn. Add in some chopped red pepper cooking for a few minutes to allow everything to combine. Add WHOLE pieces of chicken (I happened to have two boneless, skinless breasts on hand but use whatever you have) and then two cartons of organic chicken broth. Bring to an almost boil and then leave on low for as long as you like (I went and had a manicure while all this was happening.) When ready to serve, remove chicken breasts from pot, chop and then return to pot. Add one can of full fat coconut milk. Chop a few small heads of bok choy (throwing in the white stems first). Add one small package of rice noodles (yes, to the pot of soup itself, no need to cook separately). Increase heat to medium. Once noodles are ready, add the greens from the bok choy, some freshly-chopped cilantro (if you like it; I do so I add a ton). Serve as is or, if you like it hot (I definitely do), add jalapeno (I run the pepper along a mandolin to get paper thin slices) along with a spoonful of sambal.