07 February 2012

unenlightened soup

Sometimes I get these free magazine offers in the mail. Two risk-free issues of This Old House! A trial subscription to Martha Stewart Living! I send in my request and get the free magazines, then cancel . . . leaving the publication's bill-collecting department to send me alternately pitiful and threatening requests for the rest of the money, until two months later, they realize that I really meant it.

Well, the most recent offer was from Cooking Light. I disagree with at least 70% of the magazine's dietary philosophy ("saturated fat is evil and you must eat whole grains to function properly") but I find some of the articles interesting, I like the emphasis on fresh, unprocessed food, and I have gotten several excellent recipes out of its pages. Including this one.

I'm not much good at making food from the Eastern Hemisphere, as I haven't an Asian bone in my body. However, this riff on Thai flavors turned out splendidly. I "unenlightened" it, first by using regular coconut milk and chicken stock, then by giving you the freedom to (gasp!) add more salt. It's much tastier this way. Ancel Keys is rolling over in his grave. :)

Julia, this is for you.


Thai Chicken Soup
(originally from the Jan 2012 issue of Cooking Light)

2 tablespoons coconut oil*
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1 large carrot, sliced on the diagonal
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups chicken stock 
1 15-oz can coconut milk
4 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons lime juice
4 cups coarsely chopped kale
4 cups thinly sliced cooked chicken**
sea salt to taste
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro

1) In large soup pot, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, pepper, carrot, garlic, sambal oelek, and garlic. Saute for a few minutes; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 5 minutes more.
2) Add stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice to pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in chopped kale; cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not mushy.
3) Stir in chicken and heat through. Add salt to taste. Stir in cilantro just before serving. This is a very thick soup, more like a stew honestly-- serve with rice if you'd like, but I think it is great without.

*Or any cooking fat that will go well with these flavors . . .
**Either use leftovers from a roast chicken, or poach several breasts and/or thighs for the occasion.

1 comment:

  1. haha thanks Rebekah! maybe for me but not for Johnny... I went to the store to buy chicken nuggets and fish sticks (on special request) yesterday :)