Spicy Comfort

September is a time of transitions. Summer to fall. That, in turn, has kids ending their summer vacations and heading back to school. But, like many transitions, sometimes things get a little bumpy. Whether it's unseasonably chilly days followed by record heat or the very unwelcome early fall cold, September can carry more than a few challenges. So it's good to have some comfort food on hand. But, like the season itself, it's nice to enjoy some with a surprise or two. For me, that means something like chicken soup, but with a kick.

This time around, I'm sharing a simple Thai Chicken Soup that really boils down (no pun intended) to putting together a fun stir-fry and then adding enough broth and noodles to serve it with a spoon! It's a pretty fun recipe, featuring delicious flavors and a lot of textures. Besides, it's neat to see how this in the pot:

Becomes this at the table:

If you like a milder soup, feel free to omit the sriracha. You might be wary of ingredients like fish sauce, but believe me when I say they are key to recipes like this. They add saltiness and a depth of flavor that cannot be mimicked by other ingredients. Do yourself a favor and give it a try. Then pull out some big bowls and spoons, and get ready to enjoy some comfort with a kick!

Thai Chicken Soup

  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c. sliced red cabbage
  • 1 c. thinly sliced onion
  • 1 c. sliced yellow pepper
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2/3 c. coconut milk
  • 1 T. Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • 4 oz. thick egg noodles, cooked
  • Chopped sorrel, for garnish (optional)

In a medium-sized pot, heat up the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and turmeric powder and sauté until aromatic over low heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry over medium heat until the outside of the chicken is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the cabbage, onion, and pepper and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the next 6 ingredients (chicken broth through brown sugar) to the pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until the paste is softened into the liquid and it's bubbling slightly. To serve, divide the cooked egg noodles between two serving bowls. Top with the soup mixture, making sure to add plenty of chicken and vegetables. If desired, add a lightly sprinkling of chopped sorrel just before eating.

  • Yields: 2 large servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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