When I first started cooking for the Bear I would assure him that whatever I was doing, it was merely the work of moments. You know how it is when you have just met someone? You want to spend as much time with them as possible……and you also want to impress them with your speed at preparing wonderful food. This soup, though, really is the work of moments.
I call it Thai Chicken Soup as it does use Thai flavourings. It’s not authentic – I made it up and I dare say people might complain that I haven’t followed a real Thai recipe but I don’t care. It has got Thai ingredients in and it tastes just like Thai soup. I love this soup. It is possibly my favourite soup … though there are many contenders. It is definitely my favourite soup that can stand alone as a meal, put it that way. It has the perfect mix of savoury and sweet flavours, the creaminess of coconut milk, the meatiness of the chicken and the gloriously golden, juicy pop of sweetcorn kernels.
Probably that’s where people might complain.. after all, corn is South American and this soup is supposedly Asian. I don’t care though. If you are to use that argument then no one but Peruvians can use potatoes. Or tomatoes…. We don’t care though. All we care about is making a deliciously tasty soup that will delight everyone.
Anyway…. ingredients. I have a selection of Thai ingredients now, so I will list them for you – but to do the soup you don’t HAVE to have them all. I just think that you probably will go out and get them.
Thai Green Curry Paste
Chicken thighs – boned and skinned
Tin of coconut milk, or coconut milk powder
Thai fish sauce (Nam Pla)
Sweetcorn on the cob
Lemongrass (you can get these last three ready chopped, which just adds to the speed of making this)
I also add, though the soup can be done well enough without, some Kaffir lime leaves and some Thai basil and a scraping of Thai shrimp paste. Maybe if you love the soup as much as we do you might go out and get the extra bits for the next attempt.
First, peel and chop your onion and saute in a little oil until it is translucent. While that is cooking, cut your chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
Put in a teaspoon or so of Green Curry paste, a squeeze of garlic, ginger and lemon grass and then put the chicken in and stir it round so it gets coated…. keep the heat medium to low, you don’t want to burn it. Add some Kaffir Lime leaves (which come shredded) if you are using them
Chop your coriander and add the stalks to the chicken and spices.
Make up some chicken stock – a pint or so and when the chicken is cooked though (it looks opaque) add that.
Then the coconut milk and a splash of fish sauce. Add a teaspoon or so of the Thai Basil if you are using it.
Cut the kernels off the sweetcorn cobs and put them in to cook
Then add the coriander leaves and stir in a tablespoon of palm sugar…… taste the soup…..
The thing is, you really do has to taste this to get it right…. does it need more salt? Could you add more chicken stock? Or is it the chillies… need a bit more? Just chop a little bit finely and add that. Perhaps you want just a little bit of extra sweetness…. all of this is up to you.
You can add those lovely, flat, translucent rice noodles if you want to make it more substantial… but remember to snap them into smaller bits as there’s nothing worse then getting started on a spoonful and having to keep on sucking at a never ending noodle!
And there you have it. Beautiful soup with lovely fresh ingredients, ready to eat in under 45 minutes. And the taste…. ohhhh the taste… that will make anyone who eats it love you.
Ask the Bear.