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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Thai Influenced Chicken Coconut Soup

3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 serrano peppers, halved seeded and thinly sliced
3 tbsp. each:   lemongrass paste, garlic paste and ginger paste
3 heaping tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 cup julienned carrots
8 oz. pkg. shitake (or any other kind) mushrooms, thinly sliced
a small handful of fresh snow peas, washed, tailed and thinly sliced
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans of coconut milk
2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, sliced
3 tbsp. brown sugar
chopped basil or cilantro leaves for garnish
lime quarters 

Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven then fry the onion, peppers, carrots and mushrooms until they begin to brown.   Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and curry pastes.   Stir fry a minute or two, stirring constantly, until very fragrant.    Add the chicken broth and chicken, then simmer about 30 minutes.   Add the coconut milk, pineapple, brown sugar and snow peas.   Simmer a few more minutes, then serve.    Garnish each bowl of soup with some of the basil or cilantro.    Each person can add lime juice to taste.    Enjoy!

Variations:   Make this vegan by omitting the chicken broth and chicken.   If you like, you could use some cubed tofu instead.

Omit the chicken and add some raw peeled shrimp or sliced scallops or cubed firm fleshed white fish (cod would be good) or add some of all three.   Add them the last few minutes before serving, do not overcook or the shrimp and scallops would become tough.

Add other vegetables that you happen to like.   Bean sprouts would probably be quite tasty, for example