This is an amazing tasting Thai soup that I have made often but found it too laborious to blog, but having now made it a few times, in sharing it on my blog for those who enjoy Thai cuisine, the laboriousness is long passed.
One of the first books I bought before beginning my Paleo journey last year was Living Paleo for Dummies by M Joulwan and Dr K Petrucci. This book has been my Paleo go to bible, that informed me in simple, easy to read and understand, the rules to the game of a Paleo lifestyle and prepared me well in understanding the concept, next to Dr Loren Cordain’s Paleo must-reads. The recipes in the book are only a few, found in the appendix but gems all the same.
Making this soup often, I have tweaked this recipe to my own liking, often adding birds eye chilli for a spicier taste or upping the red curry paste which contains birds eye chilli too. Looking at the ingredient list may be a bit daunting but once you’ve prepared for and started cooking this delightful bowl of goodness, Thai goodness, then you will realise that it is so worth the effort.
What I particularly enjoyed about this recipe is that it is suitable for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians – you choose how you prefer to make it. Besides the chicken added towards the end, I have cooked this with prawns and fish stock for an amazing bowl of Thai indulgence.
Guaranteed, once you have cooked and tasted this soup, you will discover that it has much more appeal than a bowl of soup from a Thai restaurant and it’s homemade fresh-tasting goodness makes this a winner for both summery and wintery meals.
1 1/4 cups coconut milk (free of sugar, emulsifiers and preservatives)
1/4 cup Red curry paste (free of sugar, emulsifiers, vegetable oil and preservatives)
1 tblsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp fresh ginger or galangal
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 stalk1 lemongrass, trimmed, smashed with the flat edge of a knife and cut in half
1/2 tblsp cumin powder
300g butternut, cut into cubes
3 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade, sugar and preservatives free)
zest of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 a lime
fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
Himalayan or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional but recommended
300g chicken breasts
- Scoop out about 1-2 tablespoons of the coconut cream that has risen to the top of the coconut milk. Add this to a small bowl and mix with the red curry paste until it is well combined. Cover and set aside. Reserve the remaining coconut milk.
- Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high stove-top heat and add the coconut oil. Once the oil has melted, stir in the onions and cook until translucent.
- Add the garlic, fresh ginger, peppercorns, lemongrass and cumin powder, Cook stirring for about a minute and then add the butternut, chicken stock, coconut milk (and if using), chicken. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered until the butternut is tender and the chicken has cooked – this takes about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken and lemongrass from the pot. Add the chicken to a bowl to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred with two forks and set aside.
- Add the curry paste to the soup along with the lime zest and lime juice. Stir to combine. Then working in batches, carefully puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot and heat.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and add the shredded chicken, garnish with fresh chopped coriander and additional fresh lime juice if preferred.