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ERIN SULLEY: Soup to warm the soul

One bowl of Thai chicken noodle soup is exactly what’s needed on a chilly day. - Paul Pickett photo
One bowl of Thai chicken noodle soup is exactly what’s needed on a chilly day. - Paul Pickett photo - Erin Sulley

I love this time of year but jeez, does it have to be so cold? We love thee, we love thee, we love thee windswept land. Come on. I can’t be the only person who breaks out in the Ode to Newfoundland when you have a negative thought on the weather.

Saving grace? Warm, delicious, comforting soup.

A delicious combination of ingredients which is sure to provide warmth and nutrition. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley
A delicious combination of ingredients which is sure to provide warmth and nutrition. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley

 

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” – Laurie Colwin

I come from a long line of soup lovers. My Grandma made a pot of fresh meat soup pretty well every day of the week. Oh, if I could only smell the deliciousness of her kitchen once more. Thankfully, my Mom inherited her mother’s soup obsession. I don’t know what it is exactly, perhaps it’s the warmth, flavourful taste, or the plain ol’ comfort feeling — either way, soup has magical healing powers.

Today, I’m going to share with you my absolute favourite soup recipe.

Actually, it’s a toss-up between this one and another recipe I shared with you in January for a yummy chicken soup with turmeric. I’ll put the related link in the online version of today’s column in case you would like to revisit — because you should.

In the meantime, let’s serve up today’s Thai chicken noodle soup. Honest to goodness, the aromatics of this soup will soothe much more than the palette.

What separates this recipe from other chicken soups you’ve experienced is the garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Yes, all of these ingredients are delicious in a chicken soup. If you don’t typically cook with these ingredients, now is the time. Do not even think about turning up your nose at this one — you’ll regret it. And don’t get scared about the red curry paste. It adds an immense amount of flavour to the soup. Don’t think heat, think taste.

You can either bake or fry the chicken. It’s completely your preference. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley
You can either bake or fry the chicken. It’s completely your preference. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley

“Not everyone likes all our flavours, but each flavour is someone’s favourite.” – Irv Robbins

However, if you’re like me and enjoy a bit of flavourful heat, I double up the red curry paste in this recipe. I currently look like a Newfoundland dog, salivating at the thoughts of this soup. OK, probably not a good visual, but you get the picture.

If you’re a fan of red curry paste and think you’ll use it more than just for this soup, why not make it from scratch. It’s super easy, especially if you have a blender or food processor handy.

Let’s continue on with the Thai chicken noodle soup shall we?

Slowly pour the coconut milk mixture into the pot while stirring the soup. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley
Slowly pour the coconut milk mixture into the pot while stirring the soup. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley

 

I found this recipe on joyfulhealthyeats.com. You’re going to need one and a half pounds of chicken breast (boneless), one tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil), one cup of red onion (thinly sliced), two garlic cloves (minced), one tablespoon of ginger, three tablespoons of red curry paste, six cups of chicken broth, two carrots, half cup of snow peas, one red pepper (julienned), eight ounces of brown rice noodles and one third cup of cilantro.

First up, cook the chicken and shred it. Cook the noodles as directed. Next, heat your pot, then add the oil. When oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until they’re translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and let cook for about 30 seconds and then add the red curry paste. Once that thickens, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then simmer. Once simmering, add the chicken, carrots, red pepper and snow peas. The recipe says to add the noodles in too, but I keep them separate and add them when I’m ready to serve it so they don’t get mushy.

Here’s the important part. Take out a cup of the broth and add it to a blender. Careful not to burn yourself. Add one cup of coconut milk and blend. Once done, add it back into the soup pot and simmer.

So much flavour in one bowl. I bet you’ll go back for a second serving. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley
So much flavour in one bowl. I bet you’ll go back for a second serving. – Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley

 

“Good manners: The noise you don’t make when you’re eating soup.” – Bennett Cerf

Well, food friends, I hope you enjoy this amazing soup as much as we do. Thai chicken noodle soup is definitely fit to eat and is sure to keep you warm during this time of year.

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Instagram: @erinsulley

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