Thai chicken coconut curry soup

Now this is what I call soup!

Now this is what I call soup!

Ok, I know I brought you a recipe for Thai curry not long ago, but this soup is an absolute must! And granted, it’s not the most summery of dishes, but once you’ve tasted the insanely powerful and addictive flavours bursting out of the bowl, you won’t care. Hell, you won’t even know what season it is! Yes folks, it really is that good.

Now, I can’t take all of the credit: this soup is an amalgamation of countless recipes found online and in various cook books, with a few of my own additions and subtractions (as most good recipes usually are).

I was actually trying to recreate a soup that my mum and I are in love with from Chao Baby in Manchester (the little sister of Chaophraya). We pay £15 for their otherwise mediocre buffet simply for the Thai soup. It’s incredible. We sit and work our way through bowl after bowl with a set of extremely satisfied smiles on our faces. And I was over the bloomin’ moon when this one turned out to be a cat’s whisker from Chao’s scrumptious offering.

I adapted this recipe to suit my taste, so I’d encourage you to do the same. I like a certain sweetness to my food, so one of the additions I made was a little pouring of agave syrup (natural sweetener). Personally I think this makes a huge difference and you should leave it in, but then I add sugar to curry, peas and bolognaise, so feel free to listen to your own palate.

Some recipes call for carrots and bean sprouts, but I’m not a fan and instead used tenderstem broccoli and asparagus for a bit more substance. An awful lot of recipes also include egg noodles, but I developed this when I went all paleo on your ass, so my version leaves them out. With the addition of cashews and a whole heap of veg, I think it’s mighty filling without the slippery suckers.

I tend to use way more curry paste than most recipes suggest because I like it spicy, but again, listen to your own palate. And whilst you can make Thai paste if you have time, I buy a quality brand that’s free from additives and only includes the incidents you’d put in if you made it yourself. I will make my own paste one day, but for now this serves me well.

To make this most marvellous of dishes, you’ll need:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream
  • 3-4 tbsp authentic Thai curry paste
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • Asparagus and tenderstem broccoli, sliced (as much as you want)
  • Chicken stock (I’m not specifying quantity here because it depends how thick you like your soup and how far you want it to go; I’d suggest adding a ladle full at a time)
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (I hate fish, but this is an absolute must; it totally transforms the taste)
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • A sprinkling of ground ginger
  • A few dashes of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • A handful of cashew nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped

To make the best bowl of soup this side of Thailand:

  1. Place a non-stick wok on a medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp coconut cream; when hot, throw in the curry paste, ginger, ¾ of the chilli, and a little of the coconut milk. Allow to sizzle for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the coconut milk, cream and some stock
  2. Next up, pop in the kaffir lime leaves so they have time to infuse, along with your chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, and agave syrup
  3. Simmer for ten minutes before adding your onion; after five minutes throw in the asparagus and broccoli
  4. After a further five minutes, stir in the chopped coriander and chopped and toasted cashews (leaving some of each to sprinkle over the top); stir and leave for a minute
  5. When you’re happy with it, ladle into bowls and garnish with the chopped spring onions and remaining coriander leaves, cashews and red chilli

Enjoy with a very cold bottle of Singha beer.

Love Emma xx