Recipe for Thai chicken red curry coconut soup
When Ted and I go to a Thai restaurant, I'm always the one who gets the Tom Yom Koong (shrimp in a fiery hot chicken-lime broth), and he's the one who orders Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut soup). This recipe for Thai chicken red curry coconut soup meets us in the middle, incorporating some of the heat I crave with the smooth coconut milk he loves. My herb garden produced a bumper crop of fragrant lemongrass this year; if you don't have it, zest the lime before you juice it, and add the zest to the soup.
Thai chicken red curry coconut soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 15-oz can coconut milk
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 cups chicken stock
2 thin slices fresh ginger root
2 2-inch pieces of lemongrass, slightly crushed
Juice of 1/2 lime, or more to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, or to taste
Place the chicken breasts in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool completely, then shred the chicken into bite-size lengths.
In a small stock pot or Dutch oven, combine the coconut milk, curry paste, 2 cups of chicken stock (you can use the poaching liquid from the chicken breasts), ginger and lemongrass. Set heat to low, and simmer the soup base for 15 minutes, to allow the flavors to marry. At that point you can remove the ginger and lemongrass, but I like to leave them in to intensify the flavor.
Add the shredded chicken, lime juice and scallions, and cook on low for 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, and top with peanuts and cilantro leaves.