Monday, June 12, 2006

chicken soup thai style

During the one rainy cold week here in NYC, I managed to come down with a cold smack dab in the middle of June.

After a day or so of cold medicine, I decided I needed soup therapy. The reason why the spicy soup I've made works so well, is that in addition to the warmth of the soup soothing the throat, the spicyness helps open up the sinuses as well.

I'm sure you can still eat this soup when you're feeling fine. It'll probably even taste better without a stuffy nose.

Joy's Get Better Quick Thai Chicken Soup

2 T vegetable oil
3 T red curry paste
4 chopped chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
2 baby eggplants in 1/2 inch pieces (get Japanese ones if you can find them)
1 yellow pepper, 1 orange
2 scallions
2 c chicken broth (1 boullion cube/2 c water)
1 can of coconut milk
1 inch of ginger in thick slices
2 serrano chiles chopped (or less to taste of how spicy -- omit seeds if you'd like it milder)
1/3 bunch of chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
2 t brown sugar
fish sauce to taste

In a large pot, heat 2 T of vegetable oil. Add the curry paste being careful of the spatter. Break up the curry paste and fry until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Then, add the chicken thighs and fry for another two minutes. Add the vegetables and continue to fry for another five minutes. Add the broth, coconut milk, ginger slices, serrano chiles and scallions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the brown sugar and fish sauce to taste. Then squeeze the lime in the soup right before serving.

Since this soup uses chicken thighs it's all right to let the soup simmer as long as you want. The meat just gets more tender.

Makes about 6 servings.

As they say in Thai: aroi maak maak (very very delicious)

Oh, and don't eat the ginger slices! They're in the soup like a French bouquet garni.

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