Last week I made an old favorite, Mulligatwany soup, an Indian style vegetarian soup with curry and the unlikely addition of a tart apple-it is very yummy,
Earlier this week I made a coconut/curry soup in the Thai style with chicken added for protein. It called for "garangol", a ginger like root that I did not have, and I am not sure if that is why the flavor sort of lacked depth until I added more of my own version of fish sauce- that's equal parts of crushed anchovy or anchovy paste and soy sauce-and let the soup sit a day or two in the fridge.
[ Recommended subs for garangol are ginger root with the addition of a pinch of cinnamon and mace.]
However this evening I hit the jackpot with another Thai style soup. I looked up a half dozen recipes online and came up with my own version of "Peanut/Coconut/ Curry soup with chicken and Udon noodles"! If you get the idea I like curries you would be correct, growing up in Australia I was exposed to a heavy Indian/Asian influence and curry recipes abound.
Usually I do not record my recipes so they tend to vary, sometimes wildly, but this time I did write down everything because it was that good! Normally I cook by trial and taste!
It can become vegetarian by substituting seafood for the chicken and using vegetable broth.
There are a lot of items but most can be found in the average pantry and the rest are available at the grocery store. It's very easy too, and fast, no waiting all day for this one!
"Peanut/Coconut/ Curry soup with chicken and Udon noodles"!
1cup shitake mushrooms, rehydrated
2 x 32ozs. cartons of broth
3 carrots chopped
3 stalks celery, leaves and all, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 raw chicken breasts cubed
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup all natural crunchy peanut butter
3 x 6 ozs. pkgs of Japanese style Udon noodles
3tbl. fish sauce or substitute
4tsp. yellow curry powder
1 heaped tsp. of Thai green curry paste
2 tbl. flour
2tbl. each of coconut oil and butter
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
juice of a lime
one inch of fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
I also used 2 tbl. of dried lemongrass tied in a sachet to make removal easy
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
In a large stock pot heat oil and butter and saute vegetables about 10 minutes.
curries, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, and flour and stir till well blended, then add stock stirring until mixed. Add lemon grass, grated ginger and shitake mushrooms along with the fluid from rehydration of the mushrooms and simmer about 20-30 minutes. Add raw chicken cubes and simmer a further 10 minutes or so until cooked through.
Then add unsweetened coconut milk, peanut butter and Udon noodles and bring to a simmer, to blend flavors and heat the noodles thoroughly. Add lime juice and serve the soup with chopped cilantro.
I did not add any salt other than what was in the stock and the fish sauce, but you could add a pinch at the table if desired. The chunky peanut butter adds pleasant texture to the dish.
If I had not been so full I would have been back for seconds!
As it is, this recipe made enough for 6 hearty servings so we have sufficient for another meal!
We accompanied the soup with a nicely chilled bottle of a delightful Sonoma County Chardonnay kindly gifted to DS by a doc friend. It had lovely pear tones, free from the heavy oakiness that spoils many chardonnays for me. It is highly recommended, and that from a red wine enthusiast! Available at all AJ's and Fry's Marketplace Cellar stores, and some wine shops and restaurants.