I’ve never been a big soup eater (see previous post about only eating soup with buttered grilled cheese). I appreciate some substance to my meals; hearty, crunchy bites of food that can’t be sipped through a straw. If my body could stand it I would probably be happiest eating extra crunchy chips – any flavor – for my entire life. Now I’ve shared my darkest secret with you: I’m a crunchy food addict. I do try to show some restraint, partly because I love myself enough to not want to have a triple bypass at age 30, so I attempt to eat on the healthier side and satisfy my crunchies with hard veggies.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.juicingcollection.com
Anyway, sometimes I try some soups that I do like, usually at restaurants when they come out as part of the meal. A local Memphis Thai food restaurant, Bahn Thai, has a delicious coconut milk based soup that I have been attempting to recreate at home for some time now (try a couple of years) and never could get right. Since today is my week anniversary of getting the flu (thanks for nothing, vitamins), I’ve decided to let you in on the recipe, because I think I’ve finally got it. Or as close as I’m going to get. Unlike the restaurant version, I added some extra veggies and meat to mine for some protein and crunch. Imagine that.
Feel free to experiment with more veggies and mushrooms! It’s a simple recipe that packs a serious nutritious punch.
Knock-Off Coconut (Crunch) Soup
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boxes of chicken stock, around 8 cups
5 carrots cut into chunks
Half of a head of green cabbage, diced
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of diced, cooked chicken (you can add cooked shredded chicken as well, this is just what I had easiest on hand being under the weather, but the quantity worked well)
1 ½ tablespoons turmeric (I can’t get enough of this spice, it’s sooo good for you)
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
dash of sea salt
dash of parsley
lime wedge garnish for each bowl
Saute the diced onion in olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until tender and browned (I like mine a darker brown, it brings out a sweet taste). Stir occasionally, you don’t want to burn them.
Add the chicken stock, then the veggies and bring them to a rolling boil. It takes a while to cook carrots, so after the boil begins turn the heat down and let them simmer for about 15 minutes. I check their consistency about every 5 minutes, even I don’t want uncooked carrots in soup.
When the veggies are close to they way you want them, add the coconut milk, chicken, turmeric, garlic salt, black pepper, red pepper (if you want heat), and dashes of sea salt and parsley. Turn the heat down a bit and let all the spices hang out in the coconut milk hot tub for about another 10 minutes. Serve hot with a lime wedge to squeeze, or freeze for a convenient meal the next time you’re under the weather or snowed in- looking at you, all you lucky Northerners and your pretty snow!