There is something about a steaming bowl of soup that is not only physically comforting, but emotionally. It warms you all the way down to the gift shop of your soul. I blame it on that snowman-turned-little boy from the Campbell soup commercials.
Or perhaps everyone’s mother has some version of hot liquid comfort with some kind of inherent magical properties to heal whatever ailed you.
Either way, soup does the trick.
I love the classic chicken noodle soup, but I’m always on the hunt for a way to switch it up. Sometimes the healing just needs a little revamp.
I decided to take a page from my Asian heritage and go Thai on this mother go-to.
Okay, okay. You got me. I am not remotely Asian. HOWEVER, I do have three gorgeous and wickedly talented Asian sister-in-laws. So I kinda feel like they’ve imparted some of their wisdom and cooking savvy on me. …or at least I’ve eaten plenty of their cooking to claim such.
What makes this a Thai chicken noodle soup, you ask?
Well, it’s a marriage of creamy coconut milk, savory and umami-filled fish sauce with a refreshing breath of bright lime juice and cilantro plus some hidden ginger and lemongrass and a slew of vegetables with some rice noodles to round it out. (Plus a thai chile or two, if you’re brave!)
The flavors are vibrant and bold yet still deep and soothing.
It’s hope and love and a big ‘ole hug on a lousy day in a bowl.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Cook Time: 25 minutes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 inches ginger root, thinly sliced into coins
Lemongrass stalk or 1 tablespoon lemongrass purée (find it in the produce section)
2 kaffir lime leaves, optional
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 ounces snow peas, thinly sliced
3 ounces, shitake mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces straight-cut or thin rice noodles
2 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts, very thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- In a saucepan bring the broth to a simmer along with the sliced ginger, lemongrass cracked open or lemongrass purée and kaffir lime leaves (if have). Simmer for 10 minutes. Then strain and set the broth aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the sliced onion and cook until softened and lightly browned. Add in the garlic and green curry paste and cook, stirring for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in the prepared chicken broth, sugar, coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Add in the peppers, mushrooms and noodles. Simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the chicken and snow peas and simmer just until the chicken is cooked through and noodles are done, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
- Taste for seasoning. Add more lime juice or fish sauce as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
If you like a bit of spice, throw in a sliced thai chile or two into the broth. (Strain and remove after it simmers)
For a meatless variation substitute tofu for the chicken and vegetable broth for the chicken broth.