I made you soup! It’s what often comes out of my kitchen when I’m feeling hungry but direction-less. I can usually be counted on to have an onion or two rolling around in the back of the fridge (I get anxious when I run out of onions, see), and probably some butter (same deal), and so it begins.
This soup was deliberate, though. There’s a place in Seattle (a grocery store called Metropolitan Market) where, when I’m feeling too lazy to cook but not too lazy to drive, I like to go to “grocery shop,” by which I mean I like to go and pick up one or two actual groceries and then load up on pints of house-made curried coconut chicken soup.
This happens… often. Because the soup! The soup. It’s so good. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, just-creamy-enough with coconut milk, and full of hearty texture from still-crisp vegetables and tender pieces of chicken.
The soup has become a bit of a ritual for Ben and me, the ease of stirring and the smell of ginger and coconut, bread toasting, then cozying up at the table. We treat ourselves to it at least once a week, so I figured since I’m, you know, a chef and all that, I should try my hand at making it from scratch.
So here we are! It’s not exactly exactly the same, but it’s pretty close. Rich with spice and coconut milk, filled with tender veggies and shreds of chicken, it’s the perfect antidote to a long and chilly day.
Curried Coconut Chicken Soup
Like many soups of its kind, this one is better the day after it’s made, when all of the flavors have had time to get to know one another (and become facebook friends, probably).
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (can substitute olive oil)
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots (about 2 large)
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- squeeze of lime juice
In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter and coconut oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sweat until just softened, about 7 minutes. Add a big pinch of salt and the flour, and stir to incorporate. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, to cook out the raw flour flavor and thicken the mixture.
Next, add the bell pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes, curry paste, ground ginger and curry powder, stirring well to incorporate. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the stock, bamboo shoots, and chicken. Bring the soup to simmer, then stir in the coconut milk, and add more salt and pepper, to taste. Squeeze in a little bit of lime juice and serve the soup hot, with slices of grainy baguette for dipping.