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Author Notes: Years ago, I adapted this from a mixture of Oprah, Michael Smith and me. I once brought a bowl of this soup into the office for lunch. Next thing I know, the smell attracted a dozen colleagues who were demanding I make them a batch. Besides how insanely tasty it is, the spicy flavours and chicken broth really help clear up whatever winter sickness ails you, and the accoutrements make it into an optional meal soup. I make a triple batch in September in preparation for the winter cold and then spread the joy to friends and family as they get sick, have babies or just get a craving for the Best. Soup. Ever. —CanadaDan
- 2 14 oz cans coconut milk (better if they've been in the pantry for a while)
- 1.5 tablespoons Heaping, red curry paste (I like Red Dragon)
- 1 bunch Cilantro roots, tied with twine or in cheese cloth
- 4 Chicken thighs, de-boned, skin off, cut in 3-4 slices
- 2 cups Chicken broth
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 2 stalks lemongrass, split lengthwise, woody stems removed
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 limes, zest and juice
- 1 inch knob of ginger, in a few slices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced and seeds removed
- 8 ounces vermicelli (optional)
- 1 bunch bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 bunch enoki mushrooms (optional)
- Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle. (If there was no cream at the top of the can, just take a few tbsp of the coconut milk instead)
- Add the diced garlic, jalapeno and chicken and sauté until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, cilantro root carrot, ginger, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice.
- Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low/medium-low and let simmer gently, uncovered, for at least an hour, even better for 1.5-2 hours.
- Pick out the lemongrass, cilantro roots and ginger chunks from the soup. (It might be easier to strain the soup and add back the chicken & carrots instead.) If freezing, let soup cool, give it a good stir then freeze in tupperwares.
- Optional: To make it into a meal soup, serve over cooked vermicelli and add in raw enoki mushrooms and bean sprouts.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You're Most Proud Of