Monday 26 October 2015

Let them eat soup.

The set up made me feel so profesh - obviously a necessary aspect to a winning meal.
What is it about Autumn and the inching closer everyday frost that just makes soup sound SO appealing? I mean, I like soup just fine all other months of the year, I've never met a tomato bisque I didn't like - but I can kind of take it or leave it, ya know? But the October/November/December - even January time of year? Soup is my first choice over any other meal. It may just be a coincidence that as of October 1st I'm wearing a parka jacket that's meant for snowboarding because I hate being cold, and soup warms every little crack and crook in your body and soul. Soup is like, a big ass body hug. And while soup is not at the top of Jake's suggested meals, if I put meat in it and have some sort of bread on the side, he's a happy guy. And in turn I'm happy because I know we're eating something that's so good for us - not that he gives two shits but I know he enjoys how happy it makes me ;).

So the coconut curry chicken creation from last night not only warmed me up in all the right spots, it also had just enough meat in there to satisfy the man of the house, AND it was Thai, so everyone wins. I had a can of coconut cream that I had the brilliant idea to use in lieu of creamo in my coffee, except it doesn't give the coffee a "creamy" look or taste, and just wasn't quite cutting it. Creamo, I just can't quit you. So to avoid having it go to waste, good ol' Pinterest came to my rescue, as it often does. The recipe is from here, but this wouldn't be a Breezy recipe without some substitutions in it, now would it?

Thai Coconut Curry Soup
Serves: 6 (HUGE portions mind you, I'd say closer to 7-8 if you're having medium sized bowls)
2 cans (14-ounce/400 mL each) of premium coconut milk - I only had one can so I subbed in 1 1/3 cups of unsweetened cashew milk
1 heaping tablespoon (20 mL) of Thai curry paste - I used 1.5 tablespoons but I love curry paste
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups (500 mL) of chicken broth
1 carrot, shredded - I used one giant carrot and easily got 2 cups out of it - for me the more veggies the better.
4 or 5 lime leaves
2 stalks of lemon grass, halved lengthwise, woody leaves removed -
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of fish sauce
the zest and juice of 2 limes
a small knob frozen ginger * I used the jar minced ginger and used about 1 teaspoon, slightly heaped
a handful bean sprouts
a 8 ounce (225 g) package rice noodles - I had cooked white rice needing to be used so used that - wouldn't do it again though I didn't love the texture result
1 bunch of cilantro leaves, rinsed well
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
* I added in 3 heads of baby bok choy because I'm obsessed with it and the dark leafs pack in a serious nutrient punch

Portioning everything out serves 3 purposes: 1) way easier to assemble, not miss any steps. 2) It looks way prettier when it's in small portioned cups and 3) I remember watching my mom do the same thing with stir fry's etc, and it makes me feel so grown up. 

Sizzling chicken in coconut cream curry sauce - heaven in my small kitchen.
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.
Add the cilantro roots and chicken and saute until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, ginger, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don't need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.

Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed - I felt like it was salty enough however, and I like salty foods. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.
Now for the best part of this - this creamy soup is so good for you and practically guilt free - as far as creamy foods can go ;) I've been obsessed lately with using My Fitness Pal to track the breakdown of the recipes I make and was so delighted with the numbers on this one, it's going to be a new staple. There's only 305 calories per huge bowl, 37g of protein and only 15g of carbs - if you're on low carbs omit the noodles. And this gives you almost 50% of your daily intake of Vitamin C & A!
I'm not one to play with my food, but only a heartless person can ignore perfect baby bok choy roses!

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