When the new year arrives, I like to skip the resolutions that involve not eating this or that and focus on the foods I want to eat a lot of. Until spring arrives, there is easily one thing at the top of my list — soup.
If your soup is made with broth and plenty of vegetables, chances are it’s a wonderfully nutritious choice. It’s also easy to serve, easy to reheat and easily lasts multiple meals. Once January rolls around, I usually choose two soups or stews to make each week, and that takes care of most dinners. It’s a lovely way to pass the time until the pop of spring veggies arrive on the scene.
This curry soup is inspired by my never-ending love for Thai food with the use of red curry paste found in almost any international grocery aisle, but it also incorporates the British-developed curry powder spice blend for a gentle addition of warmth. This is a fast and easy way to make a soup full of bright and satisfying flavor — and with endless possibilities.
This recipe calls for carrots, red bell peppers and potatoes, but I would encourage you to get creative with vegetables that sound good to you. If I don’t have a chicken on hand, I will just use vegetable broth and extra vegetables. I often use cauliflower instead of potatoes, or add other vegetables like peas, broccoli, spinach or arugula. In the spring, I love to make this with asparagus and radish. In the summer, I’ll add tomatoes and fresh Thai basil. Essentially, this is a soup for all seasons.
Chicken Curry Soup
Makes: 8 servings; total time: 1½ hours
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
5 large carrots, peeled and diced
3-inch piece of ginger, washed well, left unpeeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 Thai red chiles, seeded and finely chopped (depending on your heat preference)
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 can unsweetened coconut milk or cream
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3-6 Yukon gold potatoes, depending on size
2 red bell peppers
3 cups cooked chicken
1 cup cilantro leaves
5 scallions, sliced
Preparation: In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the oil. After a minute, add the onion, carrots, ginger, garlic, red chile and cook for around five minutes. Add the curry paste, curry powder, coriander and cook another few minutes, stirring frequently. Everything should smell wonderfully fragrant. At this point, add the lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk and broth. Scrape any goodness from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and bring soup to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Add the potatoes, red bell peppers and chicken. Let simmer for around 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls garnishing generously with cilantro and scallions.