Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Coming from Ohio, I don’t get too worked up about snow. It’s sort of just a fact of life in the winter. In my current hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, however, snow is a whole different story. Basically, it is a cause for serious panic. People fear “the big one”. If snow is even a possibility, schools are cancelled – sometimes a day or two in advance. Lines are out the door at grocery stores as people stock up on the ubiquitous bread and milk. And really, someone please tell me, if there is going to be a blizzard, why are bread and milk the most important things to have on hand? Toilet paper I get, but I could certainly live without bread for a couple of days if I got snowed in.

Now in Nashville’s defense, there is some cause for concern with large amounts of snow. Because it is so infrequent, there aren’t adequate snow removal tools – salt, plows, etc. The roads do get bad, relatively speaking, and people hunker down at home and try to stay warm. And what better to keep you warm than a bowl of steaming soup?

This chicken coconut curry soup is the perfect foil for winter’s worst. Bright in color and flavor, it provides a welcome contrast to gray skies and slushy streets. The broth is a little sweet and a little spicy, more likely to make you think of vacation in the tropics than chilly winter weather. Filled out with chicken and rice, the soup makes for a filling pot of warmth you’ll be glad to have around. You know, in case “the big one” comes.

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life

2 T. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (reserve a few matchsticks for garnish)
2 T. Thai red curry paste (use 1 T. for less heat)
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. Thai fish sauce
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped (I threw in a little extra)
1 cup cooked white rice
13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (lite or regular)
21 oz. chicken broth (1 ½ cans)
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Note: You can reserve a little of red pepper, carrot, coconut milk, and cilantro for garnish.

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Stir to combine.

Add chicken and rice. Stir to combine, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. (The soup will thicken a little as it cooks.)

Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, coconut milk, and/or thin strips of carrot and red pepper, if desired.

Makes about 4 servings.


  1. Beautiful presentation! Maybe you could start a side business as a food stylist?!

  2. Thanks Chrystal. That's a nice idea to dream about :)



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