Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup with Noodles

It’s always nice to have a few chicken noodle soup variations in your back pocket.  And this is a nice one.  Very mild.  Very smooth.  Hearty, but not heavy.  And if you’d like to introduce someone to Thai flavors this would be a nice place to start.  You’ll note there are no chiles, just some cayenne, which you can leave out if there are children or anti-heat people at your table.  Overall is this good.  Not exceptional, but good.

I used chicken stock from a carton because I’m at the beach and that was the easy way.  I also used bottled garlic; used cumin instead of coriander; and left out the cayenne.  I used half fish sauce and half soy sauce.  And I used rice noodles instead of fettuccine.  I’d recommend that you stick with the rice noodles.  I know you may not keep them in your pantry, but it might be a good idea to start.  It’s a lot faster to make rice noodles than traditional pasta and if you have any gluten issues, rice noodles avoid those as well.  Make sure the chicken is still a little frozen when you slice it.  I sliced these boneless breasts horizontally and then into thin strips.  To be sure the chicken is not still frozen when you add it to the soup run some warm water over it once it’s sliced.

I’ll probably make this again at some point.  I’d like to try it with my own stock and on the spicy side.  Again, if you have anti-heat people at your table you should make it without the cayenne, but maybe put some siracha or Tabasco or cayenne on the table. And don’t treat the cilantro as optional. It’s essential.

Good? Yep. I’m looking forward to the leftovers.
Easy? Yep.
Good for company? I probably wouldn’t serve an entree soup for a dinner party, but it you’re having some neighbors over, sure.
Special shopping? Not exactly. You may need to get coconut milk, but you can find it at Kroger.

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup with Noodles

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
I can unsweetened coconut milk
2 1/2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 3- inch-long strips lime zest
1/2 pound thin rice noodles
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 14-inch slices
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

Preparation

1. In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

2. Add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, salt, and lime zest. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain.

4. Add the chicken to the soup and simmer until just done, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the fettuccine, lime juice, and cilantro, if using. Serve the soup in bowls with a fork and spoon.

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