Hot Cold Care
By Angela Denstad Stigeler
Though a proper winter in Minnesota seems to have been delayed, the cold and flu season still marches on. When you’re feeling under the weather—mild though it may be—there’s nothing so dependable as chicken soup. It’s a veritable panacea, even if a bit cliché. But it doesn’t have to be boring. When you want to change up the classic version, a few simple additions take chicken soup to a whole new place. The following recipe is a combination of some typical Thai flavors which make the broth both comforting and exotic. Nourishing coconut milk enriches and soothes, while chili adds heat and lime juice refreshes. It’s easy enough to make even when you’re sick, and good enough to want when you’re not. Next time you’re in need of a restorative, try a nice hot bowl of this sure-fire cold care, for whatever ails you.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons minced hot chili or Thai red chili paste
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
4 ounces rice noodles, broken
4 cups assorted vegetables, such as shredded carrot, red bell pepper, baby corn, bok choy or cabbage
juice of one lime
lime wedges and chopped cilantro for garnish
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the fish sauce, brown sugar, broth, coconut milk and 4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and continue to simmer another 5 minutes. Add in the noodles, cooking until just tender. Add in the vegetables and cook until softened.
Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and taste for seasoning. Serve warm topped with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.