Thai Kale Soup
This soup is a fragrant, complex-tasting spin on the traditional chicken noodle soup that sits bubbling on the back burner of many of our stoves this time of year. It is packed full of kale – a warmer, more seasonally appropriate way to get your greens than salad or pressed juice. The curry paste and coconut milk lend the broth a mild, creamy flavour while the lemongrass and herbs make for a brighter flavour profile – a welcome change amidst the chills and stews you’ve probably been cooking lately. The best part about this soup is that you can go from a pile of ingredients to a finished product in under an hour, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
1 onion, diced finely
4 cloves garlic, diced finely
4 chicken thighs, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Patak’s Mild Curry Paste
1 bunch kale, cleaned, stems removed and chopped
1 red pepper, sliced into 1-2 inch lengths
1 (900ml) carton chicken broth
3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and split
3 cups water
1 can Earth’s Choice Coconut Milk
1/2 package Erawan Rice Vermicelli noodles
2 limes; one for soup, one for serving
1 bunch green onions, sliced diagonally; 2 stalks reserved for serving
2 tablespoons or 1 large handful cilantro, chiffonade, with some reserved for serving
1 tablespoon or 1 small handful basil, chiffonade
Salt, to taste
Bean sprouts for serving
Pour sesame oil into a large soup pot and begin to warm over medium heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Toss in the chicken thighs and continue to saute until they are mostly cooked through. Add the fish sauce and curry paste, stirring these into the mixture so the chicken is coated. In goes the kale and red pepper; saute until the kale begins to wilt. Pour in the chicken broth and water, and toss the prepared lemongrass in as well (to prepare: slice the root and stalky stems off the lemongrass, so you’ve got a 4-5” length. Use the can of coconut milk, or some other heavy object, to bash the lemongrass so that it splits open. Remove the husky outer layers – inhale its beautiful scent – and toss into the soup).
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables and chicken have cooked through and the soup is fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk and then add in the vermicelli noodles. Squeeze the juice of one of the limes into the soup, and add the green onions, cilantro and basil, making sure that you reserve the appropriate quantities of these for serving.
When the herbs have wilted into the soup, give it a quick taste test and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Serve topped with remaining lime slice, green onions, cilantro and bean sprouts.
Jess hosts the blog The Purple House Cafe. It’s all about taste and good intentions, and the belief that “healthy, wholesome food” is made with love. http://www.purplehousecafe.com