When outside is gross, you can always cure it with a bowl of steaming, spicy-but-totally-adjustable soup. With a creamy coconut milk broth and a layering of delicious flavours, this slurp is studded with rice noodles, tender chicken, mushrooms, spinach and peppers.
1–2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded (leftovers or a rotisserie chicken work great here)
3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
2–3 slices fresh ginger
1 jalapeño or red Thai chili, halved lengthwise (optional)
big pinch salt
1 14 oz (398 ml) can coconut milk
2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce (optional)
2 tbsp (30 ml) peanut butter (optional)
1 tbsp (15 ml) Thai curry paste
1/2 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
4–6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1–2 cups (250–500 ml) packed baby spinach, torn or chopped
1/3 cup (85 ml) chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
leftover cooked rice, or soaked rice noodles (optional)
Place chicken, stock, ginger, chili and salt in large pot, and cook on high for 10 minutes. Remove and discard ginger and chili.
Add the coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, peanut butter, curry paste, red pepper, mushrooms and cilantro. Stir, cover and heat for about 15 minutes, or until the veggies have softened and everything has heated through.
Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice of half into the soup.
Cut the other half into wedges to serve alongside. If you like, serve the soup over leftover rice or soaked rice noodles, topped with extra cilantro.
Per serving of soup
460 calories, 25.8 g fat (21.5 g saturated fat, 3.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 38.6 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 3.8 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2016.