I saved a bit of the basil I bought for pesto to treat myself with a warming coconut curry soup. The aromatic combination of curry, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and fresh herbs was splendid for the cold I’ve been fighting.
The soup is a bit complicated to make with so many flavors and toppings, but it’s really worth it and I have a few shortcuts that don’t skimp on flavor to share.
First, I heated up my homemade chicken broth with the stems of the cilantro and basil as well as a teaspoon of minced ginger and the harder exterior stalk of the lemongrass, so the flavor profile of the broth would match better with this dish. This step isn’t necessary, but if you have a few things that could pep up whatever broth your using, it’s worth doing.
While that is underway, prepare whatever vegetables you want to use. I try to think of vegetables as the heart of every soup. I lightly sautéed some onions, garlic, carrot, red bell pepper, red cabbage and green beans. I didn’t have rice noodles, so I upped the veggie quotient more with spiralized zucchini.
Add your chicken to the veggies. I used leftover roast chicken for mine. Strain the broth into the pan with the chicken and veggies, add one can of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons red curry paste, and if you are not avoiding sugar, 2 teaspoons of honey or brown sugar.
Let that simmer while you chop up whatever herbs you are topping the soup with, in my case basil, cilantro, mint, and lime zest.
Taste the broth, and if it needs it a splash of soy or fish sauce (or coconut aminos), add it now. Place your zucchini noodles in the bowl and ladle soup over them and top with herbs.