02 November 2011

This is a really tasty soup that I discovered last year.  It is not to be confused with my Thai Chicken Soup; although their names are similar, they are very different soups.  This one is creamier and has peanut butter in it.  It's like a Thai-flavored version of American chicken noodle soup.  I got it from the cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble.  Here's my adaptation.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½” pieces (3 cutlets)
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp Bangkok seasoning
4 cups chicken broth
¾ cup light unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups thin egg noodles
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the carrot and cook until slightly softened.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until it is a light golden color.  Add the chicken, turmeric, and Bangkok and stir fry it for 3 to 4 more minutes.

Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, and noodles.  Bring to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the sugar and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.

I made a few changes from the original recipe.  The Bangkok Seasoning (which is a Thai seasoning from Penzey's) used to be cayenne pepper, so if you don't have a Thai seasoning, you can use that instead.  Made with the Bangkok seasoning, the soup isn't spicy at all, so if you like things spicy, add some cayenne anyway.  The carrots were my addition; after I made it the first time, I felt like it needed a little color and since carrots are a staple in regular chicken noodle soup, that was kind a no-brainer.  I also increased the amount of peanut butter, because we couldn't really taste it the first time I made it.

The nice thing about this soup is that there is an easy shortcut way to make it.  The last time I made it (last weekend) I made it this way and it turned out great.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup (Shortcut Preparation)

Steam 1½ cups matchstick carrots in the microwave for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, combine 2 cups cooked chicken (diced or shredded), ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp Bangkok seasoning (or cayenne), 4 cups chicken broth, ¾ cup light unsweetened coconut milk, and ½ cup creamy peanut butter, 2 cups thin egg noodles, and 1 tbsp sugar.  When carrots are done, drain well and add to the soup pot.  Give everything a good stir to incorporate the peanut butter and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 5-15 minutes, until noodles are done.  Ladle into bowls and top with chopped cilantro.

Makes 6 servings.

Super easy and really pretty fast.  This method can get your soup on the table in under 20 minutes.  You can use any kind of noodle you like, just remember that the thinner the noodle, the quicker it will cook.  The soup in the picture above contains "fine egg noodles", and those were done in 5 minutes.

This is a great recipe to have on hand for busy weeknights.  

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