Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Improvised Thai Chicken Soup, Or "Dump Food In A Pot And Cook It"

Lime and coconut were meant to be together. 

I mean, there's a whole song about them! That's fate!

Like peanut butter and jelly (a Paleo nyet-nyet), hot dogs and ketchup (another Paleo nein-nein), pizza and beer (do you see a "Paleo no-no" pattern here?), they are tastes that just fit together so well, one wonders how anything could keep them apart. Unlike the afore-mentioned pairings (anything with a strict double "no" after it), this is Paleo-friendly.

Beware: this was me cooking, tasting as I went, adding what I liked, with no strict measurements and no set outcome expected. I needed to clear my head by focusing on one task for an hour, and this was it (with a yummy result). This is really how I like cooking, though. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of this process; I cooked this soup during a voluntary and somewhat necessary Communication/Technology Blackout, needing some time free from screens and chatter. I will make this soup again, though, so an update filled with pictures may be in order.


  • 1 pound of chicken breasts
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 cans coconut milk, full fat (like I need to say that)
  • a buttload of spices
    • chili sauce
    • lime juice (duh)
    • freshly chopped garlic
    • dried onion flakes
    • tarragon
    • cilantro
    • curry powder
    • cumin
    • turmeric
    • cinnamon
  • cooking fat for chicken (I used bacon fat)
  • Silk Coconut Milk, Original (for sweet potato puree)
  • walnuts (for garnish)
Directions-- They're Kinda Annoying:

  1. Heat large skillet with a little cooking fat (in my case, bacon fat, but since this is a Thai-inspired soup, ghee wouldn't be totally out of line, nor would coconut oil...)
  2. Once sizzling hot, add your chicken
  3. Cover with curry powder, cinnamon, and lime juice
  4. Once cooked, remove from skillet and pull apart. Keep the shredded chicken on separate plate until you're ready to add it to your soup
Sweet Potato Puree:
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Skin and cube sweet potato
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender
  4. Take half of the cubes throw into your blender, and add--
    1. generous splash of coconut milk
    2. garlic
    3. cinnamon
    4. lime juice
    5. dash of chili sauce
    6. curry powder
    7. *optional-- chicken broth or stock if you want your soup to be thinner... I didn't...
  5. Blend together until it's a nice, thick consistency-- it should be a gorgeous orange color when you're done
  6. Cover other half of sweet potato cubes with curry and wait to add to soup
Soup-- Put It All Together:
  1. Slowly heat two cans of coconut milk-- no frothing or burning
  2. Add as much of each spice as you prefer-- I wanted sweet with a touch of kick-you-in-the-face spicy, so I went heavy with the lime, curry, and chili sauce
  3. Add sweet potato puree and mix thoroughly-- color of your soup should be a light orange from the sweet potato and the chili sauce and the curry and the turmeric
  4. Add remainder of sweet potato cubes-- if you need to, cut these down to whatever bite-size you like
  5. Add shredded chicken and reduce heat to "low"
  6. Let simmer for a while, stirring occasionally
  7. Once everything has warmed and blended perfectly, turn off heat, fill your bowl with sweet deliciousness, garnish with a handful of walnuts for extra crunch, and enjoy!
Next time I make this, I'll actually head to the market before I start cooking instead of raiding whatever I had in my fridge and cupboards. I'll be sure to add more veggies to it, like baby spinach, mushrooms, and possibly some carrots. I love having nuts with soup for additional textures, so pine nuts may make an appearance too.
I used the brand on the left-- mmmmm
Pay attention to the label-- avoid sugar, soy, and MSG!!

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