Thursday, February 05, 2009

Soup for Sunday Supper Club

Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken
A few weeks ago, I hosted our monthly Supper Club on a Sunday evening with the theme "Soup and Salad." It was one of my favorite supper club meals in recent memory, with three soups, a mussel stew, two salads, and three desserts - all absolutely delicious. I made this soup after seeing the recipe in the NY Times. It just really appealed to me - spicy, warming, and rich with the coconut milk - but with that spark of fresh herbs on the top. It's also easy, and fairly quick - fast enough to make on a weeknight assuming you have all the ingredients.
Supper Club
As I was making it, I realized it's very close to a Curried Mushroom Soup that I used to make a long time ago. That got me thinking about other things that used to be in my repertoire that I never make anymore - some of them with good reason - but others have been neglected unfairly. Like the handmade Caesar salad I used to make by mashing the anchovies and whisking them with garlic, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, olive oil and mustard, and the slow cooked caramelized onions I used to make as a side dish. I really need to dig those out. I don't think I'll be forgetting this soup again anytime soon though.
Spicy Curry Noodle Soup
Spicy Curry Mee (Noodle Soup)
adapted from the New York Times

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced cilantro stems or lemongrass
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal, more for serving
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast meat, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size pieces (I used cooked chicken and added it last minute)
4 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder, preferably Malaysian, Thai or Vietnamese
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cans (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (light is fine)
3/4 cup half-and-half
8-10 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar, more to taste (or agave nectar)
12 ounces dried thin rice noodles (bun or vermicelli)
Salt to taste
2 cups bean sprouts
8 tablespoons chopped cilantro
8 tablespoons torn mint sprigs
4-6 scallions, cut into thin rings
4-6 shallots, thinly sliced and deep fried in vegetable oil until brown (optional)*
Quartered limes for serving.

1. Heat oil and a little broth in a large (8 qt) stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and lemon grass and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic and chili paste and stirfry until coated and fragrant. Raise heat, add chicken and stir-fry one minute. (I skipped this b/c my chicken was already cooked.) Add curry powder and paprika and stir to coat. Then add coconut milk, half-and-half, chicken stock, turmeric, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles in boiling water according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Rinse and drain.
3. Taste broth and adjust seasonings with salt and sugar. Divide noodles into large soup bowls. Bring broth to a boil, then ladle over noodles. Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, scallions and fried shallots. Pass limes and sambal at the table.

*You might be tempted to skip the fried shallots because they're a hassle, but they're really, really good. They took a little longer than I thought they would - so I'd suggest making them a little ahead of time.

Yield: 4 main-course servings.

More soup recipes coming up!

Special thanks to my friend and guest photographer Angie!


8 comments:

  1. That soup was really, really good. Wish I had a bowl right now.

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  2. that soup lives amazing -- i love curry...man i wish i was your neighbor.

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  3. curry soup is to die for and this one looks like it wouldn't disappoint. there is a great ethnic marketplace in st paul, MN that serves wonderful curry soup. must go back soon...

    cheers,

    *heather*

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  4. Great recipe + picture.
    PPQ on Irving in the Inner Sunset serves the best curry noodle.

    Great for foggy days.
    The trick is not to overpower with too much pungent fish sauce.

    Keep writing!

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  5. I can't wait to try this!

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  6. I absolutely love curry in soup - so delicious. Another one of my personal favorite curry soup recipes is this Red Pepper and Coconut Soup. It's incredibly simple and can be served either hot or cold. Enjoy!

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  7. I made this soup for sunday dimmer a few weeks ago. It was delicious. It was even better the next day after the flavours had time to mellow and marry. Wonderful!

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