It’s one of those blah summer / late spring days, the temperature has dropped considerably much to my dismay, it’s overcast, and every now and then heavy rain sets in. It’s perfect cuddle weather actually, but the only ones around I could cuddle have got tuna breath. But it’s also great soup weather, and since I’ve been lagging on the recipes lately, here’s something to start catching up with:
For 6 to 8 servings you’ll need:
3 chicken breast filets (about 200 grammes each)
a little oil for frying
about 1.5 litres of chicken bouillon
juice of one lemon
400 millilitres of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of finely chopped mixed herbs & spices such as parsley, garlic, ginger, coriander, green pepper, lemon grass, spring onions, curry leaves, and Chinese chives (You can get / grow larger quantities of the herbs and dry them by tying the stems together with a rubber band and then hanging them up. Crumble when dry into spice storage containers.)
3 tablespoons of finely cut chilli peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favourite curry mix
1/2 a tablespoon of curcuma (a cheaper alternative to saffron for adding colour – to your clothes as well, so be careful)
3 medium-sized carrots; peeled and finely diced
1 medium-sized jar of mung bean sprouts (approximately 200 grammes net weight)
approximately 125 grammes of short wok noodles (or break long ones into spoon-size bits) that don’t need pre-boiling
Heat some oil in the wok (a large pot will also do, but quality woks not only look great but also distribute the heat differently, which will save you a lot of time). Rinse and dry the chicken breast filets and fry from all sides (this will keep them juicy but will also prevent the meat from getting soggy later). Add the chicken bouillon and bring to the boil. Add lemon juice, and let the broth simmer on low heat for about thirty minutes with lid on the wok. (If the bouillon boils down, add some water to keep the meat covered.) Remove the filets from the broth. Add coconut milk, stir in spices, herbs, and carrots, and bring to the boil. Cut the chicken breast filets into bite-size pieces. Strain and add mung bean sprouts to the soup, then the meat. Stir in wok noodles and let the soup simmer on low heat for another four to five minutes.
The soup looks great served in the wok, and the colours are more intense than in the picture. You can also prepare the soup hours ahead, but I recommend only adding the noodles when you re-heat the soup so they won’t get too soft.