I was at my local, neighbourhood coffee shop recently and enjoyed a bowl of a soup that was called “Wicked Thai”. I enjoyed it so much that I came home and started looking for a recipe on the internet. I quickly discovered that Campbell’s™ had produced a similar soup at one point (and maybe still does). That didn’t help me much though, since I wasn’t really interested in buying a can, even if I could find it. I was still determined to try to recreate it at home so I started experimenting.
I cooked it up tonight and while it wasn’t identical to the coffee shop version, it was really darned good, so I thought I’d share it here. If you happen to have left-over chicken and cooked rice, this soup could be made lickety-split! If not, it’s still an easy soup to cook up for when the days start getting cooler.
This soup doesn’t have a super thick broth, but it does have a wonderful, creamy texture that is full of Thai flavour. It has all the comfort of classic chicken and rice soup with a new, tasty twist. Of course, if you prefer it thicker, just mix a bit more cornstarch with water, add to the soup and heat to thicken more. I also learned that I prefer my mushrooms well cooked and browned before adding the broth, so I’ve reflected that in the recipe below by cooking the mushrooms separately first. If you don’t have similar mushroom issues, feel free to just cook them along with the onions and peppers.
Wicked Thai Chicken Soup
Summary: This soup has all the comfort of chicken and rice soup with a Thai twist with coconut milk and Thai curry spice.
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (a standard size tray package)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into small dice
- 2 Tbsp. Gourmet Garden™ Lemon Grass herb paste (the stuff in the tube or the real thing, if you can find it)
- 1 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup half and half (10%) cream
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp. red curry paste
- 1 1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili paste (or Sriracha, as an alternative but you may need less)
- 2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 cups cooked rice (long grain white or brown rice or try a mix of long grain with wild rice for some added texture)
- Fresh cilantro, parsley or basil leaves shredded for garnish
- Cook rice and set aside (or use left-over cooked rice).
- Heat large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook until golden and tender. Remove to a plate. In same pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat. Add onion, red pepper, and saute just until softened. Return mushrooms to pot. Add broth and chicken and heat through. Add lemon grass paste, fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Add cream and coconut milk, turn heat to low, then cover and simmer 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add curry paste, Sambal Oelek, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp. water and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Stir into soup until combined and heat until soup simmers, thickens very slightly and has a velvety appearance. Add cooked rice, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (You can also add more curry paste, tomato paste and/or Sambal Oelek to taste at this point, as well).
- Pour soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, parsley or basil leaves and serve with additional Sambal Oelek for those who prefer a hotter soup.
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 4