Chicken soup has global appeal in its reputation for sick-day comfort and there is a multitude of recipes – from clear broths, to noodly nibbles to spicy and seductive spoonfuls.
Our recipe for an Asian-inspired chicken soup combines typical flavours such as lime, curry, ginger, garlic and then of course coconut milk. As a product of the coconut, classed as a fruit and confused for a nut, the uncertainty about coconut milk is no surprise! Creamed coconut and coconut milk comes from the white flesh of the coconut that is grated and soaked in water. The cream is skimmed off from the top and the remaining liquid is extracted as the milk. It makes for a great alternative to dairy in most recipes.
Did you know: Coconut (Cocos nucifera) got its name from Spanish explorers naming them cocos – meaning ‘grinning face’, because of the three little eyes on the base which they thought resembled a monkey.
Recipe: Chicken, Butternut and Coconut Soup
1 whole chicken
water to cover, with a pinch of salt
1 onion, chopped
8 lime leaves
3 cloves garlic, grated
5 cm piece ginger, grated
1 butternut, peeled and diced
1 tbsp vegetable/coconut oil
1½ tsp red curry paste
2 tins coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce or salt to taste
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp palm sugar
coriander for garnish
2 cups cooked rice noodles
Place the chicken in a pot and cover with cold water. Add salt.
Add the onion, lime leaves, garlic and ginger to the pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, skimming the foam on the surface of the simmering pot regularly.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and pick the meat off the bones, discarding the bones. Keep the skins, chop them fine and mix with the chicken. Place the diced butternut into the chicken broth and cook until tender.
Heat the vegetable/coconut oil in a wok on the stove. Once hot, fry the red curry paste until fragrant. Add the picked chicken meat to the wok along with the 800 ml coconut milk. Bring to the boil.
Add the chicken broth with the butternut to the wok and bring to the boil again.
Now add the fish sauce, lime zest/juice and palm sugar. Stir through and finish by adding the noodles to the soup.
Garnish with coriander and serve with a classic wine – the unwooded Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay.
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