I came home from work one evening in a little bit of a funk. I was tired from a long day, it was cold outside, and it was one of those days where I drove both to and from work in the dark. However, all of my crankiness evaporated when I walked into the kitchen. There was a big pot of soup bubbling on the stove and the whole house smelled like a Thai restaurant tinged with lime and coconut.
Marc is a real soup nut… he would eat it everyday if I agreed to it. On this cold night he was craving something a little different, something that was a little Asian and a little Caribbean. This soup was the culmination of those cravings and as good as it smelled, it tasted even better.
There was a nice meatiness from chicken and mushrooms, sweetness from sweet potato and coconut, a little nuttiness from peanut butter, and some tang from a lime. It was a perfect balance of the different flavors and just the thing to return my mood to its normally cheerful state. So if you find yourself in need of a little cheering up, just whip a pot of this soup, inhale the savory-sweet smell, and dig in. I guarantee you will feel better immediately.
Thai-Style Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup
From the mind of Marc
2 tlbs ginger oil (if you don’t have any, substitute peanut or other neutral oil and add an additional tbls of minced fresh ginger)
1 tlbs fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
16 oz chicken stock (homemade preferred, if you don’t have any on hand make sure to use low sodium broth)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, chopped in 1″ cubes
6 oz white button mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
2 tbls fish sauce
1 – 14 oz can light coconut milk
2 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs), cooked* and chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Toasted shredded coconut**, chopped peanuts, and cilantro for garnish (optional)
Heat large soup pot with the ginger oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the ginger, garlic, and onion and cook until softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato, mushrooms, and fish sauce. Pour in the chicken stock and add water (if needed) to barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour.
Add in the chopped chicken, lime zest, lime juice, peanut butter, shredded coconut, and coconut milk. Continue to simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot garnished with toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, and fresh cilantro. Serves 4-6 as a main course.
* We brined our chicken overnight prior to oven roasting. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, it does add a lot of nice flavor to the chicken.
** To toast shredded coconut, place coconut on a foil lined baking sheet. Place in a 325 degree oven until browned and toasty, 8-10 minutes. A toaster oven works well for this.