Mushrooms and chicken (seitan) swim in the rich, creamy, coconut-based broth infused with lemon grass and lime. Red curry paste and chiles add a pleasant spiciness.
The first time we made the soup, we followed the recipe to a tee, with the exception of substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth, seitan for chicken, and soy sauce for fish sauce to make the dish vegetarian.
The second time, we added thin rice noodles to the soup for bulk.
The third time, we added rice. We also substituted low-fat coconut milk for whole coconut milk, and green curry paste for red curry paste.
I liked the addition of rice the best. Low-fat coconut milk is obviously not as rich as whole coconut milk, but does not compromise the soup. Pick your favorite curry paste. I have no preference for green or red curry paste, so enjoyed them both equally.
Thai-Style Chicken Soup
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 lemon grass stalks, bottom tender 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
3 shallots, chopped
8 sprigs of cilantro, chopped coarsely
3 tablespoons soy sauce (originally fish sauce)
4 cups vegetable broth (originally chicken broth)
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
½ pound button mushrooms, sliced
1 pound seitan, sliced or cubed (originally boneless, skinless chicken breast)
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
2 scallion, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
- Heat oil in a large saucepan and add lemon grass, shallots, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook over medium heat until softened, 2-5 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and 1 can of coconut milk; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids. Return broth to saucepan.
- Add remaining can of coconut milk and sugar to broth and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add seitan, and cook for another 1-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Combine lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a small bowl; add to soup.
- Garnish individual soup-filled bowls with cilantro, chiles, and scallions. Serve soup with lime wedges.