I wanted to make some chicken soup, but also wanted something a bit different than the usual, and very good, traditional flavour. So I thought about what I had in the fridge, and what I felt like, and ginger came to mind. A bit of red curry paste paired with the ginger made for a soup that was comforting and spicy and oh, so warming. I've made it again and like it even more.
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
2 T minced fresh ginger
2 leeks, sliced (white part and a bit of the green)
1 can coconut milk
4 cups chicken broth (homemade, or low-sodium)
1 sweet red pepper, diced
5 baby bok choy, sliced (white and green parts)
2 carrots, diced
1-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
2 T fish sauce
1 T brown sugar
1-2 T lime juice
2 T fresh basil
Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the red curry paste. Stir until fragrant and the oil is colored. Add the ginger and stir for about 1 minute. Add the leeks and continue stirring just until barely softening. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, sweet red pepper, and carrots and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until the carrots are almost tender, 15 - 20 minutes. Add the chicken and the bok choy. Simmer another 5 - 10 minutes.
Stir in the fish sauce, the brown sugar, the lime juice and the fresh basil. Taste the soup. There should be a nice balance of sweet, salty, and sour. Adjust the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar if needed.
Enjoy the fragrance and the taste - both are wonderful!
This is a very forgiving recipe - if you don't have leeks, use onions. No bok choy? Try kale or spinach.