Tales from Rivvy’s kitchen – spicy chicken and coconut soup.
Despite the title, this is NOT a sweet soup. It’s very rich and savoury and full of pleasant warmth. When I first tried this, I made it with red lentils and it wasn’t anywhere near as nice – the lentils seemed to deaden the flavour somewhat. You can add lentils at the initial stage if you like, but be aware that it will change the texture and flavour significantly.
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2tbsp – 4tbsp (heaped) madras curry paste (to taste)
4 large or 6 small carrots, grated
2 pints chicken stock
1 tin chopped plum tomatoes
2 tsp tomato puree
6 nuggets frozen spinach
0.5 cup dessicated coconut
Small tin or half a carton of coconut cream
1.5 cups chopped, cooked chicken
Seasoning (to taste)
Juice of half a lime (optional)
Fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan until starting to soften.
Add the madras curry paste and fry gently for a couple of minutes.
Add the grated carrot to the pan and stir until it’s well coated in the curry paste.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 mins until the carrots are cooked.
CAREFULLY, using a handheld or countertop blender, blend the soup until smooth.
Add all the other ingredients – chicken, coconut, coconut cream, tomatoes, tomato puree and frozen spinach – and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has thawed and dispersed throughout the soup.
Season to taste. At this stage, I wanted the soup a little sharper, so I squeezed a lime into it. What can I say, I like the top notes 😉 My housemate prefers it without though, so it’s personal taste. You don’t have to add it.
If you wanted this soup to be sweeter, there are a couple of things you could try. You could add a sweet vegetable at the start along with, or in place of, the carrot, such as sweet potato or butternut squash. Parsnip might even work. You could replace some of the stock with a can of coconut milk. You could change the chicken for prawns or white crab meat, which have a slightly sweeter flavour. If you have a garam masala that’s heavy on the sweet spices (cinnamon, clove, ginger) you could stir a couple of teaspoons through close to the end of cooking. The other option is to change your base spice paste. I use madras because it’s what we have in the fridge, but you could try and find a sweeter paste, such as for a korma or pasanda. These are heavily coconut/almond based to start with, so they’ll blend well.
This soup is bursting with flavour so if you’re serving it with bread, I would respectfully suggest a plain one. You don’t want to overload your palate!