Brrrrrrrrr. It’s bitter cold out there. February in Northern California has been a mix of rain, snow, wind and dull gray skies. No wonder so many critters hibernate in the winter months! Everything seems to slow down and go inward. It’s a dormant time that’s essential in nature’s cycle of renewal. As I stare out my window and listen to the rain pelt against the house, all I want to do is curl up in a down comforter and sip something warm, energizing, and deeply satisfying.
Whether you’re tucked safely inside, or coming home from braving the extremes beyond your door, a big pot of nourishing soup is a saving grace. Soup is the antidote to cabin fever in winter’s extreme grip. I find solace in the slow, deliberate alchemy of soup making. Stirring the pot stirs some ancestral part of me that wants to find simple comforts.
As I ladle the steaming broth into a bowl, inhaling the aromas and feeling the warmth seep through my hands, my soul sighs. And smiles. I am reminded once again that little joys make life sweet.
One of my favorite one-pot winter meals is this recipe for Thai Chicken & Vegetable Soup. Bold and flavorful with a spicy kick (that you can adjust to your liking), it’s brimming with seasonal veggies, fresh herbs, roast chicken, and rice noodles that give added body to the broth. It’s also dairy free, gluten-free, and can easily be made vegetarian/vegan friendly by omitting the chicken and substituting vegetable broth!
I promise it will give you a lift, and warm the cockles of your heart as we wait for spring!
THAI CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP (serves 4-6)
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable recipe: Farminista’s Thai Chicken Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated fine
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 roasted chicken breasts, diced
- 1 bunch baby bok choy, rinsed & cut cross wise into thin wedges
- 4 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
- 1 13 oz. can coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- rice noodles
- siracha or jalapeño hot sauce (to taste)
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- fresh lime, cut in (6) wedges
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- fresh watermelon radish, grated fine
- In a large pot, warm oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and Thai curry paste. Sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Add sliced bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy to the pot along with (1/2) cup broth of choice. Continue sautéing for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add diced roasted chicken, and the remaining 3 1/2 cups broth. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Taste and add extra fish sauce as desired. Heat to boiling, then reduce to low simmer.
- In a separate pot, heat water to boiling. Add rice noodles and cook according to package directions. (hint: cook just enough noodles for each desired serving. Don’t put noodles in left-over soup, as they will absorb a lot of the broth!).
- To serve, put a serving of cooked rice noodles into each bowl, and ladle warm soup over the top. Season with a few drops hot sauce of choice for extra kick. Garnish with slivers of fresh red onion, cilantro, grated watermelon radish (*look for these at your local farmers market), and a wedge of fresh lime.
Add a side salad of mixed greens and enjoy!