The days are cold, dark and frankly rather miserable. This one pot chicken Thai noodle soup is the perfect antidote to this weather, to cold toes (why do I have cold toes right now when I have two pairs of socks on and a decent pair of warm shoes?) and to the greyest month of the year. At times like these we need bright colours, bold flavours and quick meals, so we can treat our taste buds, perk up our souls and get back in front of the fire/on top of the radiator.
This one pot chicken Thai noodle soup has all these things. Turmeric and coriander bring bright colours. Ginger and chilli give bold flavours. Even though this recipe requires making the spice paste from scratch, you can be eating this one pot chicken Thai noodle soup in 25 minutes.
I have a slightly love-hate thing with Thai food. I love the flavours, the colours, and just how different it is to traditional British food. But when I see a list of ingredients as long as my arm, I have to work a bit to maintain enthusiasm. Sound familiar? Stay with me here, stay with me. This one pot chicken Thai noodle soup is worth the list of ingredients. Once you have the ingredients you have done most of the hard work. Chuck the ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander, lemon grass, spices and oil into the food processor. This is a perfect recipe for one of those mini food processors which I don’t have, so I use my big one and it works just as well. The food processor makes a paste for you. That’s the hard work done. You fry this paste up then add the coconut milk, hot water, a Knorr Stock Pot, noodles, then the green veg and chicken and that’s it. Now you just have to serve it up. Easy, easy, easy!
This dish is based on Nigel Slater’s Simple Thai Noodle Soup, but I’ve removed the prawns and added shredded roasted chicken and lots of green veg. After recent indulgences, green veg feels like it needs to feature over the next few weeks. I’ve also made a few other changes – coriander seeds have become ground coriander because I’m too lazy to grind the coriander seeds properly and so end up with shells of coriander in my teeth! ‘Some vegetable stock’ has become 300 ml of hot water and a Knorr Chicken Stock Pot because I like the boost of flavour this gives the dish.
In my recipe the noodles are cooked in the stock and coconut milk, rather than separately, and this means
· The starch released from the noodles gently thickens the coconut soupy sauce and I love a slightly thickened sauce.
· There is one less pot to wash.
A winner all round I hear you say!
If you haven’t used Knorr Stock Pots before, they are the new revolution in stock. They come as a jelly, not as powder and dissolve as a jelly would. Which means you can add them without dissolving them first. Why do I like them? Well they are easy to use and in this One pot chicken Thai noodle soup, they add a background depth of flavour that would otherwise be missing. They give the foundations of flavour on which you can then build your stunning Thai palace of chicken noodle soup with the ginger, lemon grass, and chilli.
What you end up creating is a bowl of steaming hot deliciousness. It’s going to give your tastebuds such a treat with all those punchy flavours. It’s going to light up your eyes with it’s beautiful colour. And it’s going to do all those things in 25 minutes. Who can argue with that, 25 minutes to a delicious bowl of this.
A word on variations with this recipe.
· Lets start with the noodles. Frankly, you can use any noodle you want. Nigel goes for rice, I prefer egg, but you could use udon or buckwheat or whatever floats your fancy. Just add to the soup and cook for the number of minutes specified on the packed.
· Chicken or, let’s be straight, any protein. Prawns, beef, even tofu would work. Or you could skip the meat and just add more veg.
· Vegetables. I like green beans and spinach, but you could also add sliced pepper, bean sprouts, thinly sliced carrot or broccoli.
· Spice – I use 1 chilli and that gives enough spice for me, Dave prefers 2. Increase or decrease as you like.
January is a tough month; it feels like it’s so long until Spring will come, until warmer days and hot sun. Until light salads and outdoor eating. This one pot chicken Thai noodle soup is a great way to treat yourself and not let the January blues rein.
One pot chicken Thai noodle soup
This noodle soup needs to be made in a smallish saucepan, so the coconut milk and hot water is deep enough to cover the noodles and beans.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 40g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 sticks of lemon grass, the tough outer leaves removed, roughly chopped
- 1-2 red chillis, seeds removed, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
- 20g fresh coriander
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
- 300ml hot water
- 400ml coconut milk – or light coconut milk
- 2 portions of egg noodles
- 150g (about 3 thighs) roasted and torn up chicken – I prefer thigh meat, but breast would work too
- 130g green beans, top and tailed
- 100g spinach
- Thai fish sauce to serve, optional.
- Put the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli, oil, 15g of the fresh coriander, ground coriander and turmeric into a food processor and blitz until a paste has formed.
- Heat a saucepan and fry the paste for 4 minutes over a hot heat, stirring as it cooks.
- Add the hot water, stock pot, coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add in the noodles and cook for the time specified on the packet. Add the chicken, green beans, spinach, 3 minutes before the noodles are finished.
- Check the noodles are cooked and spoon into bowls. Scatter with the remaining 5g of coriander and serve. Add Thai fish sauce at the table to taste.