Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato

Here I sit, MacBook in lap, absorbing my beautiful surroundings.  The bracken ferns provide a lovely setting in my backyard, as do the native huckleberry bushes.  In September I will likely spend an entire day harvesting huckleberries and perhaps have approximately three cups worth.  Just enough to make a huckleberry sauce that should be delightful on cheesecake custard.  Awe, the warmth of summer is upon us.  Of course that’s Pacific Northwest warmth, which means my house is 67 degrees and my furnace has officially been turned off until fall’s chilly days once again arrive.

Spring and fall are my two favorite seasons.  Spring is a rebirth.  You see fields of baby calves following their mothers dutifully around the barnyard.  Baby goats and sheep line the fenced pastures of the local farms.  The greenery bursts forth with such an intensity, pushing blooms outward and making spring blossom.  The beauty in spring is that everything once again is born.

Fall is beautiful in it’s own way.  It’s a time of death, or hibernation, if you will.  Fall’s beautiful colored landscape looks like an artist’s palette – a dab of orange here, a splash of red there, yellow contrasting in between.  It’s just a perfect masterpiece on an easel.

It’s ironic that my two favorite seasons are birth and death.  Yet somehow the comfort I find in both is what makes me love living in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s what always draws me home no matter where I may travel.

Last night I was inspired to once again cook Bon Appetite’sSpicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato.”  Something about the spicy curry with noodles and sweet potatoes sounded so comforting.  There are a few things I changed in the recipe.  First, I used fresh rice vermicelli noodles and I added them at the very end and didn’t pre-cook them.  They only take approximately 2-3 minutes to cook and the fresh noodles are heavenly.  I also used one red and one green jalapeno chile.  I’m also a big fan of Trader Joe’s Light Coconut milk.  While I won’t use it for baking due to the necessary coconut milk fat content required for sweets, I do use it in curries to help lighten the calorie content.

On the side I served sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes in an Asian style dressing.  (Approximately 2 large peeled sliced cucumbers, 1 large sliced tomato, 4 small sliced radishes, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt.)  If you have a hearty, whole-grain bread, it will soak up all the delicious spicy curry broth, too.

Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato

Bon Appétit  | January 2008

Recipe by Mai Pham

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons chopped shallots

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons minced lemongrass* (from bottom 4 inches of about 3 stalks, tough outer leaves discarded)

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons Thai yellow curry paste*

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)*

2 13.5- to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk,* divided

5 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)*

2 teaspoons sugar

3 cups snow peas, trimmed

2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled red-skinned sweet potato (yam; from about 1 large)

1 pound dried rice vermicelli noodles or rice stick noodles*

3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 red Thai bird chiles or 2 red jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced with seeds

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add next 4 ingredients; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste, curry powder, and chili paste. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk (scooped from thick liquid at top of can). Stir until thick and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil. Keep warm. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep chilled.

Cook snow peas in large pot of boiling salted water until bright green, about 20 seconds. Using strainer, remove peas from pot; rinse under cold water to cool. Place peas in medium bowl. Bring water in same pot back to boil. Add sweet potato and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Using strainer, remove sweet potato from pot and rinse under cold water to cool. Place in small bowl. Bring water in same pot back to boil and cook noodles until just tender but still firm to bite, about 6 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water to cool. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Bring broth to simmer. Add chicken; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add sweet potato; stir to heat through, about 1 minute. Heat noodles in microwave in 30-second intervals to rewarm. Cut noodles with scissors if too long. Divide noodles among bowls. Divide snow peas and hot soup among bowls. Scatter red onion, green onions, cilantro, and chiles over soup. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

*Available at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores and Asian markets, and online from adrianascaravan.com.

Full credit for this recipe is given to Bon Appétit.  Click here for more information.


3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato (cowtalesbyacowgirlcook.wordpress.com) […]


  2. […] Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato (cowtalesbyacowgirlcook.wordpress.com) […]


  3. […] Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato (cowtalesbyacowgirlcook.wordpress.com) […]


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