Thai Chicken Soup

I think winter finally caught up with me a few weeks ago. After months of cycling to and back from work at minus temperatures, my body decided it had enough of the cold. As it was a really bad time to get ill, I did the only obvious thing: I boiled some chicken.

Now, I’m happy to admit that I love plain chicken broth, with some rice thrown in and a good squeeze of lemon. It’s what I always ate as a kid when I was ill and it is the first thing I turn to when I start feeling a bit fragile. But apparently*, it’s rubbish. Boring. Greasy. Tasteless.

And therefore, I’ve discovered this spicier, more sophisticated and grown-up version of it. It tastes good and it might even be better for you because of all the green things in it.

Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

500gr chicken (if using legs/thighs, remove the skin)
2 litres hot water

2 aubergines, cut in chunks
2 red chillies, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small piece of ginger, minced (about 1cm squared)
1-2 tsp thai green paste

juice and zest of one large lime
2 tbsp thai fish sauce
400ml coconut milk
a large handful of kale

300gr rice noodles
chopped fresh coriander (to serve)
lime wedges (to serve)

First, quickly brown the chicken pieces in a pan and then add the hot water and let it cook for about 1-2 hours to make the stock. Alternatively, you can use leftover chicken meat and ready-made stock. But where’s the fun in that.

In some olive/vegetable oil, brown the aubergines and add the chopped chillies, garlic, ginger and thai paste. Fry for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Shred the chicken and add it to the pan together with the stock, the juice and zest of lime and the fish sauce and cook for 20 minutes, or until the aubergines are tender.

Add the coconut milk, simmer for 5-10 minutes and then add the kale and simmer until cooked. Check for seasoning and add more fish sauce if necessary.

Prepare the rice noodles according to the instructions. To serve, put some noodles in a deep bowl, ladle in some of the broth making sure everyone gets a nice amount of chicken and vegetables (I fight for those aubergine pieces!) and top it with chopped coriander. Serve with lime wedges.

*”apparently” = “according to the boyfriend”.

Yoghurt pots

I haven’t blogged in a month.

It’s been pretty busy, and I’ve been eating simple food and not really taking pictures of it. Oh, and I’ve been eating yoghurt.

I was asked by the nice people at Total whether I’d like to sample their new split pots – they are basically pots with 0% fat yoghurt and a little bit of fruit compote (strawberry, blueberry or tropical fruits) or honey on the side. I do like Total yoghurt and a bit of healthy food was welcome since I haven’t had the most balanced diet so far in 2011 – highlight of January was when I did #Meateasy and Hawksmoor in 24 hours, but that’s a different story.

About the yoghurts – in short, I like them. A lot. They are thick and creamy and, while the compote is a bit sickly sweet by itself, when mixed with the sour yoghurt it works really well. There’s bits of fruit in there and everything. They’ve been an excellent afternoon (or evening) snack while I’ve been spending most of my day in the office. Strawberry is my favourite I think.

If you compare them to their obvious competitors, they definitely come out on top. The yoghurt texture is great and you almost forget there is no fat in it. Very different to the runny, thin fat-free yoghurts you normally find. That’s the beauty of Greek yoghurt.

As a disclaimer, I was sent the pots for free, but I wasn’t asked to write anything. I do like them though and I’ll be buying some myself.