Chicken, rice and mushrooms in a lightly creamy and Thai red curry broth. Delicious chicken and rice soup!
This Thai chicken soup is one I have been enjoying for years. Its hearty and flavourful, featuring wonderful Thai flavours, which are a favourite of mine. With the chicken and rice, it's also hearty enough to satisfy as a dinner soup.
This soup starts with cooked chicken and cooked rice, so needless to say, if you happen to have either of those in your fridge as leftovers, you are ahead of the game. Even if you don't, the soup comes together quickly. I usually make the rice ahead and refrigerate, then make the soup quickly at dinner time. If I don't have cooked chicken already, I simply dice up a chicken breast and quickly cook it up in a skillet as I start the soup.
Chicken - I generally use boneless chicken breasts, though boneless chicken thighs are fine here, too. Left-over cooked chicken is ideal, as you can skip the step of cooking the chicken ahead.
Mushrooms - Regular white or cremini mushrooms are best here.
Red Bell Pepper - use fresh if you have it. Jarred roasted red peppers will also work here.
Fish Sauce - ideal if you have it. If not, you can substitute soy sauce.
Worcestershire Sauce - again, ideal if you have it. If not, simply add another splash of soy sauce.
Half and Half Cream - this is 10% b.f. cream. You can substitute milk, but your soup will be less creamy. For a non-dairy soup, replace the cream with more coconut milk.
Coconut Milk - I like to use regular coconut milk for the creaminess and thickness, but lite will work here as well.
Thai Red Curry Paste - I prefer red curry paste in this soup. If you only have green or yellow, you can use, though the flavour profile will be a bit different.
Sambal Oelek - this is the spicy Asian Chili sauce. It packs a punch, so use to taste or omit if you don't want any heat. Asian Chili Garlic Sauce is a good substitute or even Sriracha.
Rice - Any cooked rice is fine here. I prefer a classic long-grain rice, but Basmati, brown rice or a wild-rice mix would also work.
For thickening - cornstarch or arrowroot starch, mixed with water
- One important note about this soup! You don't want to combine the soup with the rice until right before you will be eating it. If you're cooking rice at the same time you are making the soup, simply spoon some warm rice into a bowl and spoon the hot soup overtop. If you are starting with leftover rice, simply warm slightly before adding to bowl and spooning the hot soup over top.
- Likewise, if you have leftover soup and rice, refrigerate separately. To reheat, you can add the rice to the soup to reheat, as long as you will be consuming right away.
- The reason for this? The rice soaks up the soup as it sits, resulting in a bowl of rice instead of a bowl of soup.
- Start with leftover cooked chicken (or chicken from a rotisserie chicken) and/or leftover cooked rice to make this soup even more quickly!
Change it Up! Use Asian noodles instead of rice. Simply soak/cook any Asian noodle and add some to the bowl before spooning over the hot soup.
Wicked Thai Chicken Soup
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (sliced into thin 2-inch strips)
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms (sliced, (a standard 8 oz. size tray package))
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 large chicken breast (cooked, then diced or cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup half and half (10%) cream (or use 1 cup more coconut milk instead)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (1 small can or if using a large can stir coconut milk first, then measure out)
- 2 tsp red curry paste
- 1 tsp Sambal Oelek chili paste (or Asian Garlic Chili Paste/Sriracha as an alternative but you may need less)
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups cooked rice (long grain white, basmati or brown rice or try a mix of long grain with wild rice for some added texture)
- leaves Fresh cilantro (parsley or basil shredded for garnish)
- Start rice cooking. If cooking chicken, cut in half lengthwise to make thinner pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Remove to cool slightly, then dice. Set aside.
- Heat large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook until golden and tender. Remove to a plate. In the same pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat. Add onion and red pepper, and saute just until softened. Return mushrooms to pot. Add broth and cooked chicken and heat through. Add fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Add cream and coconut milk, turn heat to low, then cover and simmer 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine curry paste, Sambal Oelek, tomato paste and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Stir into soup until combined and heat until soup simmers, thickens slightly and has a velvety appearance. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
- To serve, spoon some hot rice into a bowl, then spoon hot soup over-top. Serve immediately garnished with cilantro, parsley or basil leaves.
- Store any leftover rice and soup separately, as the rice will soak up all the soup broth if store together.