Friday, October 15, 2010

FFwD - Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup



I am not a soup maker. Soup is something that I rarely make, and is rarely something that I reach for when I am hungry, unless I am looking for a light meal. As kids, we were never enthused when Mum gave us soup - it seemed like second prize when there was nothing else on the go.

For this reason, when I saw that this week's French Fridays with Dorie pick was a soup recipe, my initial thought was, "meh". A soup comprised of 6 cups of chicken stock with some bits in was seriously not enticing me, nor was the picture of a pale broth in the book.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised once again. I dutifully made Dorie's Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup, not having any high hopes for it, and wondering what to do with the leftovers. At the start of cooking, with lots of chicken stock and not much else in the pot, I was still unconvinced. But pour in some coconut milk, poach some chicken in the broth, throw in a dash of coriander, add some noodles for body, and (in my case) some curry powder and lemongrass - and you have magic! This is a full bodied, satisfying, lightly spiced soup, and the curry powder really gave it some zing.

I have been eating this soup for dinner this week, and I have not been disappointed one night - this is definitely not a "second best" soup.

As well as making the curry and lemongrass variation suggested by Dorie, I used black peppercorns (as white seems to be a rare commodity here), I didn't wrap my coriander stems and star anise in cheesecloth ('cause it is not something that I keep in the house), used chilli powder instead of dried chillies (my supermarket doesn't stock them) and left out the coriander seeds (because I didn't have any). Also, I found it easier to shred my chicken with a fork - it is easier on the fingers (ouchy - hot!), and gives finer pieces.



To check out what everyone else thought of this soup, visit the LYL section of the
French Fridays with Dorie website.

19 comments:

natalia said...

Ciao ! I loved it too and now seeing yours I miss it !

Happy Cook said...

Here we love soup and hubby ants it always for lunch before the meal. I am sure gonna try this one, looks so so delish.

Tammy said...

pleased you liked it. Great photos. Mine looked a bit "meh"!!

jillbert said...

I shredded my chicken with a fork too - much easier! I thought about trying the curry version - I may need to do that next time. This was a nice surprise for me too!

Clivia said...

I'm glad to hear that the curry variation was tasty too. We loved this soup.

Amanda said...

Oh, this looks good and I can just about smell it!
It is 6C today, up here in the Adelaide hills and soup would really hit the spot!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

I was like you as well - soup seemed to be more of a starter or a last resort than a proper meal. I guess we've become more wise with age? Or just learnt there is more to soup than packet mixes in the back of the cupboard ;) (speaking for myself here, don't want to tarnish you with this brush!)

Tia said...

looks wonderfully creamy, hearty, wholesome and yummy! great job.
Tia

Johanna GGG said...

I love soup - could eat it every night - and in fact I often do when I don't know what to eat - What noodles did you use in the soup - I have been looking for noodle soup recipes and wondering what noodles to use

Not Quite Nigella said...

I have read so many pol loved this soup so I should really give it a try!

Sis. Boom. said...

This wasn't something I was going to be excited about either but I too was pleasantly surprised!
Trevor Sis Boom.

Mary said...

I agree...great soup.

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this soup looks so divine in this cold wheather.. wish i was eating this now. thank you for sharing this. have a nice weekend.

Mary said...

So, are you a soup addict yet? I made the 'plain' version of this soup and I loved it. It's chilly here, and winter is on its way, so perfect soup weather. Glad you liked it in the end.
:)

scrambledhenfruit said...

Beautiful soup! I was also surprised at how delicious it was! I'm going to try your curry and lemongrass version the next time I make it. (I had a difficult time finding some of the ingredients as well!)

Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

I have come to soup in my adult years with much more enthusiasm and this past winter have been gong soup crazy. I mainly have it as a lunch dish although a soup with meat in it would make a more substantial meal. This looks delicious and well done for making it with such misgivings!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

For a non soup maker , this is so so good!!
perfect!!
I didn wrap the stems in cheese cloth either , jus chopped them fine!!

chayacomfycook said...

I think, over the year, I have learned to like soups, more and more but this year, when I started making them, with a vengeance, I love them. This one is a favorite.

TeaLady said...

Have always loved soup so am looking forward to making this one. Looks good to me.
Glad you were pleasantly surprised. I love when that happens.