Tuesday 30 January 2018

Madhouse recipe : Spicy Chicken & Coconut Soup

When we were in Norway on a teacher exchange at the start of January, we all went to the home of one of our colleagues for dinner. They eat really early so we were invited over at 4.30pm (which kind of makes sense, because that was when night fell and our exploration of the local area had to stop). She made us laugh because, when we arrived, she said :"OK, I've been at work all day and haven't had time to get anything ready. So here (showing the central island in the kitchen) are all the ingredients, the drinks, the plates and cutlery and some bunches of flowers. There are twelve of us. Get into groups - three of you are making the main meal, three of you are cooking dessert, three can set the table and sort out the flowers, two can be in charge of music/entertainment and one can be in charge of keeping everyone's glass topped up all evening" ! We were all a bit taken aback, but it was actually great fun, especially as she'd translated the recipes from Norwegian with Google Translate so some of it made no sense at all ! This dish is based on the soup that we ate, with the addition of some extra leeks (although I was in Team Dessert so I never saw the original recipe !). She had bought purple, orange, white and yellow carrots to make it look prettier too.

Spicy Chicken & Coconut Soup

ingredients :

drizzle of olive oil
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 leeks
3 carrots
4 chicken breasts
2 chicken stock cubes
20cl coconut milk
salt, pepper
1tsp cumin
1 tsp powdered lemongrass (or you could use fresh)
1 dried chilli

The prep is the only thing that takes any time or effort. Start by finely chopping all the veggies and chopping the chicken into smallish chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the chicken and garlic until it is almost completely white but not at all brown. Don't worry if it's not completely cooked as it will finish cooking in the hot broth.

Add the leeks, carrots and onions and stir fry for a few minutes until they start to soften.

Cover with boiling water, crumble in the stock cubes and add the coconut milk. Drop in the whole chilli.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the seasoning and spices. I also added a splash of fish sauce for a richer flavour. Once the chicken is perfectly cooked and the leeks have gone soft (but not too mushy), it's ready to serve. I left mine to simmer for about 15-20 minutes on a gentle heat.

It's creamy but not overly heavy, with a lovely fresh taste of chicken and vegetables and a spicy kick from the chilli. It made a lovely change to my usual chicken soup using up the leftovers after the Sunday roast.


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely time, even with a bossy I mean organised host lol, the soup looks really creamy and filling, I saw rainbow carrots in Sainsburys this week for the 1st time too xx

    1. We were surprised initially but it was actually really good fun !

  2. Your host sounds, ahem, a tad opportunistic. Inviting 12 people over and expecting them to cook is rather cheeky. The soup is delicious, I love coconut-based soups, they are proper comfort food. And now I want some coconut chicken soup too.


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