Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kick Ass Soup!

One thing I am fast learning on this weight-loss journey, is that Asian food is a wonderful source of good-tasting, nourishing dishes.  So far this past ten days I have made, Vietnamese Pho, Thai Khao Phat Gai and tonight's dinner is Thai-style Chicken Noodle Soup.

6 cups good-tasting chicken broth (add bones if you have leftover roast chicken or turkey) 90 calories
1-2 fresh chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into small pieces, 
OR 1-2 cups leftover roast chicken (or turkey) 550 calories for boneless/skinless chicken breast meat raw
1 stalk lemongrass., finely sliced and minced, 
OR 3 Tbsp. bottled or frozen prepared lemongrass
3-4 kaffir lime leaves, 
OR substitute 1 bay leaf
1 thumb-size piece galangal 
OR ginger, grated or sliced into thin strips 9 calories
1 large carrot, sliced 25 calories
several bunches baby bok choy, separated (or other added greens of your choice)  30 calories for 2 cups
1 red chili, minced, 
OR 1 tsp. chili sauce 
OR 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice 10 calories for 1 whole lime
2-3 Tbsp. fish sauce (to taste) 30 calories
1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut milk 50 calories
white or black pepper (to taste)
generous handful of fresh coriander
8-10 oz. dry flat Thai rice noodles, or other noodles of your choice  560 calories for 152 gr dry
optional: 1 tsp. sugar, to taste 16calories

800 calories for  10 c = 80 calories/cup without noodles


Bring a large pot of water to just under a boil and add the noodles. Remove from heat and allow noodles to soak 5-8 minutes, or until soft but still chewy ("al dente"). 
Drain and rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking.
Using a large soup pot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh or roasted chicken, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, carrot, whole lime leaves (plus chicken or turkey bones, if available). Boil on high for 1 minute, then turn heat down to medium and cover with a lid. Allow soup to simmer for 5-6 more minutes, adding bok choy when chicken is nearly cooked.
While continuing to simmer the soup, add the chili, garlic, lime juice, plus 2 Tbsp. of the fish sauce. Stir well.
Turn heat down to minimum and add the coconut milk (add up to 1/3 cup for creamier soup). Stir to incorporate.
Taste-test the soup, adding more fish sauce until desired flavor/saltiness is reached (how much you will need depends on how salty your stock is). If it tastes too salty, add another squeeze or two of lime juice. Add more chili if not spicy enough, or more coconut milk if the soup is too spicy. If the soup is a little too sour for your taste, add 1-2 tsp. sugar (to balance out the lime juice).
To serve, place a generous mound of noodles in each bowl, then top with the hot soup. Finish with a final sprinkling of pepper and fresh coriander. 
Optional Vegetables: Other vegetables that can be added to this soup include broccoli, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, celery, or spinach.

This is good!


  1. That sounds wonderful. I am really into making soups lately for health and diet reasons. It also is dinner that for some reason, tastes even better the second day. This, of course, may be due to the fact that the second day is about heating up rather than cutting, chopping, cooking and cleaning.

    I am pretty sure that I can get most of those ingredients at our local store. In recent years they have been stocking and selling many different ethnic foods and spices. If I cannot get then, you so nicely listed "or". Thanks for the recipe, I am definitely going to try it.

    1. SOAC-M please let me know how it turns out for you. I loved it! I did balance it out with 1 tsp of sugar at the end, it was just on the edge of being too acidic. We have a couple of servings left for tomorrow...I'll let you know if it improves with age!

    2. I have my food shopping list for tomorrow. I will probably make it in the next week and will let you know how it turns out.

  2. Hi Jacqueline. It looks delicious and nutritious.
    Have a great week
    Helen xx

    1. I continue to be impressed by this cuisine Helen. What I forgot to include in the post was lunch with my daughter of Japanese tempura of our family favourites!

  3. Thai and Chinese dishes are so good. Kick Ass soup sounds, and looks, delicious. I make something a bit similar, but I must say yours looks much better.

    1. First time making this recipe Cro...definitely a keeper. The best part is, depending upon your preferences that day, you can tweak the flavour at the end...not a lot of soups that will work with.


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