Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

a. A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.
b. The action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.

Inspiration presents itself differently to each of us and comes to us when we are actively seeking it, by accident or sneaks up on us by surprise.  For some, it is harder to find and is rarely found.  For others, it can be a relentless carousel that bullies the mind with no escape.  How we become inspired largely depends on who we invite into our lives and how we view the world.  Inspiration is unique, can be difficult to recognize, yet it is so impactful.  Inspiration drives imagination.  What inspires you?

I have a good friend and several years ago, she and I were standing in her kitchen, wine in hand and reviewing her recipe box.  I was taken with her collection since it was comprised of all sorts of recipes, but many of them tried and true from family members.  She impressed me because she would pull one out and without a name on it, she could tell me where it came from and the circumstance in which she recieved it.  Not just for one of them, but for all of them!  She'd say, "Oh, and this one came from my aunt Ruby on my mother's side of the family.  Aunt Ruby brought this quiche to the family picnic at Washington Park the day before Memorial Day three years ago.  Oh, it was so good!"  What made the afternoon, and the recipes I 'borrowed' from her so great, was the commentary under which they were shared with me.  I felt as if I knew aunt Ruby, was at the picnic at Washington Park and I could just taste the quiche and enjoyed it as much as my friend did.   That day was long ago, but since then, I was not only inspired by the opportunities that awaited me in the kitchen (and all the one offs that have resulted from them since then), but inspired to remember where my recipes came from and I hope that I can make someone elses afternoon the way she made mine.
This soup was one of the recipes she shared.  It came from one of her family members and is one of my favorites.  It can stand on its own or can be served as a first course at a fine dinner.  It can even serve a crowd and recently did so at a formal function at our local yatch club.  I can tell you right now that this is the soup to have when you have a cold, chest congestion, headache and sniffles.  I make this for my friends when they are under the weather and I leave it on their doorstep in a grocery bag with a loaf of french bread.  Whatever your occasion, give it a try.  I'll bet you have someone ask you for the recipe.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

3, 14.5 oz. cans of Chicken Broth
1 T. green or red Thai Curry Paste
1 sweet potato, diced medium
1 t. salt
5 or 6 boneless,skinless chicken tenders
5 oz. packaged Thai noodles
1 tomato diced or 8 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 can coconut milk
1 C. chopped cilantro leaves

Using a stock pot or dutch oven, start your soup by combining the chicken broth, curry paste and diced sweet potato.  Add salt.  Coiver and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer for another 3 minutes.  Add noodles and tomato.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn heat on low and stir in coconut milk and chopped cilantro.  Serve hot.

Tip:  You can use Ramen noodles out of the package in place of Thai noodles which I have done here (see picture).  Also, you can substitute ready cooked chicken if you have leftovers or purchased the fresh cooked whole chicken at the store.  I have done it both ways and it tastes great.  Just remember to reduce your chicken cooking time if using precooked chicken.


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