Valentines and Vietnam

You rarely see those two words juxtaposed! Remember the Christmas wreathes I made before the holidays? This morning I made a Valentine wreath/heart/thingie.

And I made scrumptious Vietnamese chicken and shrimp soup.

Sorry about more bread pics.

But for those of you who have taken on the sourdough challenge, here is my latest. You can see that they look good and they are wonderful but still not sour enough. I think we all need to keep feeding our starters but let them age for a few weeks.

Anyway, back to the soup. I had leftover chicken stock from the chicken noodle soup I just made so I used it as a base for this soup. You can use 12 cups of store bought stock in place of homemade. In a piece of cheese cloth wrap 10 black peppercorn, 4 star anise and 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds. Add this to the broth. Add 3 tsp. of thai red curry paste, 4 T. minced ginger, 1/4 c. asian fish sauce, 1 med. onion diced very thin, 4 cloves of minced garlic and 5 tsp. brown sugar.

Bring this to a simmer and cook while you prepare some chicken.

Thinly slice boned skinned chicken breasts and season them with some granulated garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook the in a bit of olive oil just until cooked through. Remove from the pan and shred into thin strips.

Open 2 cans of unsweetened coconut milk.

Add it t the stock and stir until it is combined.

Add the chicken.

I refrigerate most of my soups overnight so I can skim the fat off in the morning.

You can see that the fat lifts right off the top.

Bring the soup back to a simmer. Boil some noodles separately until very al dente. The noodles will continue to cook in the soup so do not over cook them. I like to use angel hair for this soup. Drain them and rinse with cold water and set them aside.

At this point I add some shelled and deveined raw shrimp. Simmer the soup until the shrimp turn pink.

Take some deep soup bowls and put fresh bean sprouts on the bottom of each. Ladle the hot soup over the sprouts. Add some fresh chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Squeeze as much lime into the soup as you like.

The heat can be adjusted by adding additional Thai curry paste. If you follow this recipe you do not end up with a spicy soup.

This soup is sensational. Up the spice if you have a cold!


Pricilla said…
I love a soup that keeps on giving....heh
LOVE the wreath...i need to make one too
Ann said…
I like the Valentine wreath.
That soup sure looks yummy.
Anonymous said…
That soup looks delicious! and now I feel hungry after seeing it :-)

No one over here would understand that wreath since Valentine is very small over here :-) But I think it is very beautiful!

Have a great day now!
My Grama's Soul said…
I don't know.....I think your Valentine/heart wreath/thingie looks easier to make .... and since I am not much of a cook...I know it would be easier for me!! (O:(O:


Mina said…
How cute. There's a little shop I pass on my way to/from work that has wreaths/thingies decorated with Christmas bulbs and in their window is a peace sign made this way. Too awesome.

Your soup looks like it came right off a high end menu. Yum!
Are you going to open your own restaurant already?! Everything you make looks delicious!
Oh that soup looks soooo good. With all the frigid temperatures here, it is the perfect comfort food. And I love your Valentine wreath - so pretty and red. :) Theresa
SharleneT said…
I love your Valentine thingie, but you totally stole my heart with the coconut milk in the soup -- then, I knew it was gonna by yummy! Now, to go really check out your thingie...
Guillaume said…
I love soups from the Far East. Those looks filling enough to be a meal in themselves.
Wizardess said…
mmmm...I have some coconut milk that I need to use. V. inspiring!
I have everything I need to make this soup, plus I have a cold/virus, something. I'll make this and be well by tomorrow.

I love your wreath thingie. How cute is that!

FYI! Isaac is still in time-out for 6 more days. (Isaac is the sourdough starter.)
Valentine wreath... WOW!!!

Hugs and ♥'s...
'Cause Valentine Day is coming!
Rosemary said…
It is certainly soup weather...... now if only I get that starter started....