Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Whew! I made it back on here! Sure, it's a whole day later than I intended, but at least I came back!

After such a great, fun weekend, there was of course lots to do to get back into the swing of things. And sadly, I didn't get all of it done even!
I did, however, tackle taxes yesterday.

I may have talked about doing taxes already, but those weren't even our taxes - they were for a friend's company. Yesterday, however, I went through all of the receipts Matt compiled through the year, and every important paper in our house, and organized it into spreadsheets for our accountant. Prior to being married, the way Matt handled his taxes was by bringing a box with some receipts in order - some not - and having the accountant hash through it all. And every year, Matt would pay around $800 to have his taxes done. Now it's a different story. Having been taught basic bookkeeping in college, I figured I'd put it to good use and save ourselves a few hundred dollars every year. I sort, organize and document each receipt for every tool, supply and tank of gas that Matt pays for in the course of a year, not to mention getting our family taxes ready. This year had two new additions as well: my Pampered Chef income and my bookkeeping income. When it's all said and done, I spent 5 hours straight working on taxes yesterday, and I'm pleased to say that I'm almost done! - a little crosseyed perhaps, but I'm nearly there!!

Thanks to my adventures in bookkeeping yesterday, I didn't do anything particularly crafty or fun - at all. But when I posted on Sunday I had promised you all my Thai Coconut Soup recipe, so here it is!

Thai Coconut Curry Soup:
1/2 an onion, rough chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 or 3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 can coconut milk
1 c. chicken broth
3 stalks lemongrass
1/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp green curry paste
1/4 c. cilantro
1/2 c. sliced red pepper
Lime wedges for serving

In a medium pot, brown chicken in a little bit of oil (make sure the chicken is dry first, or it won't brown!) Add the onions and the garlic clove and sautee for a couple of minutes, until soft. Pour in the broth and the coconut milk and whisk to combine. Add in the lemongrass, cumin and curry paste. Cook over medium heat, covered, for about half an hour. Add in cilantro and sliced red pepper and cook over medium low, uncovered, for half and hour more. *Note, if you want to serve over rice instead of as a soup, leave on medium - medium-high for this last half hour to boil off excess water.

Heat options:
I made the soup with a fairly mild heat to make sure my little boy could eat it, but if you want to amp it up, here are some suggestions!
- substitute 1/4 c. slice jalapenos in place of the red peppers
- add 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- add 1 tsp sambal oleak

I love the lemongrass in this recipe and was quite pleased with how quickly it came together. I actually made mine in the crockpot - I sauteed the onions and garlic but not the chicken, and threw the chicken in raw. Then I added everything but the peppers and cilantro and cooked it on high for 2 hours, low for 2 hours more, then threw in the peppers and cilantro, lifted the lid off, and cooked it on high for another half hour. I have a two-cycle crock pot so I actually turned this on before we went to afternoon church and when we came home it was just ready for me to add the peppers and herbs and throw on some rice.

Well, I'm off to finish everything that I didn't get done yesterday - wish me luck!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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