Everywhere I turn, someone either has the flu or knows someone who does. Sure, good ol’ fashioned chicken noodle soup will do just fine, but if you really want to rev up your immune system, reach for your spice cabinet and your fridge’s produce drawer and make my soothingly spicy version.
With antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and sometimes even antibacterial qualities, spices—including turmeric and curry powder in this recipe—have long been prized for their medicinal qualities. Spicy ingredients such as garlic, ginger and jalapeño will also help keep you healthy all winter long. And don’t forget mushrooms, which also have healing benefits, including the shiitake mushrooms in this soup.
For this Thai-inspired recipe, I like to use coconut milk—and just a touch of coconut sugar, which I don’t always use—to bring together all of the soup’s fragrant flavors and mellow the heat just a bit.
Spicy Curry-Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup
- ¾ pound dried rice or gluten-free ramen noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- One 3.5-ounce package shiitake mushrooms (stems removed and thinly sliced)
- 1 cup snow peas (halved crosswise)
- 2 teaspoons Thai yellow curry paste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 quart homemade or store-bought chicken broth
- One 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Lime wedges and sliced red jalapeño chiles (for serving)
- Cilantro leaves (for serving)
- Basil leaves (for serving)
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles until al dente, about 6 minutes; drain well. Divide among four bowls.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and snow peas over medium-high heat and cook until golden, about 2 minutes; divide among four bowls.
- Using the same saucepan, stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, curry paste, curry powder and turmeric; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar, and bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook until heated through; season with salt. Ladle the soup over the noodles and serve with the lime wedges, chiles, cilantro and basil.