Lately I’ve been pining over Asian-style soups. Wait a minute, who am I kidding?! I freaking love soup. I’ll find my way back to soup any day of the week, any time of the year. It warms the soul and cleanses the mind. Not to mention, it’s the ideal meal at the brink of the spring season.
What I like most about Thai soups, or any soup for that matter, is the high vegetable crunchiness factor. Not a fan of a vegetable that’s been beaten to death, kicked in the gut, and served bruised and broken. In fact, working to achieve this shortens your cooking time and results in a consommé bursting with flavor.
My top three soup-trements take this Thai chicken noodle soup to “out of this world” territory: 1) fresh garnishes to appease the eye and enhance flavor; 2) the dark meat (chicken thigh or leg); and 3) homemade stock. 🍜🤤
I used a homemade pork stock I cooked down with smoked ham hocks from our pork CSA. Ham hock is the knuckle joint connecting each of a hog’s feet. Myyyy goodness. Once you make broth from a ham hock—let alone a smoked hock—you may never want to make any other broth ever again. The result is a perfectly unctuous, faint smoky flavor that enhances this Thai chicken noodle soup to pure, liquid gold.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup with Baby Bok Choy & Shiitake Mushrooms
Serves four people
1 lb. chicken thighs, sliced into strips
1 qt. pork stock
3 baby bok choy
3 carrots, julienned
10 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 medium shallots, diced
1 pkg. rice noodles
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. fish sauce (or salt to taste)
Fresh lime juice—garnish
8-qt. Stock Pot
- In stock pot, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add shallots and shiitake mushrooms until translucent. Add ginger and stir for a minute before adding garlic. Just as garlic starts to brown add your stock to the pot.
- Add chicken, baby bok choy, carrots, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for an additional 12 to 15 minutes.
- Foolproof Rice Noodle Preparation: In saucepan, bring water and ¼ tsp. of salt to a boil. Turn off heat, add rice noodles and cover for five minutes. Remove noodles with a pasta ladle into your serving bowls until soup in ready to serve.
- Coat noodles in a few spoonfuls broth for five minutes to enhance flavor and soak up extraneous liquid / retention (so it doesn’t steal broth from your final plating!).
- Ladle in more broth, then stack chicken and vegetables. Garnish with scallions, cilantro and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice.