In my family, as in many, soup is sick food. Growing up it was my mom’s homemade beef and vegetable soup. In college, it was Lipton soup packs. After college it was Progresso Chicken and Noodle Soup. Lately I have been unsatisfied with the store bought soup route, especially because I really don’t like chicken and noodle soup. So I have been trying to branch out into some simple, homemade soups that get the job done when I am sick.
My entire family is sick with some respiratory virus and so today it was Thai Hot & Sour Noodle Bowls. So easy and so yummy. Sinus clearing hot with fresh chile peppers and fog penetrating tart with lime juice. Exactly what a sick body needs.
Laura’s Thai Hot & Sour Noodle Bowl
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade or low sodium
2-3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken or, as I did, chopped roasted pork tenderloin
3 stalks lemongrass, white and light green parts peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large or 4 small kaffir lime leaves, shredded
4-6 T fish sauce
1 t palm sugar (can substitute light brown sugar)
2 sweet bell peppers, sliced and then cut in half
1 large sweet onion, chopped (an equivalent amount of shallots would be more authentic, but that is too much work when I am sick)
1 head of garlic, minced
2 or more serrano peppers sliced into rings
1 T neutral vegetable oil (I used olive because it is what I had)
*8 oz rice noodles—the width is up to you, I used linguini sized—cooked according to package instructions. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with cold water when draining them.
Heat a large, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, on medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until it is shimmery. Add the minced garlic and toast, stirring, for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant and golden. Add the onion and cook until softened, 10 minutes. Add the sweet bell pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves and stir briefly. Add the stock, the juice of 3 limes, the sugar, the sliced chile peppers, the shredded chicken or chopped pork, and 4 tablespoons fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Take a nap because you are sick and your body needs the sleep.
Add the juice of one half lime at the end of the cooking and taste for seasoning. It should be equally hot, salty and sour. If it is not salty enough, add fish sauce. If it is not hot enough, garnish with additional chile pepper rings. Use more lime juice for a more sour taste.
Place some rice noodles in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle some soup over it. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
*This recipe will use more than 8 oz of rice noodles, but that is I would cook at one time as I like to have fresh noodles every night. As with most of my recipes, this one will create leftovers for 1-2 additional nights, but you will need to make additional noodles.