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Coconut Chicken Red Curry Soup

I have had a no good, terrible, miserable head cold all week. Thankfully, I have my magical TCM drs who take such good care of me (Traditional Chinese Medicine, not Top Canadian Model). I went in unable to breathe through my nose and feeling like I was walking around with a giant Mitt Romney bobble head on my neck. After a nice cupping, some well placed needles and magic nose drops I drove home, breathing through my nose for the first time in days and by morning I was feeling more human again. The very last thing that was needed was a nice, spicy soup so, I present to you, a nice spicy little soup.
Not so summer friendly but it works - don't ask how, it just does

Coconut Chicken Red Curry Soup
You can either use chicken stock that you can steep with some lemon grass and lime leaf or make your own.
I made mine like this:

1 chicken carcass from a small roast chicken
1 stalk celery chopped in half
1 carrot chopped roughly
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 stalk lemon grass, halfed and smashed with a knife
2 lime leaves

Put all of the stock ingredients in a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat a bit and let it cook down, at a vigorous simmer, for about an hour.
Strain the stock into a smaller soup pot and set the solids aside to let cool so you can pick through them and take off all of the meat for the soup. Set that meat aside.

4 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
1 tbls red curry paste
1 tsp fish sauce
juice of a lime
1 3" piece of lemon grass, halved and smashed with a knife
2 lime leaves
handful of snap peas
two big mushrooms, sliced
about a cup of chopped asian eggplant
chicken meat picked from carcass
handful of chopped cilantro
salt if needed

Bring your chicken stock to a light simmer and whisk in the curry paste, fish sauce and coconut milk until the lump of curry paste is totally dissolved.
Add the lemongrass, lime leaves and the lime juice and let it all simmer for about ten minutes while you prep your veggies.

Add your eggplant and let it cook for about five minutes before you add the snap peas and mushrooms and the chicken meat. Let the soup simmer until all the vegetables are cooked, probably another ten minutes. Add the handful of chopped cilantro and taste. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. If you want a bit more fish sauce, add another small bit in. Depending on how salty your stock was, you might need a pinch of salt. If you want it to be spicier, you can either add more red curry paste or a chopped thai chili. I made it a bit milder so The Kid will eat it and I am fine to add a squirt of hot sauce to mine.
Serve with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.

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