The warmth and spice in this lovely soup has been a welcome relief from the chilly maelstrom of snow that, more often than not, has swirled outside my window over the last month in Boston. The trick to giving this soup the depth of flavor you'd expect from a Thai restaurant is to use a blend of curry pastes and a hint of brown sugar to complement and ease your taste buds into the spice. Don't worry, though - this can be as mild or hot as you prefer, so don't be frightened away by the word "curry!" Finely crushed pineapple works beautifully because the tiny pieces find their way into every spoonful, but you can use any cut of pineapple you like, big or small, and it will still taste fabulous. Save this one for particularly horrible weather and have it ready to warm you up when you come in from shoveling.
Spicy Thai Curry Soup with Bell Peppers and Pineapple
Serves 2 - 3
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp. Taste of Thai red curry paste (add more or less to taste)
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp. Taste of Thai panaang curry paste (add more or less to taste)
1 can coconut milk (you can use lite if you don't mind sacrificing some creaminess)
1/4 cup soy creamer or So Delicious Original Coconut Milk (optional)
10 oz., or 6 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, fat trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 small or 1/2 very large red bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 small can crushed pineapple (with juice drained)
2-3 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt (more to taste)
Jasmine rice to serve (optional)
Put the curry pastes into a medium-sized pot and heat over medium heat for about 30-60 seconds. Add the entire can of coconut milk and soy creamer and stir to mix with the curry paste. Bring to a boil, then add the chicken. Stir, then cover and simmer for at least 10 - 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. After the first 10 minutes, add the chopped bell pepper. Wait another 5 minutes, and then add the drained crushed pineapple. Stir well, and simmer uncovered for another 5 - 10 minutes. Add the brown sugar and salt to taste. When the soup is the thickness you desire, remove from heat and serve immediately. Serve with Jasmine rice or on its own as a soup.