Restorative Ginger and Turmeric Soup with Cilantro Chicken Meatballs
This soup is my new obsession. After a two-week bender of a vacation, I was craving simple and healthy. I guess our phones really do listen to us, because up popped this Restorative Ginger and Turmeric Noodle Soup from Hetty McKinnon and Food & Wine. Ginger and turmeric sounded like just what I needed to start to feel normal again, and a light broth seemed to be a fitting vehicle. I would take out the noodles and add some chicken. Little did I know I was about to fall in love with soup.
There’s a Ginger and Turmeric Curry Paste you make to get the soup started. It is worth pulling out your food processor. And, you will have leftovers, which means you can make a second batch for next week, which you will want. Then there’s a broth you make with stock and coconut milk, light but substantial. I did omit the noodles because, well, that bender. But I added some off-the-cuff, super-simple Cilantro Chicken Meatballs, which were better – and easier – than I imagined. I made a few more tweaks to fit my taste – less garlic, less oil. Not much.
The result is a feel-good, comfy, healthy soup I cannot get enough of. Not kidding. It’s my new breakfast, too.
For the Ginger and Turmeric Curry Paste
2 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 medium shallots, roughly sliced
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
2 serrano chiles, stems removed, roughly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons coconut oil
For the Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed, roughly chopped
For the Chicken Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken breast
¼ cup minced cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Make the ginger and turmeric curry paste: Combine garlic, shallots, ginger, chiles, lime juice, cumin, turmeric, and coriander in a blender or food processor, and pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. Add the coconut oil and pulse until the ingredients form a smooth paste. Keep any unused paste in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 7 days, or freeze in an airtight container.
Make the chicken meatballs: In a small bowl using your hands, gently mix the chicken, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Form golf ball-sized meatballs (you will have about 10), and set aside in the bowl.
Make the soup: Heat a deep, high-sided skillet over medium-high and drizzle with olive oil. Add ½ cup turmeric and ginger curry paste. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock and coconut milk. Gently drop the chicken meatballs into the soup, and simmer about 20 minutes. Season broth with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the swiss chard. To serve, top with scallions and cilantro, and squeeze a little lime over top.
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