Thursday, February 21, 2013

Featured Recipe: Sweet Basil's Thai Coconut Chicken Soup with Candied Peanuts

I am happy to share another recipe from Chef Dave Becker of Sweet Basil located in Needham, MA. 

Taken right from Stewed, Chef Dave's newest cookbook, today's featured recipe is Thai Coconut Chicken Soup with Candied Peanuts. A second in a trio of posts you will find here for the next few Thursday's centered around Sweet Basil and Chef Dave's Stewed cookbook, this recipe looks more intimating than it actually is.

So break out your largest stock pot and try this recipe out for yourself!

Photo credit: Nina Gallant

Sweet Basil's Thai Coconut Chicken Soup with Candied Peanuts:

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup carrots, scrubbed, ½” dice
  • 1 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup celery, diagonally sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, halved
  • 1 or 2 really spicy peppers (such as bird’s beak chiles)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 ½ quarts Chicken Stock (page 72 of Stewed)
  • Meat of 1 Roasted Chicken, pulled (page 111 of Stewed)
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup snow peas


  • 6 sprigs chopped fresh cilantro
  • Candied Peanuts (page 23 of Stewed)
  • Chopped scallions

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the grapeseed oil, and heat it until it begins to smoke. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, and bird’s beak chiles (see note). Stir fry this combo for 1 minute, and then add the white wine. Bring the wine to a boil, and immediately add the rice vinegar, coconut milk, chicken stock, and the pulled chicken. Bring the soup to a boil, check for flavor, and season it with the salt and pepper. Add the snow peas, and remove from the heat.

To serve, evenly distribute the soup among serving bowls, and garnish with the cilantro,
Candied Peanuts, and scallions.

**Note from Chef Dave**

The bird’s beak chile is a Thai chile commonly used in Asian cuisine. These chiles are long and red and their heat intensifies when dried. On a hotness scale of one to ten, bird’s beak chiles fall at around an eight to nine.

When you add the bird’s beak chiles will depend on how spicy you’d like the soup. If you prefer a more rounded, mellow spice, add them in the beginning, with the vegetables. If you crave torture and like a good burn, cut them up and add them at the end.

Sweet Basil is located at 942 Great Plain Ave., Needham, MA 02492.

If you are interested in purchasing Chef Dave's newest cookbook, Stewed, or any of his cookbooks, you can find them here:

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