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Thai Chicken Soup

There’s something about Saturday night that makes me really sad.  I know it’s waaay premature, but by the time 7:00 rolls around, I start to get a little sad that the weekend is ending.  Usually we spend Saturday running a million errands, so it feels like it speeds on by faster than Henry high on catnip.

And that is fast.

On an unrelated note, Fritz and I have done a lot of talking lately.  Not about anything important, but just sitting around and chatting without doing anything.  We stayed up until 12:30 the other night just ruminating on whatever topics happened to come up, and this morning we stayed in bed for an hour drinking coffee and thinking out loud.


I don’t know what spurred this trend, or how long it will last, but it feels nice.  In fact, it kinda feels like when you first start dating someone and you’ll stay up late and put off errands no matter how sleepy or cranky you’ll feel when you have to make it up later.  Normally Fritz and I are just so busy that our days are all about how much we can multitask.

Maybe I should have a greater awareness of making that dedicated conversation time happen more frequently.  I’m usually so “GO-GO-GO” that I don’t really like to sit around (in theory), but if I didn’t spend as much time watching Chopped and imaging what I’d make with grape soda, cheez whiz, and ground baby squid, I’d be able to enjoy more of that quality time that really matters.

Not really sure where I’m going with this.  May I suggest a new soup recipe?


Thai Chicken Soup (adapted from Darlene Schmidt)

  • 2 C shredded chicken (I used all the leftovers from a small roasted chicken I had made the night before)
  • 8 C chicken stock (low sodium, if possible)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger, minced
  • zest and juice from one lime (about 2 t zest, 2-3 T juice)
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T hot chili paste (adjust according to your preference–start slow!)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 C broccoli florets
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

I loved how easy this soup was to put together.  As I said in the ingredients, I had made a roasted chicken the night before for dinner.  Overnight, I combined all the chicken bones with water, bay leaves, onion, garlic, and salt in a crock pot to make some chicken stock.

The next morning, I brought the stock to a gentle boil (you can obviously use store-bought!).  Add the remaining ingredients up to the coconut milk, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the broccoli and peppers are tender.

Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


When I first saw this recipe, I strongly doubted that I would enjoy the broccoli florets.  I’m not a huge fan of broccoli and cheese soup, and was afraid that the broccoli would be overwhelming.


Wrong.  So wrong.  Combined with the coconut, spicy chili paste, and sweet bell peppers, the broccoli was amazing.  It was so tender, but it didn’t fall apart in the soup, either.


The broth is the star of this soup.  Fragrant and complex.  Spicy and fresh.


I’d add some bean sprouts next time, and possibly mushrooms if I had them on hand.



Before I go, I have two important questions for you:

  1. Is it still standard to put two spaces between sentences?  I read somewhere that it wasn’t, and felt extremely concerned for my readers that have been forced to pause exceptionally long between phrases.
  2. What food are you making/eating for the Superbowl tomorrow?  I honestly couldn’t care less about the two teams that are playing, so I’ll have to focus all of my attention on stuffing my face.
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  1. Charles Coe

    This looks like a great recipe: like a lighter version of Tom Khar Gai, one of my favorite Thai soups.

    A lot of editors still like two spaces after the period, but it’s in the gray realm of preference rather than hard and fast rule.

    I’m a semi-depressed Patriots fan who decided to host my annual Super Bowl party anyway. And I’d glad I am–looking forward to hanging with good friends this evening. I’m making chili, jalapeno/cheddar cornbread, guacamole and spinach/arugula salad with orange/cumin dressing. Drinks and desserts are potluck.

    One tip about the chili: had a great bowl at someone’s party a few years ago, and their secret was to mix in a bit of mashed pintos (or refried beans from a can if you prefer). Gives a real nice body…

  2. Hannah

    No superbowl party…so maybe we’ll pop over to yours.
    I also LOVE the photo of your soup from directly above. Not sure what makes it so eyecatching – perhaps the placemat, colors…it’s just great.

    As far as “where the conversation thing” is going….how about a great start on making sure your marriage is centered on each other, you value each other and want to continue to know each other. Welcome to “trips to the lake”! :-) There’s something about actually listening to people when they talk to you, and asking insightful questions that makes people feel like you really care. I think this gets low on the priority list of busy lives, and we think we do it, but we don’t.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I definitely need to find a place like “the lake”…and we totally think we do it…and we definitely don’t. sad.

  3. Dede

    I’m old enough that 2 spaces after a period is such a habit that I am not even attempting to change. But I notice that my oldest daughter only uses one. I thin it should be personal preference, unless an editor says otherwise.

    Superbowl: who cares, HOCKEY season has started! And anyway, I prefer the Puppy Bowl.

    And the soup is on my to-make list!

  4. Debby

    If I hadn’t already planned to make butternut squash ravioli (the search that brought me to you in the first place), I would make this today.

    As for the spacing, my husband, a graphic designer for over 25 years, gets REALLY annoyed when anyone puts two spaces after the period. He takes them all out before setting the type. The two space rule is a carry over from when typewriters were the tool of choice. Here’s a really good article addressing the subject.


    P.S. I enjoy just talking too. Those moments when hubby and I do that take me back to the 2 hour phone conversations we had while dating. Best thing for a marriage, I believe.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks for the article!

  5. Caitlin

    2 spaces is common for MLA but in APA I believe it’s only one space. So either way is correct really. I prefer two but it’s not terribly noticeable with only one.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I like two, as well…but I don’t want to be out of vogue. I aways used APA format in college (scientific writing, y’all) but apparently never switched over!

  6. Sandi

    When did it become de rigueur to use 2 spaces. When I took typing 40 (eek!) years ago, we used one.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Not sure…I learned two spaces when I took typing class in high school ten years ago (OH MY GOD!? HIGH SCHOOL WAS TEN YEARS AGO?!)

      1. Sandi

        Lol. Don’t you dare moan ‘I’m sooooooooooo oooooooooooold.’. That’s my line.

  7. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

    I’ve just gotten into making Asian cuisine at home and this soup looks perfectly easy and delicious. Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      hope you like it!

  8. Christine

    I made your Thai Chicken Soup recipe last night, and it was awesome. Like you said, the broth was the star of the show, and quite surprisingly the broccoli was well suited to the flavors in the broth. I am using two spaces with my comment; too ingrained to stop. I think your conversational way of writing dictates the need for those extra long pauses between the wise, insightful sentences you provide your readers. When I was your age, I too mourned the weekend’s end on Saturday night.

  9. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

    I made this soup on Friday and it was AMAZING! My husband is still raving over it and my 9 month old son loved eating the veggies and chicken out of it! 😀 Thanks for the great recipe!

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