Made with a hardy batch cooking base and lots of Ayurvedic ingredients, this recipe is practical, nurturing, nourishing, and loaded with flavor.
Health, joy, and beauty bloom and thrive from the inside out. So it comes as no surprise that one of the main focuses of Ayurveda is the food you put into your body. Over the last few months, I’ve really been digging into the ins and outs of Ayurvedic living. I keep a few books on my bedside table, and each night I read about different elements of this lifestyle like spirituality and mentality, daily movement and meditation, lifestyle benefits for each type (there are three), and different kinds of Ayurvedic ingredients and how to use them. This Coconut Curry Chicken & Vegetable Soup is made almost entirely of Ayurvedic ingredients with benefits for purifying blood, comforting the liver and emotions, improving bone and joint health, detoxifying and improving digestion, and so much more. Most importantly, it’s nourishing, nurturing, and warming to the soul, allowing for calm and mindful energy. There’s so much to learn and I’ve just begun to touch the surface, but I’m really excited about embracing these lifestyle habits and continuing to share my Ayurvedic journey.
One way I'm building up my Ayruvedic recipe arsenal is by experimenting with flavorful and nourishing curries to incorporate more warming foods like this hardy and wholesome recipe into our meals. When I first started my job, I had a friend from India who was a curry pro, and she would often make different curries for us to enjoy. That was when I first became interested and eager to learn more. In my naivety, I'd always thought of curry as one kind of flavor, color, and meal, but boy was I wrong and I’m so glad I was educated! I’m no expert, but I’m learning, and also very fortunate to have friends I can call upon to guide me with their lifelong knowledge on this topic.
The key to this delicious Coconut Curry Chicken & Vegetable Soup is building up the flavor. Be mindful of how the ingredients are added in shifts. When you taste the final product, you can actually taste and experience the layers of flavor you’ve created, and it’s magical. Served over a fluffy bed of savory, plump farro, you’ve got yourself a delicious Ayurvedic comfort meal for the entire family (Cecily loves it, too!), plus some leftovers to enjoy later. Batch cooking, meet Ayurveda. We're going to be besties!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6-8 Servings
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves: 3 thinly sliced and 2 whole
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Juice of one lime
½ teaspoon fish sauce
1 heaping tablespoon minced ginger
2 cups sliced mushrooms, washed and dry
½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts, cut into large, 3-inch cubes
6 ounces baby bok choy, washed and dry
1 13.5-oz can unsweetened coconut cream
¾ cup bone broth
5 sprigs lemon grass, each about 4 inches long
3 cups farro
*Optional for topping:
Sliced jalapeno and/or habanero peppers
Roughly chopped peanuts (about one teaspoon per serving)
Additional fresh cilantro
Prep the Arrowroot Slurry
Stir the arrowroot powder and water in a cup or small bowl until combined and a smooth paste forms. Place aside.
Prep the Lemongrass
Trim the top and base of the stalks.
Peel off any dry outer layers.
Cut into sprigs and press with a glass or rolling pin to start extracting the aromatic oils for the soup.
For the Soup
In a large pot, add the olive oil and bring to low-medium heat.
Add three thinly sliced garlic cloves and the shallot. Toss in the oil to avoid burning.
About two minutes later, add the lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, mushrooms, and cilantro. Stir frequently for about five minutes.
Add the chicken and continue stirring frequently until the chicken is about halfway cooked, about five minutes.
Add two whole garlic cloves, the bok choy, coconut cream, bone broth, and lemongrass sprigs. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Add the arrow slurry and stir in to combine. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Before serving, strain out the lemongrass sprigs and discard.
For the Farro
For each ½ cup farro, add 1 cup water to a large saucepan.
Salt the water like you would for pasta. Bring to a boil over medium-high and then after 5 minutes, reduce to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn the burner off and allow the farro to stand covered for another 20 minutes.
Drain any excess liquid and transfer to a serving dish or a glass container for storing in the fridge.