Saturday, November 2, 2013

Slow-Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

We have been enjoying such a beautiful fall with fairly mild temperatures and lots of sunlight - the perfect weather for enjoying all the harvest festivals that are held all over the place during this time of year. We made our annual family outing to some fall festivals and enjoyed the many crafters, farmers, and wineries that gathered to showcase their products. We enjoyed lots of sampling of various syrups, honeys, and cheese. The wineries provided endless tastings of their bottled wines. And we always enjoy perusing through the various quilts, hats, wood carvings, jewelry, paintings, and other products that the local craftsmen bring to sell at the festival.

Paul is teasing and tickling poor Matthew instead of taking a nice picture with his children. 

The kids enjoyed the petting zoo and a couple of little rides all offered free of charge. In addition, there is always a lot of hot apple cider to drink, freshly popped kettle corn to eat, and a pretty loud pumpkin gun sending some unfortunate gourds exploding into the mountainside every couple of minutes for entertainment. For some reason that pumpkin gun really unnerved Matthew this year. He wanted nothing to do with it.

Emma has been majorly into wrinkling her nose up at us.

Matthew was in seventh heaven riding the little train they had had set up for the kiddies.

We took our annual picture of Matthew in front of the pumpkin display. Only this year, he was not alone - as we now have two little pumpkins enjoying these changing seasons along with us! Taking these pictures reminded me of yet another way my life has changed since having kids: I have to take the same shot a zillion times in an attempt to get a single photo where both kiddos are looking at the camera AND actually smiling. After looking through these shots, I am definitely regretting our decision to let Matthew gulp down an entire bottle of fruit punch before being photographed.

And of course, taking a good picture with both of my kids will never ever happen! Emma kept trying to eat the hay and Matthew was a total space cadet. But we need to take these photos for posterity as proof that I am in fact their mother! I am usually the photographer and rarely appear in pictures with my kids!

Soups are the perfect meal to serve after a long day spent out in the countryside enjoying the Fall weather. Paul gets super excited for soup whenever the seasons transition from summer to fall. To him, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup served with a crusty baguette on the side for dunking. I like soups because they are generally super easy to make in large batches and then frozen for quick meals during the coming weeks.

This soup is probably one of the easiest I have ever made because it is made completely in the slow cooker. There is minimal prep involved - other than chopping a few veggies - and it hot and ready to be eaten when you return home at the end of a busy day. Paul was obsessed with this soup as we both are in love with Thai flavors. If you like a spicier soup, add more curry paste!

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
adapted from Foodiecrush

2 tablespoons curry paste (green or red)
2 12-ounce cans of coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Freshly cooked hot white rice, for serving

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar in the bowl of your slow-cooker. Nestle the chicken breast, red bell pepper, zucchini, onion and ginger into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve in large bowls over piping hot white rice.

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