Hoa Nam - Providing Much Needed Comfort

Thank you Hoa Nam grocery! I somehow acquired a horrible sore throat - a pain that burns so badly I haven't felt this way since I was a kid.

I haven't slept in about 3 nights and just feel awful. Yesterday I was flipping through an old magazine and a vision of COMFORT reached out to me. It came in the form of a recipe for Coconut Curry Chicken Soup. It just looked so yummy and steaming hot in the magazine that I immediately left for the grocery store.

Most of the ingredients I had in my pantry, but I needed to replace my red curry paste, get semi-wide rice noodles and coconut milk. I went to the two closest stores - Dominick's and Jewel - and came out both times without the curry paste and the milk.

Now, I live in downtown Chicago where ethnic foods are usually easy to find in mainstream grocery stores so I was pretty frustrated yesterday when I couldn't find these ingredients. Normally I would have no problem with using it as a chance to go to an ethnic grocery, but my painful sore throat told me to go home, take some Advil and drink some tea.

This morning, during a serious snowfall, I found myself in Uptown and remembered an Asian grocery store at 1101-03 West Argyle . I popped in quickly and easily found the curry paste and coconut milk. I passed up the fish balls and shrimp chips, but grabbed some yummy-looking coconut wafer rolls on my way out.

I returned home and made my soup, tweaking it only to use vegetable broth and tofu instead of chicken. As mentioned, I do not feel well at all and had an all around bad day, but when I tasted this soup, all my issues melted away. It was spicy and comforting and the coconut milk had just the right texture to soothe my sore throat.

After the doctor this afternoon I had another bowl and went straight to bed. Thank goodness Hoa Nam had the right ingredients to provide me this comfort when my neighborhood stores fell short!

For the Coconut Chicken Curry Soup, you can find this on Myrecipes.com. It is a Cooking Light recipe. Enjoy!

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