Well, looks like we might have another ice storm headed this way, or not. Still, it’s time for another warming soup. It contains a couple of hard to find ingredients, but is worth going down to the Asian market to find them. Who knows what else you might find?
Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup
2 Tbl veg oil – olive oil has too much distinctive flavor, peanut oil is perfect
2 small onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chopped fresh chili- if you can find Thai peppers or cayenne peppers, slice them into thin rings and they look pretty floating in the soup, if not get a red Fresno pepper
1 Tbl chopped fresh lemongrass – this will be the hardest to find ingredient. Use the part closest to the roots and chop very finely, it does not get tender with cooking, you need to get it as fine as you can to keep from feeling you’re chewing on grass. A substitute would be lime zest but won’t have quite the same taste.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk (what I do here is use one can with water added to make 2 cups)
2 Tbl Thai fish sauce
1 lb chicken breasts, thinly sliced – if you freeze them and slice when still mostly frozen, you can get very thin slices
2 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
Lime leaves, for garnish (optional) – this means leaves from a Kaffir lime which is grown for the leaves instead of the fruit. They can also be found at that Asian market. I happen to have a tree for a constant supply of leaves. The leaves should have the heavy center vein cut out then sliced into thin strips.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over low to medium heat, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the turmeric, chili and lemongrass and cook, stirring, about another 10 minutes.
Add the lime juice, stock, coconut milk and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken and simmer for about 3 minutes until the chicken is tender. Stir in the cilantro and lime leaves and serve immediately.
This is supposed to serve 4 but the two of us usually eat most of it with just enough left for lunch the next day.