However, I crawled out of my nest of wool socks and heavy blankets to make this fragrant, spicy and dare I say, healing Thai Chicken Soup.
Mmm. This soup. It is bursting with Thai flavors like lime, cilantro, lemongrass….all flavors that have me in a tropical state of mind (whilst I inch the thermostat a little higher….from 62 to 64; I am a thermostat curmudgeon).
We’re adding heartiness with diced chicken thighs. A more flavorful choice than chicken breast; and more affordable. To take the nasty bits off the chicken easily; use kitchen shears. Just snip off the excess fat and any grody bits; and then using the shears, chop chicken into small pieces. Much neater and easier than using a knife and cutting board.
The soup all comes together with coconut milk and tons of sautéed vegetables. Literally, you can throw in whatever vegetable is about to expire in your fridge. Zucchini? Tomato? Broccoli? Green Beans? Kale? Throw. It. In. Easy. Easy. Without the chicken/chicken broth, this dish is completely vegan; and even with the chicken; it’s dairy and gluten-free if you’re into that jazz. I recommend serving this over a mound of brown rice which makes this a bit more of a one-dish meal and the rice soaks up every delicious bite of soup.
Nothing to do but eat soup and #prayforspring
Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit
2 tbs safflower oil (or coconut oil)
4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 (6″) piece of ginger (about 2 stems); peeled & minced
1 bunch scallions, stems only**
1/2 zucchini, peeled and sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
5 large mushrooms (button or shiitake), sliced
1/2 c. broccoli, crown diced, stem, peeled & shredded
1 jalapeno or red chili pepper, sliced thinly (optional)
2 tbs (heaping) bottled or fresh lemongrass , sliced
.75 – 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, chopped 1″ pieces
4 c. chicken broth (check your brand for gluten/dairy, if you’re sensitive)
14.5oz (1 can) lite coconut milk
1 lime (juice and zest)
1/2 c. cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped
Sriracha and Sea salt to taste
2 c. dry brown rice (for serving)
**The stems are perfect here as their strong flavor has time to mellow in the soup.
Feel free to use both white and green if you prefer**
In a sauce pot; combine rice and 5 c. cold water. Bring to a boil; and reduce to a low simmer and cover. If serving with soup; I recommend putting the rice on first; it should take about 50 minutes to cook; the time it should take to prepare/cook the soup.
Makes 8 servings.
In a deep soup pot; heat oil. Add garlic, ginger and scallions; saute until aromatics have a bit of color. Add vegetables (zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, lemongrass and chili pepper (if using) and sprinkle with sea salt. Saute to soften slightly; about 3 minutes.
(Bottled lemongrass; found in the Asian section of Whole Foods)
Create some space in the pot; add chicken and quickly saute; don’t worry about cooking thoroughly; it will cook in the soup. Add chicken broth and coconut milk; bringing soup to a boil for 2-3 minutes; then reducing to a simmer. Add lime zest, lime juice and cilantro. Simmer for 1-15 minutes. Taste; add sea salt and Sriracha as needed. Makes 8 cups.