my good friend is SICK, so i've decided to bring her some love- SOUP! since i still have a bunch of lemongrass and coconut milk on hand from last night's din (spicy curry fried rice with coconut milk and pineapple) this recipe fits the bill. i'm sure i'll tweak it a bit depending on what's in my pantry and fridge. pictures to come.
i'm also off to my fav local thrift store to pick up a cool handled basket and dish towels. my mom taught me this trick long ago. buy a cool, large basket at any thrift store (usually about $3.) line it with interesting dish towels or cloth napkins (usually about $2 for 4) to create a serving vessel for your special meal. along with the soup i'm giving, i'll include some crackers, tea, cough drops and a flower or two from my garden. everyone needs a pick-me-up when you're under the weather. that's what friends are for!
My score from the thrift store: basket-$1.95, check tablecloth- $1.95, 2 super cute soup mugs- $0.99/ea.
Coconut Lemongrass Chicken Soup Serves 4 to 6
This is a Thai-style soup, versatile and very easy to make. You can substitute shrimp for the chicken, or use a combination of chicken and shrimp. If you don't have Kaffir lime leaves or fish sauce, the soup will still be good. The broth can be made ahead (without the chicken and garnishes), and reheated at serving time. Add the chicken at the last minute so it stays moist and tender.
3 cups chicken stock
2 cans (28 ounces) light coconut milk
1/2 cup finely minced lemongrass (about 3 stalks)
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger (3-inch piece)
1/2 serrrano or jalapeño pepper, sliced
(or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
1-1/2 teaspoons Asian chile sauce
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional
2 Kaffir lime leaves, sliced (optional)
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (preferably Thai basil)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Combine the stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, pepper, chile sauce, garlic, fish sauce, and lime leaves, if using, in a medium-size pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Don't allow the mixture to boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the broth steep for 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a clean pan and discard the solids. At this point, the broth may be refrigerated, covered, up to 3 days.
Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch strips, then cut these in half lengthwise. You want all the strips to be about the same size so they cook evenly.
Reheat the broth over medium heat to the start of a simmer (don't boil). Add the chicken and gently poach the meat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the lime juice and season with salt, as needed. Divide the soup into warm bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of basil and cilantro. Serve piping hot.
Sambazon Acai for smoothies, the soup, cilantro and basil for garnish, apple cider to heat and sip, Ak-Mak crackers, cough drops and Alka-Seltzer for cold/flu.
finished product. WA-LA!