Thai Chicken & Coconut Soup
Rich coconut milk and chicken broth infused with lemongrass, chiles and ginger combine to give this fragrant, spicy soup authentic Asian flavor.
From EatingWell: January/February 1996, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)
Yield: 4 servings, scant 1 cup each
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, (see Note)
- 6 coin-size slices fresh ginger, unpeeled
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 fresh chile peppers, such as serrano or jalapeño
- 2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice, plus 4 thin lime slices for garnish
- 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce, or reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Trim lemongrass stalks of root ends, outer leaves and grassy tops. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Smash each piece with the flat of a chef’s knife. Crush ginger and garlic (do not peel) with the knife. Trim stems from chiles, cut in half lengthwise and smash (for maximum heat do not remove the seeds).
- Place the crushed lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chiles in a wide pan and pour in broth. Bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
- Add chicken breasts to the broth. Cover and simmer gently over low heat just until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. With tongs, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside.
- Bring the broth to a lively boil and boil for about 5 minutes to intensify the flavors. Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract all the juices. Stir in coconut milk and heat through over medium heat.
- Stir together cornstarch, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce) in a small bowl. Add to the soup and cook, stirring, until simmering and slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Thinly slice the poached chicken and add to the soup. Season with additional lime juice and fish sauce (or soy sauce) to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and float a lime slice, some scallions and cilantro leaves in each one.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Ingredient Note: Lemongrass is an aromatic tropical grass used to add a pungent, lemony flavor to Asian dishes. It is available fresh at large supermarkets and Asian groceries.
Nutrition Per Serving: 131 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 35 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 0 g fiber; 188 mg sodium; 129 mg potassium.
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 lean meat