19 Dec Thai Coconut Soup
The long-predicted storm has hit. Fluffy, delicate flakes are not wafting from the heavens like diamond dust making everything merry and bright. Au contraire! Tiny, razor-sharp ice crystals are thrashing about in the wind, whitewashing the great outdoors. In this weather, a jaunt for the mail morphs into a life-threatening journey.
I’m no dummy. Andrew collects the mail while I make soup.
In defiance of the weather, I made a tropical Thai soup. The coconut milk base, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and chilies are almost enough to make me forget the storm. Bright colours and a burst of citrus are the perfect antidote to this mid-winter brouhaha. Best part? In less than half an hour it’s on the table.
Take that Old Man Winter!
Thai Coconut Soup
- 2 to 4 red chilies (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
- 2 tins (400 ml) coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 stalks lemon grass, bruised and cut in 2-inch lengths
- 1 piece galangal (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, sliced thinly
- 8 kaffir lime leaves, torn
- 12 ounces (about 2 whole) skinless, boneless chicken, cut in thin strips
- 4 ounces button mushrooms (whole if tiny, quartered if large)
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- fresh cilantro
- Heat a wok or saucepan until hot. Add 2 whole red chilies and cook until they just begin to turn brown. (If you can’t take any heat, omit the chilies.)
- Add coconut milk, stock, lemon grasss, galangal, ginger and 4 kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the spices from the broth.
- Add the chicken and mushrooms. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Timing will depend on how large you made the chicken pieces.
- Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce.
- Add the remaining lime leaves and garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro. The brave can add a couple of chopped red chilies.
- Serve immediately.