I start craving for soups on mostly two occasions: On a damp/rainy/snowy day when I look for the warmth of a comfort food and on days when I am too tired to stand in the kitchen for long and make a meal (specially when I am home alone with my son and the husband is off on an office tour). Plus I am a big fan of Thai cuisine as I feel it is a treasure trove of ‘comfort food’ rich in Asian flavors. So I keep researching on Thai recipes on and off and try my hands on them.
So on one such damp rainy evening in March, when my husband was off to the warmer climes of California, I was home alone with my kiddo, I decided to make this soup for dinner. I have been eyeing on Thai chicken soup recipes for sometime and thought it was a perfect day to make one. I was already tired after a hard day at work and was not in a mood to cook much. The best part was, I pretty much had all the ingredients in my pantry. The best part of making a soup is that you can pretty much dump all the ingredients one after the other in a Dutch Pan, simmer the flame and sit and relax while it gets cooked slowly in its own sweet time.
All I did to make it a complete dinner was take a French bread loaf and slice and chop out a few slices. Take butter in room temperature, add chopped garlic to it. Spread the garlicky butter over the bread slices and sprinkle some dried parsley/basil/any herb you have at home. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices, buttered side up on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes. Voila!
Oven-fresh, warm, crispy garlic bread with a bowl of Thai Chicken Soup for dinner.Trust me, it’s totally soul-soothing.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used shitake)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons Thai chilli paste (this paste is not hot yet has a nice aroma of chilli)
3 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup green onion strips
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
a bunch of Thai Basil (optional but highly recommended)
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
Add mushrooms and the next 4 ingredients (through lemongrass).
Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chilli paste; cook 1 minute.
Add Chicken Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Discard lemongrass.
Top with onions, cilantro, and juice.
Serve hot with Garlic Bread/Baked Potato to make it a meal.