I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes that are full of flavor – especially if they can be made in under an hour. Much to my surprise, the basis for this soup came from the Parade Magazine supplement in my Sunday paper. Of course I had to play with it a bit to get it to suit my tastes and also to be a satisfying meal, but the genesis of this delicious and easy dinner came out of a single paragraph recipe from this otherwise throw-away supplement. Sometimes inspiration can come from unlikely places.
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup with Rice
Yield: 4 dinner portions
2 Tablespoons Canola or coconut oil, divided
1 Tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
5 chicken thighs with skin removed (I used bone-in) or 3 chicken breasts
About 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly
5 cups of low sodium chicken stock
13.5 ounce can of light coconut milk
2 Tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 Tablespoon chili garlic sauce or paste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Zest of one lime
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup white rice
2 jalapeno peppers or 1/2 of a Cubanelle pepper
3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
About 4 Tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a 3.5-4 quart heavy saucepan with a lid. Add the onion and minced ginger and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and the pieces of chicken.
- Pour the 5 cups of stock over the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 2o minutes.
- Using tongs or a fork, remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate or cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken meat off of the bone. Add the shredded meat back to the pot.
- Add the mushrooms, fish sauce, sugar, chili-garlic paste/sauce and the coconut milk.
- Add the lime zest and the juice of 1.5 limes. Stir to mix everything through. The soup can be made earlier in the day up to this point.
- Sauté the jalapeno peppers and scallions in 1 Tablespoon of oil in a 2-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid for about 1 minute.
- Rinse the rice. Add the rinsed and drained rice to the peppers and scallions. Add the salt, 1 cup of stock and 1 cup of water to the rice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot tightly and cook for about 14 minutes. The water should be absorbed but the rice is still very moist. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and fluff through the rice.
When you are ready to serve, heat the soup through and cook for about 5 minutes. I served a bowl of soup, with chopped cilantro on top and the rice in a separate bowl. Each person can then decide if they want to add the rice to the bowl or if they want to eat the rice separately.