Recipe: Ginger, Chicken & Coconut Soup

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking

Beth over at BethFish Reads has started a wonderful new way for us to link up to all the fabulous posts about food that us book lovers post about throughout the blogosphere.  I am so excited to have a collection like this all in one place.  That makes it easy for me to live vicariously through all of you who are posting about food. Yay!

Now food is one of my favorite topics.  I absolutely love to read about food in books.  That’s why last week during the Read-a-Thon,when hosting a mini-challenge, mine was all about the food that you run across in books.  Check out some of the entries, they are fabulous.  Yummy!

Ginger, Chicken and Coconut Soup

This week I will be sharing a recipe that I absolutely love.  My friend and I love to go to thisThe Soup Bible, by Debra Mayhew Thai restaurant near my apartment, and every time that we go we get the same thing- Tom Kha Gai Soup.  It is so yummy and I can seriously just eat it by the potful.  So  I got to thinking why not make a whole pot for the two of us!  I had found a recipe on the Internet and we made it one night and it was delicious, and recently I wanted to make a soup for a friend coming over to have dinner.  I was flipping through The Soup Bible and was reminded of my favorite Thai soup.  They call it Ginger, Chicken and Coconut Soup, but it’s the same thing.  Sweet!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 4 lemon grass stalks, bruised and chopped
  • 1 inch piece of galangal, finely chopped
  • 10 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1o kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1 oz. skinless boneless chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 4 oz. button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of baby sweet corn
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 red chilies, chopped
  • 3- 4 spring onions
  • chopped fresh coriander

Bring the coconut milk and chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the lemon grass, galangal, peppercorns and half the kaffir lime leaves, reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten minutes.

Strain the stock into a clean pan.  Return to the heat , then add the chicken, mushrooms and baby sweetcorn. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce to taste and the rest of the lime eaves. Serve hot, garnished with red chilies, spring onions and coriander.

What I Did

As I have mentioned before, I am biologically incapable of following recipes.  I love reading them, I love looking at the pictures of them, but I am not so good at following them.  I will usually do quite a few things a bit differently.  This time was no exception.

This recipe called for peppercorns but the one that I used another time called for green chilies, and I opted again for the chilies.  I thought about the peppercorn but I just thought it had a flavor that wasn’t quite compatible with the soup.  I also ditched he baby sweetcorn, and used the portobello mushrooms that I had in my fridge over the ones they mentioned in the recipe.  I have never been able to find kaffir lime leaves, and I admit that I haven’t looked very hard, so I ditched them too.  It still tastes the same as it did in the restaurant so that particular flavor might be very subtle.

If you decide to use the chilies you might not want to let them cook in the coconut milk and chicken stock for ten minutes if you don’t want it to be too, too spicy.  I like spicy food and I think I had to yank mine after five minutes!   This soup can be eaten plain- served  before your entree, but often I will just have it with a salad and mix brown rice in with the soup to make it more of a meal.  It is delicious!

If the thought of fish sauce gives you pause, it shouldn’t.  It really brings out the soup.  Just add slowly and taste along the way so that the flavor is to your liking.  And another tip- save the items that you strain out.  They freeze well, and are strongly flavorful, so you can use them for a very easy second round at some point down the line.

What’s your favorite soup?

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14 Comments

  1. This sounds SO good, Nicole! Laughing at you being biologically unable to make a recipe without tampering with it – that’s just putting your personal touch on the food 🙂

    I love to make soups in the cooler (soon to be colder!) weather; I haven’t yet tried THE SOUP BIBLE, but I’ll check it out.
    .-= Dawn – She is Too Fond of Books´s last blog ..Book Giveaway: *The Financial Lives of the Poets* by Jess Walter =-.

  2. This looks so good – I think it’s a soup I really enjoy at a Thai restaurant near here, but I can never remember the name. In any case, I am definitely going to try making it for myself.

  3. LOL!! We truly are twins separated at birth when it comes to cooking! I was rewriting the recipe as I as reading it. I have the Soup Bible, now I’ll have to make the soup. Oh, BTW, I do that rice trick often to make a soup more hearty. In fact, I used leftover rice in the chicken soup I make last night (no recipe, just used what was in the house)
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman =-.