Sunday, January 4, 2009
Although most of the wedding details still need to be worked out, the honeymoon is booked - which we all know is the most important thing! We will be spending what promises to be an amazing week on the edge of Yellowstone National Park in Montana. We have a little cabin by a stream reserved on a nearby all-inclusive ranch, with a week full of horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, canoeing, whitewater rafting and spa treatments. I absolutely cannot wait! This is the trip I've been wishing for my whole life!
Back here in Baltimore, summer seems ages away. This chicken soup will warm your soul and cut through any stuffy nose. I make some version of this soup every couple of weeks, often for a quick lunch. Sometimes I make it with shrimp instead of chicken, or noodles instead of rice. You can add greens or other veggies, or even some tofu, or substitute vegetable broth as you like. It is quick, simple and incredibly delicious each time.
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups beef stock (you can use all chicken, but I like the depth of flavor this adds)
1 6-inch piece of thick lemongrass, cut into 4 pieces
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp seracha
1 Tbsp tom yum paste (optional, but strengthens the flavor)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2/3 cup rice
1 chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
1 Tbsp pre-made basil pesto, preferably without the oil
1 large Hass avocado , diced
2 large or 4 small scallions, sliced on the bias
Combine stocks, lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, seracha, tom yum paste, sugar and seasoning in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add rice and simmer until rice is cooked to al dente. Add chicken and simmer until it's cooked through and rice is tender. Remove from heat, remove lemongrass and lime leaves. Add coconut milk, pesto, avocado and scallions. Best when served immediately, although the lime juice in the soup does prevent the avocado from browning quickly.