This was yummy. Even Mr. HHF was surprised at how much he liked it. Toddler ate it too…but picked out the mushrooms (he’s never a fan of those). Make sure you use real lemongrass (not the jarred or canned kind) and don’t skimp on it. It’s worth the splurge. I’d never cooked with real lemongrass before, but after trying this soup (and some lemongrass tea), I’m definitely growing my own as soon as Mr. HHF starts the greenhouse heaters in January! Make recipe as is for an appetizer, or add extra mushrooms and chicken (about a cup of each) for a main course.
9/10 Mr. HHF said when he looked at it, he thought he was going to give it a 6/10, but he was pleasantly surprised. I think the mushrooms freaked him out.
Serves: 4 as a main course or 6-8 as an appetizer (make sure you add extra chicken and mushrooms as a main course…especially if you are cooking for guys
Prep time: About 30 minutes
Recipe adapted from: The Best International Recipe Book
1 tsp oil (olive, grape, or vegetable)
3 stalks of lemongrass (only the bottom 5 inches), peel off the outer layer then slice thin
3 large shallots or 1 medium white onion (I used white onion)
8-16 sprigs cilantro (we all LOVE cilantro, so I always add more)
2-3 T. fish sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups water with 3 chicken bouillon cubes)
2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk (regular coconut milk is MUCH yummier than the light coconut milk)
1 T. sugar
1/2 lb white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts) halved lengthwise and sliced on the bias into 1/8 inch pieces
3 T. lime juice (I only had key lime juice…we didn’t notice a difference)
2 tsp Thai red curry paste (comes in a little jar with a black lid in most grocery stores)
Garnish: 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, 2 fresh Thai or jalapeno chilis, 2 sliced scallions , 1 lime cut in wedges
1. Heat oil in large saucepan until shimmering. Add lemongrass, shallots or onion, chopped cilantro, and 1 T. of fish sauce. Stir frequently until just softened but not browned (2-5 minutes).
2. Stir in the chicken broth and ONE can of coconut milk (don’t make the same mistake I did of adding both cans). Bring to simmer over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the flavors have blended, 10-15 minutes. Strain out all the solids in a strainer or with a fine slotted spoon. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step…pretty sure the toddler was getting into trouble at this point!
3. Return strained soup to the saucepan and bring back to a simmer. Add the 2nd can of coconut milk and the sugar. Bring to simmer and add sliced mushrooms. Cook until slightly soft, 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and stir constantly until all the chicken is white, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Add lime juice, curry paste, and fish sauce to taste (1-2 tablespoons…the fish sauce makes it salty so be careful). Garnish soup with cilantro, chiles, scallions, and lime. Hubby added sriracha sauce.
I served this soup with a peasant style bread because we already had that, but it would be yummy with rice noodles, quinoa, or rice. We ate the leftovers with rice the next day, and it was equally as yummy!