Thai Chicken Soup

IMG_1354-2 (500x334) This soup has an incredible combination of flavors and textures. It comes together really quickly and if you prep all your ingredients ahead of time, you can be savoring every spoonful of it’s goodness within 30-40 minutes.

It tastes refreshing, bright, filling and light at the same time. All the ingredients play an important role in balancing the flavors of sweet and sour with just the right amount of heat and saltiness.

Thai Chicken Soup has been on my list of recipes to try for years now. I just never got around to actually making it. I read and compared many recipes and adapted the base of the soup from a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and added what I thought would taste good for the rest of the ingredients.

Boy, this soup knocked my socks off. It exceeded all my expectations and I will most definitely be making this many times in the future.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast half, sliced thin

8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced

1-2 lemon grass stems, bruised and chopped

1-2 teaspoons ginger, minced

2 shallots, chopped

2 Tablespoons oil

4 cups chicken broth

2(14.5 oz)  cans coconut milk

2-3 carrots

1 jalapeno

1 (14 oz. can) baby corn

1 1/2 cup rice noodles or rice sticks, broken into smaller pieces

2 Tablespoons fish sauce

2-4 teaspoons red curry paste

lime juice, from 1 lime

2 Tablespoons parsley

2 Tablespoons green onions

salt to taste

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you. Most of them are flavorants and aromatics.

Slice the chicken breast into thin slices, 1/8 inch thick.

It’s much easier to slice if you place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Set it aside. IMG_1278-2 (500x334) Slice the mushrooms into thin slices also.

IMG_1282-2 (500x334) Bruise the lemon grass with your hands, peel the dry outer layers and slice the bottom portions into small pieces. Discard the top, woody part of the lemon grass. IMG_1288-2 (500x334)

IMG_1292-2 (500x334) Mince the ginger.   IMG_1293-2 (500x334)

Lemon grass and ginger are absolutely vital for this soup. The flavor will not be the same if you don’t use them. There isn’t anything you can substitute for them either. They are sold in most grocery stores, but you may have to wait a little bit, since the stores don’t have them all the time.  When you see it in stock, make some soup. 

Chop the shallot also.

IMG_1275-2 (500x334) Peel and slice the carrots into thin slices.

IMG_1274-2 (500x334) Mince the jalapeno.

IMG_1285-2 (500x334) Cut the baby corn into small pieces or you can also keep them whole or sliced lengthwise.

You can substitute regular, fresh corn instead of the baby corn. If you’re lucky enough, you may even find some fresh baby corn and use that. 

Cut the rice sticks/noodles into shorter pieces. Kitchen shears work great for this job.

IMG_1325-2 (500x334) In a medium pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the ginger and shallots. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the shallot is tender. IMG_1295-2 (500x334) Add the lemon grass. IMG_1299-2 (500x334) Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. IMG_1302-2 (500x401)

IMG_1306-2 (500x381) Strain it through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the ginger, shallot and lemon grass. They have done their job. You’re basically infusing the chicken broth with the flavors of lemon grass and ginger. However, you don’t want to eat the lemongrass and ginger, since they are kind of woody and fibrous. 

IMG_1310-2 (500x332) In the same pot that you used, heat another Tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots and the jalapeno. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the carrots have softened. IMG_1313-2 (500x334) Pour in the strained chicken broth. IMG_1314-2 (500x391) Add one can of coconut milk. IMG_1319-2 (500x382) Add the fish sauce, mushrooms and baby corn. Cook for about 3 minutes. You can substitute soy sauce instead of the fish sauce. IMG_1322-2 (500x334)

IMG_1323-2 (500x334)

IMG_1324-2 (500x334)

IMG_1327-2 (500x352) Add the chicken breast and rice noodles. IMG_1328-2 (500x341)

IMG_1331-2 (500x424) Pour in another can of coconut milk. Adding the second can of coconut milk at the end of cooking will retain a fresh, coconuty flavor, and not taste washed out. IMG_1333-2 (500x377) Cook for another 3 minutes. Add the curry paste, lime juice and season with salt.

The Thai red curry paste is the secret ingredient of this soup. It is very easy to find and is sold in most grocery stores. It has many complex Thai flavors of exotic ingredients that would be hard to find combined in one jar. You can add more or less according to your taste buds.  IMG_1335-2 (500x334) Garnish the soup with fresh parsley and scallions. IMG_1345-2 (500x334) (2)

Thai Chicken Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken breast half
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 lemon grass stems
  • 1-2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2(14.5 oz) cans coconut milk
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 (14 oz. can) baby corn
  • 1½ cup rice noodles or rice sticks, broken into smaller pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2-4 teaspoons red curry paste
  • lime juice, from 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken breast into thin slices, ⅛ inch thick. It's much easier to slice if you place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Set it aside.
  2. Slice the mushrooms into thin slices also.
  3. Bruise the lemon grass with your hands and slice the bottom portions into small pieces. Mince the ginger. Chop the shallot also.
  4. Peel and slice the carrots into thin slices.
  5. Mince the jalapeno.
  6. Cut the baby corn into small pieces or you can also keep them whole or sliced lengthwise.
  7. Cut the rice noodles/sticks into shorter pieces. Kitchen shears work great for this job.
  8. In a medium pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the ginger and shallots. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the shallot is tender. Add the lemon grass.
  9. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the ginger, shallot and lemon grass.
  11. In the same pot that you used, heat another Tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots and the jalapeno. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the carrots have softened.
  12. Pour in the strained chicken broth. Add one can of coconut milk. Add the fish sauce, mushrooms and baby corn. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  13. Add the chicken breast and rice noodles. Pour in another can of coconut milk. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add the curry paste, lime juice and season with salt. Garnish the soup with fresh parsley and scallions.

 
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Comments

    • says

      I love soups! That’s probably apparent. They are such a great meal, scrumptious and filling yet at the same time light. That’s my type of food.

  1. Alla says

    I have been waiting for this since you teased us with it on FB :) Deffinitly going on my menu for next week. Can’t wait. :) Thank you!!!!

  2. Oksana says

    What an interesting soup recipe! I will have to give this one a try. I’ll have to go out and search for some of the ingredients, but i think it will be well worth it! I love the taste of coconut milk in different recipes :) Thanks!

  3. Natalie says

    Looks yummy!!! Can I get away without using the jalapeno? Also, I have an Asian friend that shared with me a tip for working with rice noodles. You soak them in warm water for 10 minutes or so and then they are very easy to work with and chop :)

    • says

      Hi Natalie,
      You don’t have to use the jalapeno, but in my opinion it tastes better with it. I usually soak the noodles in advance also, but in this soup, the noodles cook so quickly, you don’t need to soak them beforehand.

  4. Oksana says

    Hi Olga!
    I made this soup for dinner yesterday and it was VERY delicious! I followed your recipe exactly. This soup was just packed with flavor and aroma! My husband esp really loved it! And I had no problem at all finding all the ingredients! Thanks for an awesome recipe, I will be making this soup from now on! :)

    • says

      That’s wonderful to hear, Oksana.
      Love to hear feedback after others have tried a recipe. The ingredients are available in most grocery stores, which is why this recipe really appealed. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it too.

  5. Lila says

    Hello Olga,
    Thanks for this recipe, I always order this at Thai restaurants. But wasn’t brave enough to try it on my own. But you defiantly make look simple, I gotta try it. But i wanted to ask : How spicy is this? Would it be ok for kids?
    Thanks

    • says

      Lila,
      It’s not spicy at all. My husband and I both don’t like spicy things, so it’ll work for kids too. I’d love to hear what you think of it when you try it.

  6. Tallya says

    I’ve been wanting to make a soup with coconut milk for a while and this recipe sounds and looks perfect! I eat mostly vegan though so I will try it with veggie broth, without chicken, and will sub soy sauce for the fish sauce. Going on my menu for next week! Thanks

  7. Lilia Kharabora says

    Made this a few hours ago! Your recipes have never disappointed me and Im adding this one to the list! Wonderful and flavorful. Thank you for all the Love you put into your food!

    • says

      Sorry, Julia, nope:) I am not a nutritional expert or a registered dietitian, so I wouldn’t be able to give you reliable information.

  8. Lara says

    I don’t normally comment on blog posts but this was amazing. I have been looking for a recipe like this for along time and this is the one. Thank you!

  9. Inga says

    Kids refused to eat it. So it’s a big minus for me, because I don’t want to cook multiple meals. Hubby and I ate it, it was good, but not great.

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