Recipe: Simple Thai-inspired Lemon Chicken soup! YUM!

Truly one of my favorites and close-to a Thai classic.  Super simple, and extremely comforting on a chilly winter night.  Hope you enjoy this bold, savory, sour soup!

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Ingredients:  *all organic if possible, serves 4

-2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly (or sub for 1 and 1/2 cup of cubed firm tofu)

-2 cups chicken broth (or sub for vegetable broth)

-1 cup coconut milk (sub for lite coconut milk)

-1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped (or whichever color you prefer)

-1/2 large zucchini, cut bite size (similar size pieces to pepper)

-6 large mushrooms, stem removed, cut into 4 pieces

-handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

-2 heads of Bok Choy, knobby stem-end cut off, rinsed well, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

-3 tbsp of lemon juice, fresh squeezed preferred

-1 and 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, coconut sugar or regular sugar

-2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, cut into thick slices

-2 stocks of lemongrass, outer tough stalk removed, cut into 2 inch stalks, and smashed with the butt of the knife to release volatile oils

-2 bird chilies or thai chilies, sliced thin, leaving seeds in (this is medium spicy to hot) *optional

-2 tbsp fish sauce (or sub for Bragg soy alternative, but this does change the taste to slightly briny so only use 1 tbsp)

-8-10 Kefir lime leaves

-1 cup brown or white rice (use whichever you prefer)

-large pot with lid

Cook rice as per instructions on package and set aside.

In a large pot, add the chicken stock, coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves, chilies, ginger, fish sauce, and sugar.  Bring to a boil,  then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Add the sliced chicken. Make sure the soup is on SIMMER only, just bubbling, or the chicken will over-cook and become chewy.  After about 4-5 minutes, add the zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms.  SIMMER with the lid on for about 5 more minutes, or until veg is just tender.  Add the Bok Choy and tomatoes, stir for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice.  Stir and serve over a about 1/3 cup of cooked rice per person and enjoy!  Feel free to add cilantro for a fresh finish!

*you will have the ginger, lime leaves, and lemon grass within the soup, and recommend not eat these.  Simple take out with a spoon before serving, or during eating, as this is traditional to keep them in.