It's been a cold (for Charlotte) and very dreary Saturday. I hate the days when the sun doesn't shine. And when it rains. And not to mention when the rain makes my puppy's paws very muddy. I now have little puppy paw prints all over my floor. They're kind of cute though....
Rainy days, however, are good for making soup. This recipe was inspired by an Asian stand at our farmers market which periodically has fresh lemongrass on sale. I bought some before and it just sat in my fridge. But for a dollar, I can't resist purchasing it in hopes I'll make something wonderful. This time, I decided to use the lemongrass to create a soup, and it's wonderful. Lemongrass has to be one of the best natural scents in the world. I'll let you in on a little secret - it makes your entire kitchen smell like a luxurious spa...
This flavorful lemongrass soup gives you a taste of an authentic Thai or Vietnamese recipe, but without using all the hard-to-find ingredients. If I could get my hands on some kaffir lime leaves... that would be a different story. So, instead I used ingredients already common to your kitchen. The fresh Asian flavors of lemongrass, lime, fish sauce, and soy sauce pull this dish together. Chicken stock and coconut milk are the base for shredded chicken breast and brown rice. Long noodles also could be substituted, but again, I wanted to keep it simple and used what I had on hand. To learn how to chop lemongrass, check out these tips. In the end, I added a Thai red chili to the soup, which really gave it some heat (and is great for boosting your metabolism). My husband says that words don't give justice to the tastiness of this dish. Overall, this soup is comforting, healthy and packed with flavor... such a treat on a dreary day!
2 stalks of lemon grass, chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken broth (I used organic 99% fat free)
1 large chicken breast or two smaller chicken breasts
2 cups of brown rice
1 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 cup of sugar snap peas
1 1/2 cups of mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 can of lite coconut milk
1 red thai chilli
juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime pieces for garnish
fresh basil for garnish
Prepare rice according to package instructions. In a food processor, combine lemongrass and ginger and process till finely chopped. In a large sauce pan, heat chicken broth on high until it boils. Reduce heat, add lemongrass, ginger and your chicken breast. Cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat until chicken is done. Remove chicken and shred with two forks on a cutting board. Add shredded chicken back to the pot.
Next, add all of your veggies, including the Thai chili. Slowly add the coconut milk and reduce heat. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Top with fresh basil and additional lime. Enjoy!