Chicken Soup for the Sinuses

Last week, I felt like poop. A sinus headache for nearly a whole week left me drained, exhausted, and extremely congested. Come the weekend, all I wanted to do was lie on the couch curled up in a ball and sleep. I watched a few movies with Rob, made some cocoa (from scratch - oh my gosh, I had no idea it was so good), and most importantly, made soup. It just seems right.
This recipe comes from the simply titled Thai by Judy Bastyra, which I believe my parents picked up for me in a Costco. At first I couldn't find too much in it, but after several porings over I realized I have nearly every other page dog-eared and I've turned to their ingredients section for spice information - it's been quite a find. The galangal, chicken and coconut soup I had been hoping would be similar to Lemongrass's, which I get every time I go there with Sheila from work. It's not quite the same flavors - the restaurant's is a bit milder, but with our added hot pepper and garlic this had a more spicy-sour note that was perfect for giving me back a sense of smell. Delicious, nutritious, and a powerhouse.

adapted from Thai

1 Tbsp dried lemon grass
zest of 1 lemon
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
2 dried Thai chiles
2 14-oz cans coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth

3/4 - 1 tsp galanga/galangal powder
black pepper
5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
4 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
1 can cut baby corn cobs
6-8 oz. frozen haricot verts/thin green beans
4 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
about 12 Thai basil leaves

In a large pot, toss in the dried lemon grass, zest, onion, and garlic. Carefully split the chiles and shake over the pot so the seeds are loose. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Grind over a good quantity of black pepper, and stir in with the galanga powder and kaffir lime leaves. Set the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally (don't be tempted to heat it on high; coconut milk foams up very quickly).
While the soup is simmering, cut the chicken into thin strips.
Strain the soup into a clean pot and return it to a low heat. Let it come back to a near simmer. Stir in the chicken strips, corn cobs and haricot verts. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Stir in the lemon or lime juice and fish sauce. Tear up the basil leaves and add to the soup. Stir for one minute and then remove from heat. Serve warm.

You're not likely to find all the ingredients in your regular supermarket unless it's truly awesome or an Asian market, but I've had good luck with importfoods.com and next order will be getting my lemongrass in from them - in the absence of fresh, zest a lemon. I also skipped with powdered galanga for fresh, but if you don't have either of those fresh ginger slices with a bit of white pepper and some extra lime juice will come close to mimicking the flavor.


Blogger Laura Rebecca said...

I love the title for this post. (And I wouldn't mind a bowl of your soup, either.)

9:16 PM  
Blogger melinda said...

yum - when you come this weekend i need you to help me create a recipe - i have some chicken, apple cider and butternut squash that i think would be awesome baked . . . probably add some red potatoes, onions maybe a squash? the part i'll need help with is the spices - i'm thinking cloves and ginger?

9:06 AM  

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