Thai Chicken Soup

This nourishing soup combines the sweetness of coconut milk with crisp vegetables and a hint of green chili.

4 cups Light Chicken Stock
2 Stems Fresh Lemongrass (chopped)
1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green Sweet Pepper (finely diced)
1 Fresh Plump Hot Red Chile Pepper (seeded and minced)
3 tbls. Olive Oil or Peanut Oil
4 heads Baby Bok Choy
2 Chicken Breasts (skinless, boneless, about 4 ounces each, finely diced)
1/4 tspn. Mild Curry Powder
1/8 tspn. Cayenne Pepper
2 tbls. Coconut Cream
Leaves from 1 sprig Fresh Basil (ideally Thai holy basil, but Italian is fine)
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. Tie up the lemongrass in a cheesecloth bag. In a large saucepan, lightly saute the diced peppers, fresh chile pepper, and lemongrass bag in half the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bok choy and continue cooking for 2 minutes until wilted. Set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a clean non-stick frying pan and stir-fry the diced chicken with the curry powder and cayenne until just firm and a lovely golden brown color, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a paper towel.

3. Add the chicken to the peppers and chile in the saucepan. Stir in the coconut cream and stoc Bring to a boil and check the seasoning, then tear in the basil leaves. Pull out the bag of lemongrass at the last minute.

4. Serve hot in warmed bowls, making sure each diner has a head of bok choy.

Here are some helpful hints for making a clear stock. Before you begin, check that the chicken carcasses are well cleaned and free of any blood spots - it is best to rinse them in cold water. Simmer the stock rather than boil and, when cooked, allow it to stand for a good 15 minutes so the solids settle to the bottom of the pan. Then very gently pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, leaving the solids and "debris" behind.


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