Soup. The art of soup. If you make your own soup you control the ingredients and salt. It’s a guilt free indulgence if you avoid adding carbs. For my hungrier crowds I spoon over mashed potato or throw in some precooked noodles – rice or egg. You can season with some hot sauce or soy sauce or not and leave it as is. I love soup for it’s versatility and comfort factor.
So, clean your chicken under cold slowly running water as this controls the splashing. Put your chicken in a stock pot and completely cover with cold water. Add a whole onion cut in half, carrot, 2 oz whole ginger, a few garlic cloves, fresh lemongrass that’s halved, an entire bunch of cleaned cilantro (cilantro is best cleaned by gently submersing in cold water several times) salt and pepper. Set to cook on high with the lid on. When it comes to a rolling boil turn the burner down to let it simmer gently for as long as a few hours or as short as an hour. Here there is an option.
You can after 30-40 minutes of simmering remove your chicken and extract the breast meat for your soup or as I do, you can leave it all to cook and debone it when the broth is done. This is a personal choice so I’ll leave that up to your preference. As your ingredients simmer make sure you keep the chicken covered with water and so add more cold water as it simmers down. As such when making a stock it’s best to use a tall narrow pot so your stock is not too diluted.
After your stock has finished remove the chicken and such into a bowl then strain the broth through a fine sieve. Discard what’s caught by the sieve and return the broth to a clean pot. Now assemble your soup. I always taste the broth here to know what I’m working with. Now add your soup ingredients. This is a Thai style soup, so, add fish sauce (it makes a difference,) finely diced red pepper (adds color and crunch,) hand shredded chicken that you have deboned (or only the chicken breast,) and finely sliced button mushrooms. Bring back to a simmer for ten minutes and then add your coconut milk – maybe one can or two – a taste test will tell you. Add in your fresh chopped cilantro and adjust your seasonings. Mmm, Soup!