Friday, April 30, 2010

Lemon-ginger chicken soup

I love soups that are broth based, they seem fresh and clean. I also love all of the ingredients in here. This is simple, delicious and not a thing in it is bad for you!

You can have it with a big salad, or a plate of steamed vegetables.

2 ½ pounds (approximately) boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
12 cups chicken stock (two 49-ounce cans)

2 stalks lemongrass, about 4 inches of the bottom succulent part, cut into 2-inch pieces, split in half and smashed with a heavy object

¼ cup lemon or lime juice

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red chile paste or equal amount red chile pepper flakes, to taste

1 heaping tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peeled, mashed fresh ginger, or more to taste

3 small carrots cut into thin rounds (optional)

2 ½ cups cooked rice

Chopped fresh cilantro and mint for garnish, optional (cilantro is best, but any fresh herb will work).

In a pot large enough to hold chicken cubes, poach chicken in water until just starting to lose pinkness, 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. (pre-cook so scum does not ruin clearness of broth).

In another large pot (or clean out the previous pot) place all remaining ingredients to except chicken, cooked rice and garnishes. Simmer 15 minutes.

Add chicken, simmer additional 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Just before serving, add rice. If you don't intend to serve the soup right away, don't put the rice in, as it will soak up the liquid as it sits. Remove lemongrass before serving, if you like. Serve very hot, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and mint, if desired.

Serves 8