Add some exotic flavors to your dinner this week with our Thai-inspired Lemongrass Chicken Soup. This hearty and filling meal is a great option for the entire family, as it provides rich and memorable flavors while still being nutritious. The best part about this recipe is the fact that it’s so easy to make–just add everything into a stockpot, cover, and let it simmer! You can also make this soup over the weekend, divide it up, and refrigerate in secure containers so you can enjoy it throughout the week. For more meal ideas, you can serve this with our roasted asparagusand delicata squash and apple sorghum salad for a filling, nutritious dinner that will put a smile on everyone’s faces!
Eating lean poultry such as chicken provides you with a great source of protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. In fact, proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, and are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins (1)! This soup is a great way to ensure that these nutrient needs are met, while still providing a delicious dish. We also believe that the quality of the chicken is important, which is why we suggest buying organic, pasture-raised chicken as much as possible. Check out Eat Wild or Local Harvest to find small, local farms in your area that provide quality meat.
Lemongrass-Ginger Chicken Soup
Serves: 8 servings
1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 leeks (use the white part)
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
2 garlic cloves
3 quarts of water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 ounces ginger (1-inch piece)
2 teaspoons red curry paste
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed outer layer, use only the white and pale-yellow parts
1- 15 ounce can coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
2 cups baby bella or shitake mushrooms
2 cups savoy cabbage, sliced thinly
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
4 scallions, halved crosswise
1 large stockpot
2 cutting boards
2 medium size bowls
2 small size bowls
Medium size saucepan
Remove any chicken feathers left on the chicken or chicken giblets inside the cavity.
Sprinkle the lemon juice and salt on the outside of the chicken and in the cavity, and place the chicken in a large stockpot over medium heat.
Add the leeks, turnip, carrots, celery, and garlic, then add water to cover the chicken and vegetables. [i]Note[/i]: You don’t want to add too much water as that will decrease the richness of the broth.
Place the bay leaves and peppercorns into the stockpot and bring it to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, until the chicken is cooked at 165 F. [i]Note[/i]: if the water is lower than the chicken then add a little more water to keep the chicken covered while it is simmering.
When the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 F, carefully move it to a cutting board. Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and bones and shred the chicken using two forks. Place the shredded chicken into a medium size bowl and set aside.
Place a strainer over a medium size bowl and pour the broth into the strainer, so that the excess liquid is caught in the bowl and the vegetables are left behind. Set aside.
Remove the bay leaf, peppercorns, and vegetables (excluding the carrots) from the strainer and discard.
On a clean cutting board, slice the carrots with a knife. Place carrots into a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, add the broth, ginger, red curry paste and lemongrass. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Remove the ginger and lemongrass, and add in the coconut milk and lime juice. Stir well, then add in the shredded chicken, mushrooms, cabbage and carrots. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, and garnish with cilantro, scallions, or lime wedges, if desired.
*Lemongrass imparts a delicate citrus aroma, but if you can’t find lemongrass, use equal parts lemon peel and ginger. [br]*If you plan on storing the chicken broth, cool before placing it in containers. [br]*To store, place in seal tight containers and label and date for up to for up to one week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.[br]*If you are short on time, you could use store bought chicken broth, and then buy a rotisserie chicken to add to the soup.
(1) Why is it important to make lean or low-fat choices from the Protein Foods Group? Choose MyPlate. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods-nutrients-health