Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
This flavorful 'Whole 30' soup is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
We found the original version of this recipe in “The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom“, and have tweaked it here and there after making this soup four times in three weeks. We think we’ve dialed in to the perfect combination of ingredients, and we love it! We hope you will too!
- The first modification we made was increasing the number of servings. In the book this recipe claims to serve only two people, but I can’t imagine anyone eating more than a quart of soup at one meal.
- The next changes were increasing the quantities of lemongrass and ginger root, and swapping minced (or crushed) garlic for the shallot. If you don’t have (or are unable to find) fresh lemongrass, ginger root, or garlic, you can use pre-minced tubes or jars found in the produce department at the grocery store. Just be aware they may have ingredients that are not compliant with the Whole 30.
- We learned after making this once that boiling the limes in the broth left an unpleasant bitterness from the lime peel. We recommend squeezing extra fresh lime juice into the finished soup instead.
- Since I’ve been regularly roasting chickens and making homemade bone broth, our version uses a batch of bone broth and the meat from one entire cooked chicken. The original recipe calls for one pound of raw chicken thighs, and they are added to the broth to cook with the veggies.
- One can of coconut milk wasn’t enough in this recipe, so we increased it to two.
- We use two cups of sliced button mushrooms and a 1 oz package of a dried stir fry mushroom blend, which includes paddy straw, wood ear, and shiitake mushrooms (image shown right). We love the variety of textures these add to the soup, but any combination of mushrooms will do. Please note that you should always follow the package instructions to reconstitute dried mushrooms before adding them to your recipes.
- Our family isn’t particularly fond of parsnips, and we always have carrots on hand. For those reasons, we double the carrot and eliminate the parsnip when we make this soup.
- On the Whole 30, one of our biggest challenges has been food prep efficiency to minimize the time we spend in the kitchen. In an effort to improve, I’ve been experimenting with making extra portions of certain recipes and freezing some for days when schedules get too hectic to cook. By happy coincidence, I learned that this soup freezes and thaws really well (because when I placed the pot in our garage this winter to keep it cool, it actually froze solid. Oops!) After thawing the soup, and enjoying the delicious result, we’ve been freezing a portion of each batch in quart-sized mason jars ever since.
- The prep time assumes you’ve already prepared your bone broth and roasted your chicken.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Ready In: 60 minutes
- Servings: 10
- 1 batch chicken bone broth (or 2 quarts pre-made chicken broth/stock)
- 3 T fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped (or crushed)
- 3 T fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and halved
- 2 cans coconut milk (14.5 ounces each)
- 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 oz dried mushroom blend, reconstituted per package instructions (or an additional cup of sliced button mushrooms)
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 t salt
- 1 roasted chicken, skinned, de-boned, and chopped
- 2 limes, cut into 8 wedges each
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Add the bone broth, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño to a large pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer (uncovered) for 15 minutes.
While your broth is boiling, follow the package instructions to reconstitute the dried mushrooms (the ones we use are boiled in water for 15 minutes). Drain the excess water.
With a fine mesh strainer, strain the broth, and then return it to your pot.
Add the coconut milk, mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, and salt to the broth. Return the broth to a simmer until the carrots are almost cooked, about 20 minutes.
Add the cooked chicken meat to the pot, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or just long enough to warm the chicken.
Serve in bowls, garnished with fresh lime, green onions, and cilantro.