Lemongrass Chicken Soup

    1 hour 20 minutes

    This is a thick soup - almost a stew, with the citrus touch of lemongrass and coconut milk for added richness.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 1 small red chilli, split open lengthways but left whole
    • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
    • 1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 slices
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised and cut in half
    • 650g bone-in chicken pieces, such as breasts or thighs, skinned
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 250g thin green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthways with a vegetable peeler into thin strips
    • 80ml reduced-fat coconut milk
    • finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
    • pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander to garnish

    Preparation:25min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hour20min 

    1. Place 1 litre water in a saucepan over high heat. Spear the chilli, garlic and ginger on a wooden cocktail stick or skewer (this makes them easy to remove later) and add to the pan together with the lemongrass. Bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for about 30 minutes.
    2. Return the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken pieces, shallot and green beans, and poach for 12–15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked (test with the tip of a knife – the juices should run clear). Add the zucchini slices for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
    3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, beans and zucchini to a warmed bowl. Add a little of the poaching liquid to keep them moist, then cover tightly and keep warm.
    4. Return the liquid to the boil and add the coconut milk, stirring until it dissolves. Continue boiling for about 5–6 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about one-third.
    5. Remove the chicken meat from the bones and shred it roughly. Return the chicken meat, beans and zucchini to the soup and stir, then reheat briefly. Stir in the grated lime rind and juice. Season with pepper.
    6. Divide the chicken and vegetables among 4 soup bowls. Spoon over the liquid, discarding the lemongrass and stick of chilli, garlic and ginger. Sprinkle with the coriander and serve.

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