I was very surprised by this soup. I love the way the flavours balance one another, and it's suprisingly hearty. I'm not one for "soup for dinner". It always leaves me wanting more.
The recipe I based this off of comes from a 2 year old issue of Chatelaine magazine, and it was labelled "Hot and Sour Chicken Soup". I didn't get the "hot and sour" vibe...but they did give a nod to the Thai flavours.
This could easily be made vegetarian by swapping the chicken stock for veggie, and the fish sauce for a titch of salt. The chicken could easily (and tastily) be replaced with firm tofu!
Sambal Oelek is a chili sauce that you may find at your grocery store, or in your local Asian or Dutch market. We love it and use it quite often. If it's not available to you, use any hot chili sauce you have on hand. In a pinch, you could use a dash or two of tabasco.
Coconut and Chicken Soup
4 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk (not the light stuff)
Handful of button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
Two handfuls of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Small can bamboo shoots, drained
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or less, to your taste)
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (more or less, to your taste)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Pour broth and coconut milk into a soup pot and stir to blend. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots (mine came in strips and I cut them into matchstick sized pieces to add interest and make them easier to eat), fish sauce, and the sambal. Add zest and juice of both limes. Bring to a boil.
While waiting for the soup to heat, cut chicken into bite sized strips. Once soup is boiling, add chicken. Give it a stir and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked. Taste and adjust salt and chili sauce balance if necessary.
Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro.
This soup was a hit with all three of us, and Quinn loved the spicy broth. He is still not really a fan of the mushrooms but neither was I when I was younger. He ate the chicken and drank the broth.