A Winter Cure-All Recipe: Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
This recipe is full of fragrant comfort - perfect for those cold nights when you want to cozy up with a cup of warm soup. It’s also the perfect concoction for colds, flu, or illnesses. Everyone knows chicken soup has great immune-strengthening properties. This is due to its superstar main ingredient: chicken stock.
Chicken stock is easy to make. Steep whole chicken bones in simmering water with herbs and vegetables to release the incredible nutrients, gelatin, and collagen found within the bones and marrow. All these nourishing qualities melt into the stock. It’s a delicious way to beat the blues this winter.
This Thai-style chicken and rice soup utilizes homemade chicken stock as well as leeks, garlic, and ginger, which also have excellent health and post-workout recovery benefits. The addition of coconut milk gives the soup a creamy texture.
Thai-Style Chicken and Rice Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 red Thai chiles or other hot chiles
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large leek, white parts sliced
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (see below for a healthy homemade recipe)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup jasmine rice
- 1 lb chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced in half lengthwise and then chopped into 4-5 inch pieces
- 1 Tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt to taste, depending on how salty your stock and fish sauce are
- In a large saucepan, heat oil and sauté chile, garlic, and leeks until fragrant.
- Add stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to a simmer and add rice, chicken, fish sauce, lemongrass, ginger, and lime juice.
- Simmer until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add salt to taste if needed.
- Add frozen peas and cilantro and cook 3-4 minutes.
- Remove lemongrass and serve.
- Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and red pepper slices.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 24 hours
- 3 lb bone-in chicken parts (necks, feet, wings, gizzards, carcass, or can use whole chicken)
- Water to fill crockpot (8-12 cups)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- A few sprigs of thyme
- Place all ingredients except the parsley and thyme into a large crockpot.
- Turn crockpot on high and cook until any meat left on bones is easily shredded, about 2-3 hours.
- Skim off any foam from the top of the stock and remove chicken.
- Shred meat from the bone and set aside.
- Place bones back into the pot.
- Turn crockpot down to low and continue to cook 22 (or more) hours.
- Turn off crockpot and add parsley and thyme. Let herbs steep in the hot stock 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Let stock cool.
- Skim off any fat that’s formed on the top.
- Pour stock through a strainer to remove solids.
- Store stock in fridge or freezer for future use.
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Photo courtesy of Kari Lund.