Homemade Thai Chicken Soup Recipe

Wonderful Homemade Chicken Soup Thai-style - Easy too!
D.Schmidt for About.com
    30 mins
Personally, I loved my mother's chicken soup when I was a kid, but now that I'm older, this Thai version is the recipe I reach for. There's nothing quite so wonderful-tasting, or as soothing as this soup. It's a great remedy if you're fighting a cold or flu, but I also find it to be an excellent remedy for the spirit, especially as the days begin to shorten and we see the sun less and less. This soup just always gives me the boost I need. What makes it different than regular chicken soup is its special concoction of chicken simmered with garlic, ginger, lime juice, and fresh herbs, plus a swirl of coconut milk for added richness (without the fat/calories of cream). If you love chicken soup, be sure to give this one a try. It may just become your go-to soup recipe of the season.

What You'll Need

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts or 3-4 thighs, sliced thinly or chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 fresh or frozen lime leaves, OR 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 large thumb-size piece ginger, sliced into matchstick-like slivers
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 2-3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2-3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar, to taste (may be omitted)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • handful fresh coriander/cilantro
  • optional: chili oil for those who like it spicy
  • optional: fresh beansprouts (see recipe)

How to Make It

  1. Set stock in a large soup pot over high heat. As you bring stock to a boil, add prepared chicken, garlic, lime leaves/bay leaves, and chili flakes. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetables and simmer another 6-7 minutes or until broccoli and red pepper are cooked but still retain firmness and color.
  3. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Stir well.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk, stirring until dissolved. Now taste-test the soup, the sugar if desired.  Adding a splash more fish sauce if you prefer more flavor or saltiness. Add more lime juice if too salty or too sweet for your taste.
  1. This soup is wonderful as is, but if you prefer it spicier, add a good dollop of chili oil (this will give the soup a reddish tinge, as in the photo). Then sprinkle over some fresh coriander. Fresh bean sprouts can also be added at the table, each person adding their own. Enjoy!

For Chicken-Noodle Soup: I find it's best to boil the noodles separately, drain, and then add as much as you want to each bowl. This method keeps the noodle starch from thickening the soup and changing its flavor. Also, this way the noodles won't soak up all the soup or get soggy in the leftovers, because for sure you're going to want to those tomorrow! Cheers!