last time we made this soup, our President’s Day skiing weekend was interrupted by a complete whiteout winter storm. One that left visibility that didn’t go beyond the end of the deck outside. The vegetables were limited to what we had on hand as you can see in the photos, but it was a great soup for a cold winter’s day!

Our version, which adds the chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken as well as broth derived from the same chicken, creates a soup with a richness that is a big hit with the whole family. As we are cooking for children, we leave the chilies out and let the adults add according to their own taste.  Sometimes we add a tablespoon or two of fish sauce.

Traditionally seasoned with kaffir lime leaves, this recipe simply uses both lime zest and juice. Straw mushrooms give it an authentic look, while creamy coconut milk adds an enticing aroma. Thai Coconut Soup is almost always served with rice.

Ingredients for soup base:
3 cans (14 oz.) coconut milk (lite or regular, not sweetened)
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 kaffir lime leaves, or 1 teaspoon lime zest
1 stalk celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 cups chicken broth (or one can)

To prepare soup base:
This is a great soup to make with a store bought rotisserie chicken. Make chicken broth by placing the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water just over the top of the chicken. Add a bay leaf, about 5 peppercorns, a few sprigs of parsley, a few sprigs of thyme if you have it, a teaspoon of salt and a few cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a heavy knife. Bring the liquid to a boil,and simmer for an hour or two.



Ingredients for vegetables noodles or rice:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 scallions, slice into 1/4 rounds
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5 oz. dry rice noodles, or 2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup basil, chopped
Leftover rotisserie chicken (and broth), OR 1/2 to 1 lb. medium shrimp, cooked, OR 1 lb. Skirt steak

Place the coconut milk in a large saucepan. Cut the lemongrass in half across, and then lengthwise. Crush with the back of a heavy knife and add to the pan. Add the ginger lime leaves or zest, celery, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, broth, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and let infuse, covered, while cooking the broth and vegetables.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, carrot, and red pepper and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes.


Strain the coconut liquid into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender. (Or, if serving with rice, just add rice to the soup as desired before eating.) Add the basil, cooked beef, shrimp, or chicken and season to taste. This soup is also delicious served with shredded pork, lobster, or scallops.

*Ingredients for beef or shrimp:

1 lb. skirt steak, cut across grain into pieces about 1/8″ thick
2 tablespoons soy sauce (LA CHOY is Gluten Free)
2 tablespoons sesame oil

Meat Prep (for Beef or Shrimp):
Place the beef or shrimp in a bowl, add the soy sauce and sesame oil, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably 2-3 hours. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the beef or shrimp and the marinade and sear for 8-10 min. for beef, and 4-5 min. for shrimp, or until liquid has evaporated.