I was inspired to construct this after reading through Ming Tsai's excellent "Simply Ming One-Pot Meals" and a productive trip through the St. Paul Farmers' Market on a summer morning.
We had reached the point in Minnesotan Summertime where all the vegetables were in-season and inexpensive; I'd returned with an overflowing bag and not enough refrigerator space: time to get cooking.
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
- 4 stalks of celery, washed and sliced
- 2 medium white onions, thin-sliced
- 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large leek, trimmed on both ends, washed, and sliced in 1/8-inch coins
- Fresh ginger, sliced in 1/4-inch medallions - about 4 medallions
- 3 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed to the light parts, crushed / scored
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 large chicken breasts, thin-sliced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 8 large Thai basil leaves, sliced
In a stock pot, set your chicken stock and fish sauce on medium heat to get warmed up while you handle the other ingredients.
Saute the lemongrass and ginger in the oil in a medium saucepan for about 4 minutes; swap those out and add your vegetables to saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the cooked vegetables to your stock pot, then cook the chicken in your saucepan. Once it has just turned white on the outside, add the chicken to the stock pot.
Increase the heat so that the mixture comes to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and coconut milk, stir and let cook for another 2 minutes. Add the basil and serve.
A simple bowl of steamed rice on the side is a light and aromatic complement. This is a good summertime soup, but also great for "I have a mid-winter cold" situations.