This fragrant and delicious soup is one of my favorites. The recipe is adapted from one I learned to make at a Sur La Table cooking class about ten years ago. I am fortunate to have an Asian market in town that stocks fresh lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and frozen thinly sliced galangal. My husband has a green thumb so he also grows a small kaffir lime tree to use for Thai cooking. You can use dumplings in place of chicken or try adding a bit of both meat and dumplings. If you need some heat, add a Thai chili.
Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
4-1/2 cups coconut milk
10 thin slices galangal (I use frozen)
5 stalks lemongrass, use bottom 1/3rd of the stalk and cut into 1-inch lengths then crush it to release flavor
8 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
1 cup chicken stock
1-3/4 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, sliced into thin strips to equal 3-1/2 cups sliced chicken (you can also use chicken breasts)
5 tablespoons fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
3 tablespoons sugar
juice of 1 medium lime
In a 4-quart saucepan combine 2-1/2 cups of the coconut milk with galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chicken stock. On low heat slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. This should take 20 minutes or so, allowing the flavors to develop. Let the mixture come to a boil then add chicken, fish sauce, and sugar. Keep the heat on a lower setting and cover. Let simmer for about 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add remaining coconut milk and heat just to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Serves 6-8.