Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

This recipe was adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups good chicken stock
  • Grated peel and juice of 2 good sized limes
  • 2 small Thai chiles, halved lengthwise, or 2 tsp Thai chili sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 chunks
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (white part only), cracked open with the flat side of a knife*
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • One 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1C of wild mushrooms, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce ( nam pla)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1C spinach or kale leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions
Bring the stock to a boil over medium heat in a heavy soup pot. Add the lime peel, chiles, garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Lower the heat to medium-low; cover the pot and gently simmer to let the spices infuse the broth, about 10 minutes.

Uncover the pot and stir in the chicken, coconut milk, mushrooms, fish sauce, sugar, spinach/kale and lime juice. Simmer to heat the chicken through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove the lemongrass stalk and ginger chunk.  Ladle the soup into a soup tureen or individual serving bowls. Garnish with the cilantro at the very end.  The recipe yields about 2 quarts of soup, 8 cups or 5-6 servings.

To prepare this recipe for the dehydrator, put the final soup mixture into the food processor and pulse, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is fully blended and uniformly finely chopped – no big pieces!  Ladle 1.5C at a time into a measuring cup and pour onto a solid plastic dehydrator tray or onto parchment paper, no more than ¼ inch thick, breaking up any big lumps.  Then dehydrate overnight at the highest temp setting on your dehydrator (~165 degrees) overnight.  When dry the resulting product should come up readily from the tray and should crumble to a powder between your fingers all the way across.  Put each 1.5C serving into a Ziploc for the trail.  At camp, add 1.5C of hot water.  The soup should be ready to eat essentially instantly.

* Note: Lemongrass imparts a delicate citrusy flavor and aroma, but if you can’t find lemongrass, use equal parts lemon peel and ginger.