It's probably not all that unique how I crave soup in the dead of winter but there's just something so wonderful and complete about filling my body with a soothing liquid to heat me up and I think most people would agree. To keep me balanced on those days where the weather has me thrown for a loop. Something about the act of wrapping my hands around a bowl and letting the hot liquid steam up over me face... it just makes my day. And when that soup happens to be one of my absolute favorite Thai soups, Tom Kha Gai, then double score... it alleviates ordering out for it, I can make it lighter by controlling all the sodium, vegetables, fat etc, and I can make it heartier by adding in some glass noodles to make it more of a full meal, some tofu, even some quinoa for a South American twist.
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
2 14 oz. can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. fresh sliced lemongrass
1 lb. boned, skinned chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks- I used precooked rotisserie chicken
1 c. sliced mushrooms- I prefer shitakes
1 c. sliced bok choy
1 Tbl. fresh lime juice
1 Tbl. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Thai chili paste- I used sriracha
1-2 kaffir lime leaves
1 small handful of basil leaves
1/4 c. fresh chopped cilantro
1 handful of glass noodles
1. In a heavy bottomed pan combine the coconut milk, chicken broth, ginger, kaffir limes and lemongrass and bring to a boil. Add in fish sauce, sugar, basil, mushrooms, bok choy and chili paste and mix well. If you are cooking raw chicken add it now. Bring soup to a simmer.
2. Then add in noodles and cook until softened and chicken is tenderly cooked. Finish off with lime juice, and once served, top soup with chopped cilantro.