Spicy Fennel, Lemongrass, Coconut, and Chicken Soup, et al.
The perfect oxymoron; a spicy soup to warm you up from top to toe with flavors that scream summertime, precisely when you likely don't want to be warmed up. But here's the kicker- this soup is nearly better the next day as cold leftovers. Coming together in about 20 minutes, it's just right for any time of year.
Flavors of spicy peppers, all the fresh herbs you can imagine, buttery chicken, sweet coconut, and bright lemongrass. Textures of tender meat, softened vegetables, and creamy yogurt floating amid a silky broth.
In a large pot
A few tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs- cut into medium-ish chunks
In a medium bowl
Fennel bulb, medium size, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1 cup, about 4 ounces, baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeno, cleaned and halved
In a small bowl
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 large cloves of garlic, grated
Peel of two limes
4 teaspoons lemongrass paste
In a large bowl
1 can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Few dashes of Worcestershire
Few dashes of soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
4 cups of chicken stock
On the sidelines
A few tablespoons of chopped cilantro
A few tablespoons of chopped Thai basil
A few tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley
2-3 green scallions, sliced thin
Chili oil, for drizzling
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, for topping
Place a large pot with deep sides over medium-high heat and add a few glugs of olive oil and a pat of butter.
Once the pot is heated, add the chicken and cook until evenly browned- about 4-5 minutes.
Add the vegetables to the pot- fennel, onion, mushrooms, and jalapeño. Cook until softened- another 4-5 minutes or so.
Add the ginger, garlic, lemongrass paste, and lime peels to the pot and cook for a few minutes to bloom the flavors.
Add the stock, coconut milk, sugar, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and fish sauce to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Portion the soup into bowls and top with as many toppings as you like. I'm the kind of person who eats chili for the toppings and not necessarily the chili, so this is a judgment-free zone.