Thai Tom Kha Soup

- 3 (13 1/2 ounce) cans low-sodium low-fat chicken broth

- 1 (13 1/2 ounce) can coconut milk (regular, not lite)

- 2 stalks lemongrass , sliced in large pieces

- 2 tablespoons fish sauce

- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (use anchovy paste as a substitute)

- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

- 1 tablespoon white vinegar

- 3 limes - both zest and Juice

- 3 serrano chili peppers - chopped

- 1 -2 tablespoon lime juice

- 2 tablespoons ginger - julienned in fine, short 1/4 inch strips

- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced or 1/2 bunch garlic scapes minced

-2 tablespoons brown sugar

- 2 chicken breasts - cubed in very small pieces OR cubed tofu

- 8 ounces white mushrooms - sliced

- 1 bunch bok choy - chopped

- 2 tomatoes - diced

- 6 ounces bean thread noodles - presoaked in hot water

- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems chopped

 

1.      In 4qt or larger, heavy-bottomed pot, begin heating chicken broth and coconut milk on low-medium heat.

2.      Add lemongrass, fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, white vinegar, lime zest and juice, Serrano peppers, ginger, garlic and brown sugar.

3.      Bring broth to a slow simmer; never allow it to reach a rolling boil, and do not cover it at any time during cooking.

4.      When broth is simmering, add chicken/tofu, bok choy, tomatoes and bean thread noodle/ Make sure the chicken is fully cooked by the time you add the cilantro--if you cube the chicken finely enough and use a normal length of time preparing the vegetables, this should not be an issue, but allow it to simmer a few extra minutes if necessary before adding the cilantro.

5.      About a minute after adding the cilantro, taste the soup and add some additional lime juice as desired to punch up the flavor (maybe 1-2 T--don't overdo it!).

6.      Serve immediately.