I hope the title and the picture makes it very very clear …yes, you guessed it right – this one is all about the lemongrass!!
Most men get fresh flowers for their wives. Mine gets me fresh lemongrass. And of course he also gets a hug and a kiss in return! My love affair with lemon grass started a few years ago, however it is only quite recently that I really fell in love with lemongrass all over again. This rekindling of love happened when I discovered ‘fresh’ lemongrass. ! Oh that wonderful, scintillating, refreshing scent…I just can’t have enough of it.!
OK so hubby dear got me this big bunch of fresh lemongrass that he spotted at the Chinese supermarket (where you will usually find him on saturday mornings waiting patiently in line to buy fresh fish). I was just super elated and began frantically thinking of all possible things I could make using that. The first creation simply had to be a simple, uncomplicated one – and what better than soup!. I make tom yum soup quite often (using tom yum paste and lemon grass that comes in a jar). However this time I wanted make a soup where it would be -only Lemongrass’s turn to shine!. So I decided to make a simple chicken soup with lemon grass minus the heat of Tom Yum. I think I was successful – this soup is so comforting it will make you feel happy and rejuvenated…(after all lemongrass is said to possess medicinal/restorative properties!)
This recipe will make about 4 servings Total Time Taken: Preparation time - 30 minutes (chopping and making stock); Cooking Time: 20 minutes For Making Chicken stock: 1 lb chicken pieces (preferably with bone) 5 cups water 1 onion, chopped 3-4 garlic cloves 3-4 whole black peppercorns 3-4 lemongrass pieces 1 tsp salt For the soup: About 4 cups Chicken stock (home made) Shredded chicken pieces from stock above 1/2 cup fresh lemongrass stalks 2 garlic cloves 1 by 1 inch of fresh ginger, cut into thin slices 1 green chilli pepper (or halopeno pepper), cut into small rounds or chopped (optional) 1/4 cup carrots cubed 1 tomato, chopped into big cubes 1 1/2 cup fresh or canned coconut milk (see recipe for fresh coconut milk below) bunch of fresh Cilantro,chopped
Clean the chicken pieces and put them in a big stock pot with the water and the other stock ingredients. Bring the water to a boil and them lower flame and let it simmer covered for about 20 minutes.(Make sure you skim any scum that appears by checking periodically. You should also keep a tiny opening for the steam to escape). Turn the heat off and take the chicken pieces out of the stock and place them in a medium size bowl to cool and then shred them .
Now to the stock (in the same pot) add all the soup ingredients except the coconut milk and cook covered for about 15 mins on low to medium heat.
Finally open the lid and add the coconut milk and the chopped cilantro. Cook for about 2 minutes on low heat until you begin to see bubbles and turn the heat off. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Recipe for extracting fresh coconut milk 1 cup freshly grated coconut (or fresh frozen grated coconut, thawed to room temp) 1 plus 1/2 cup warm water. Grind 1 cup of freshly grated coconut with first 1 cup of warm water. Strain using a large sieve. Add the extracted coconut meat back into the food processor and grind again using the 1/2 cup water. Strain again using a sieve to get about 1 1/2 cups of fresh coconut milk.