If you’ve never cooked with lemongrass, pick up a few fresh stalks at the market and give it a try. Better yet, plant some this summer. While lemongrass only survives as a perennial in very warm climates, it will grow as a seasonal, summer annual just about anywhere. If you end up with more than you can use, just wrap it up and freeze it whole, or make a new friend by giving some away. Lemongrass also makes a delicious tea simply by steeping a few slices in boiling water for a few minutes.
Today we’re making Chicken Lemongrass Soup, which is light and delightful as a springtime lunch. If you’d like something a bit more hearty, try stirring a tablespoon or two of coconut milk into each bowl just before serving.
Two stalks fresh lemongrass, tops and ends trimmed
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
Chili Paste such as Nam Prik Pao
Thinly sliced zucchini, for garnish
Step 2) Chop lemongrass into 2 inch pieces and place in a large saucepan. Add chicken stock and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Do not boil.
Step 3) After 15 minutes, add cooked chicken and sliced mushrooms. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Step 4) Taste; add sea salt and chili paste as desired. One option would be to serve sea salt and chili paste at the table, so that everyone can season their own bowl (I like more chili paste in my soup than my pint sized diners prefer).
Step 5) Garnish with zucchini slices and enjoy!