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Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup)

HERE YE! HERE YE! The following recipe for Thai Chicken Coconut Soup is paleo, gluten free, Whole30 approved, dairy free and slap your mama delicious. Who knew something this healthy could be so dang good?

This is one of my favorite soup recipes of all time. It is beyond comforting and so nutritious. Everyone and their mother is on the bone broth train because of it’s incredible healing and restorative properties. A lot of companies are capitalizing on the popularity of this culinary staple and jacking up the price of what is a seemingly cheap thing to make. Bone broth just takes a handful of ingredients and a good amount of time but the results are invaluable. I make my bone broth with chicken because I try to avoid beef products as much as possible. As someone who is passionate about food and experience I would be lying if I said I “never ate beef”, I indulge every once in a while, but I try not to make it more than a once a month type of thing.

Anywho, on to the soup. When I make a big ol’ batch of bone broth I like to utilize it in as many different recipes as I can. This recipe for Thai Chicken and Shitake Coconut Soup has to be one of my absolute favorites. It is so full of rich flavor, yet very light and soothing. The brightness from the lime balances the richness of the coconut milk and the thai chilies finish the broth with a bit of warmth that hits you right in the back of the throat. It’s one of my favorite things to order at a Thai restaurant, but when I make it at home I can control the quality of ingredients and sodium that goes into the soup. You can use shrimp instead of chicken, or just do all veggies. Whatever your heart desires.

If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, you can sub some lime zest. But do try and venture to find an International market near you. You will be able to find most of the ingredients listed below.

To save time, I buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store, pick the meat off and throw it into the soup. You can totally simmer a whole chicken while making your bone broth and use that too!

 

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Print Recipe

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

(serves 4-6 people)
  • 1 rotiserrie chicken, remove skin and pull meat from bones, you want 2 cups total. Reserve the rest for another use!
  • 1 two inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks of fresh lemon grass, outer layers peeled off and cut into big chunks
  • 1 small thai chili, sliced in half
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves or (2 teaspoons of lime zest and 2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 6-7 cups chicken bone broth (recipe below)
  • 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 cups of spinach

    fresh chopped thai chili, mint, cilantro leaves and lime wedges (for garnish and serving)

    Chicken Bone Broth:

  • 4 lbs of organic chicken bones (necks, backs and feet)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 20 cups cold filtered water

    Place all ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 24-48 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl. Let the stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill. Your broth should turn gelatinous as it sits in the fridge. That’s when you know you have done it right!

  1. In a large pot add the bone broth, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves and chili and bring to a boil. Reduce that to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the broth into a clean saucepan.
  2. Add the chopped chicken, reduce heat and add the mushrooms and cook for another 15 minutes on low. Mix in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and spinach. Bring everything to a simmer, and TASTE. This is SUCH AN IMPORTANT STEP. Sometimes, you will want a little bit more salt, acid, or sweetness. Adjust the seasoning according to your tastes. After you got the soup tasting all funky fresh, ladle it into bowls and garnish accordingly.

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