Coconut Chicken Soup

For a soup that warms you from the inside-out, make this bright and herbaceous Coconut Chicken Soup. You’ll love the bursts of juicy tomatoes, creaminess of tender potatoes, and earthiness of shiitake mushrooms. Serve with jasmine rice on the side for a wholesome meal you’ll want to make time and time again.

Coconut Chicken Soup
Yield: 4 servings (about 6 cups)

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin (about 1 cup)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces (about 4 thighs)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch nob of ginger, peeled and minced
2, 14 ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
1, 32 ounce carton low sodium chicken broth
1/2 lb red bliss potatoes, cut into bite size pieces (about 5 potatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili paste
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 quartered
1 cup multi-color cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, whole
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Jasmine rice, optional

1) In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, the shiitake mushrooms, a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper, and sear the mushrooms until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and drain on a paper towel.

2) Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot along with the chicken pieces and sear until golden brown in spots and completely cooked through, about 6 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the garlic and ginger and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute more.

3) Once the garlic and ginger is softened, add the coconut milk, chicken broth, potatoes, chili paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and a few cracks of fresh black pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

4) Once the potatoes are tender, reduce the heat to low. Finish the soup by stirring in the juice of 1 lime, tomatoes, spinach and seared mushrooms. You just want to warm the veggies through and not overcook them, or the tomatoes will disintegrate and the spinach will turn dark green. Ladle the soup into warm serving bowls and top with cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime. Serve with jasmine rice on the side, if using.

**Cook’s Note: It may seem like a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps, but don’t worry! Each and every ingredient adds to the complexity and depth of flavor in this soup. Once you make this Coconut Chicken Soup, regular chicken soup from the can will never suffice again.