Thai Soup- Tom kha kai

  When the Mr. and I moved to the apartment we had before we moved into this house we had way too much stuff.  We had been living in a house that had a ridiculous amount of storage, and we’d taken advantage of all of it.  Despite donating, giving away and throwing out a LOT before the move, we were dismayed to discover that our remaining possessions were enough to fill up two semi trucks.  Embarrassing, right?

  We were moving into an apartment half the size of the house we had been in.  The movers unloaded our boxes into the apartment and drove away.  The boxes reached the ceiling in our dining room and were fairly deep in the rest of the apartment as well.  It was 8 at night, we were starving and there wasn’t a chance in hell we were going to be able to find our dishes, let alone have enough space to cook something.  Thankfully there was a Thai restaurant nearby that was still open.
  That night was the first time I had the soup we’re making for today’s recipe:
  This is the homemade version.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with tom kha kai, it’s a sort of spicy, creamy chicken soup.
  Here’s what you need:
2 1/2 c coconut milk
3 1/4 c chicken stock
4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1″ lengths
1″ finger of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
3-4 mini chilies, chopped, or red pepper to taste
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tomato, quartered and peeled
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
  Now, that’s a lot of ingredients, but bear with me here, you’re basically just throwing it all in a pot and boiling it.
  Start by bringing the stock and the coconut milk to a boil.  Then add your lemongrass, ginger and chilies.
  A note on lemongrass:  I know it’s not a “normal” ingredient, but try it out.  Click on the link to see a picture and find out a little bit more about it.  You should be able to find it in the fresh herb section of your grocers, and if you like it, it’s fairly easy to grow your own.
  When your spices are stirred in, add your onion, tomato, chicken and mushrooms.  Heat to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and then add lime juice and soy sauce.  Serve and enjoy!
  This soup has become my favorite for fighting a cold.  It has the same chicken enzymes that the traditional favorite, chicken noodle soup, contains, but the spice helps to clear out a stuffy nose and always helps me feel warmer!
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