Chilly nights and warm days make this tropical take on the classic avgolemono (Greek lemon chicken soup) an easy choice lately. This is a soup that reheats beautifully, full of bright flavor and luscious texture. By cooking a pot of coconut ginger rice ahead of time (even the day before), and blending some of the cooked rice into the soup, it acts as a natural thickener, creating a velvety and hearty finish.
My favorite way to make this is to roast a whole chicken one night, make stock with the leftover meat and bones after dinner, and then make this soup the next night. But to save a bit of time, you can also pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken at the store and pull the cooked meat right off the bones. You could also use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs and let them simmer in the stock, coconut milk and coriander until they are fully cooked (165 degrees). Once they are cooked, you can pull them out of the liquid with tongs and shred them.
You could also add arugula, kale, chard or spinach for some extra greens. And if you want a bit of spice, some sliced fresh Fresno chiles are a perfect match.
Coconut & Lemon Chicken Soup
Makes: 6-8 servings; total time: 2 hours
For the rice:
2 cups dried rice
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 can (14.5 oz.) coconut milk
1¼ cup cold water
2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the soup:
8 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 egg yolks
½ cup fresh lemon juice
4 cup cooked shredded chicken
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnish, lemon slices
Preparation: To make the rice, rinse rice in a strainer under cold water. Transfer rice, ginger, coconut milk, water and salt to a pot. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for a minute. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for around 45 minutes, or until rice is tender. Turn off the heat and leave covered for around 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and reserve.
To make the soup, bring the 8 cups of stock, coconut milk and coriander to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. In a blender, combine 4 cups of this hot liquid with 2 cups of cooked rice, egg yolks and lemon juice and purée until smooth.
Whisk this into the soup pot. Add the remaining rice and chicken. Simmer on low for around 15 minutes. Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and lemon slices.