When winter’s chill bears down, homemade chicken soup provides both comfort and cure. But while steam-cleared sinuses and a settled stomach are helpful in the moment, they rarely last. Sometimes it’s necessary to call for backup — to integrate ingredients that make an immediate and palpable impact. Loaded with bird’s eye chilis, ginger and fish sauce, this Thai chicken soup from food writer Jean-Pierre Gabriel’s latest book is just that. Better yet, as with all of Gabriel’s formulas in Quick and Easy Thai Recipes, the whole thing comes together in a mere 30 minutes.
Sour and Spicy Chicken Soup with Tamarind Leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 thin slices galangal or ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, cut on an angle into 1 1/2–inch pieces
3 small shallots, lightly crushed
7 oz bone-in chicken, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
Handful of young tamarind leaves or 1 cup pickled young tamarind leaves
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
5 fresh red bird’s eye chilis, lightly pounded
1. Combine the stock and salt in a large pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the galangal (or ginger), lemongrass and shallots. Let boil for 1 minute.
2. Add the chicken and return to a boil. Skim off any scum. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until chicken is cooked and tender.
3. Add the fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind leaves, tomatoes and chilis. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
The recipe above appears in Quick and Easy Thai Recipes, by Jean-Pierre Gabriel, published by Phaidon. Buy Now: $30