Thai Spicy Chicken Soup with Lemongrass and Chilies

(From Soups, Williams Sonoma Kitchen Library )

 

6 cups chicken stock

6 dried lime leaves

2 stalks lemongrass, each about 8 inches

long, cut into 1-inch pieces or wide zest   of one lemon

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into slices inch thick

2-4 small fresh hot green chili peppers,      halved lengthwise

1 can straw mushrooms, drained

2-4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

about cup fresh lime juice

- 1 tablespoon hot chili oil

 

cup coarsely torn fresh cilantro leaves

 

Put the stock, lime leaves and lemongrass in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for bout 10 minutes.  Add the chilies and simmer for 5 minutes more.

 

Stir in the fish sauce and chili oil to taste, then add the chicken strips and straw mushrooms.  Simmer gently, skimming any froth from the surface, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice to taste, immediately ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the cilantro.