Thai Lemon-Ginger Chicken Soup

Cooking and I have a very close relationship. If a person pays close attention to what I am preparing, they can pretty much tell what mood I’m in and whether I am healthy or on the edge of sick. Overall, my cooking is beginning to lean more and more towards Middle Eastern and Thai. I’ve learned that when I prepare foods from those areas that my body responds better and heals faster. So, now when I fix chicken soup, well, it isn’t the soup I learned to prepare when I was growing up. Here is the soup that I fixed literally the day before I came down with my current summer cold. I think had I paid attention to the ingredient list and what I was making, I might have picked up a few “anti-cold” meds too, lol but even the cook doesn’t always know how the soup will turn out 😉

Thai Lemon-Ginger Chicken Soup
1 3-4 pound chicken (I never cut them up. I just boil them whole until they fall/pull off the bone)
½ large white onion sliced
½ large red onion sliced
1/2-3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (depends on your taste)
1 C fresh green beans broken into bite size chunks
1 large salad pack of baby spinach, gently shredded
½ package of shredded broccoli/carrot/cabbage for salad (not mixed up just the veggies)
¾ C orzo uncooked
½ of a large palm of fresh ginger shredded or diced (I do both depending on my mood)
¼-1/2 C Mazzi’s Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1 32 oz Chicken Broth
Zest of 1 large lemon (NO WHITE PITH. The pith makes it VERY bitter!)
Juice of the same lemon
3 egg yolks
½ Tbs Lemon pepper (more can be added later if your lemon is not strong.)
½ tsp Cumin
½ tsp Ground Mustard
½ tsp Cilantro
2 heaping TBS fresh minced Garlic (or jar garlic)
Salt to taste (I have actually forgotten to salt it a few times)

1) Take out the inside bag of organs from the chicken. Boil the chicken with the WHITE onion, lemon-pepper, garlic, and a touch of salt for the water. I usually bring the water almost up to coat the top of the chicken then layer the spices thickly on top. This will take up to an hour depending on your stove and how hot you boil things. Where I live, I can’t use “high” or the fire alarm goes off, so some things take a bit more time to cook.
2) You will know that the chicken is done when you touch a knife or a fork to it and the flesh falls away from the bones. At this point I set out a huge bowl with a colander in it. DO NOT throw away the water! You want it to help make the soup! Strain the chicken.
3) After it has cooled, remove the chicken from the bones and put it back into the pot.
4) Add the broth, the veggies (red onion, spinach, green beams, broccoli mix, garlic), lemon zest, and the spices at this time. Simmer/low boil for 1 hour. (Here I put a lid cracked to the side a little to let some of the steam stay inside. Just check it and stir occasionally.)
5) Save out about 2-3 cups of the water you boiled the chicken in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the mix except the fat to the new soup. (Here I use a turkey baster so I’m pulling up from the bottom and avoiding the fat on top.)
6) With the last 2-3 cups, add the 3 egg yolks. Whisk them into it. This you will add to the soup. It will thicken it, giving it a murky depth.
7) Add the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, stir it in well. (You may choose to add more if you want it spicier.)
8) Add the orzo and the lemon juice. Return to boil. Orzo cooks very fast and will retain its shape over time.
9) Taste. At this point you may or may not choose to add salt.

Serve hot once the orzo is cooked.

This makes a nice soup pot for a gathering. It also freezes well for those of us with smaller families who cook big and need to freeze for later 

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