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Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

A hint of chilli adds piquancy to this creamy Thai soup. This recipe will introduce those unfamiliar with Thai food to one of the healthiest of all cuisines.
Preparation time : 20 minutes,
Cooking time : 15 minutes,
Calories per serving: 460

ingredients

serves 4
2 boned and skinned chicken breasts
2 x l5 oz (425 g) tins coconut milk
or 2 x (275 g) packets creamed coconut
1/2 pint (285 ml) chicken stock
4 spring onions
4 stalks lemon grass, or grated rind of/2 lemon
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 teaspoons anchovy essence
1 teaspoon soy sauce
12 small red chillis
4 lime leaves (optional)
6 sprigs fresh coriander

method

1. Oriental flavours in an unusual blend of spices, chicken and coconut scented with lemon grass and coriander.

2. Pour the stock and coconut milk into a large pan. If using creamed coconut, place in a pan with the stock and heat gently until the blocks have melted.

3. Slice the spring onions. If you are using lemon grass, cut off the base of each stalk, peel away the tough outer layers and discard. Finely chop the bottom 4in (100mm) of each stalk and discard the rest.
4. Add the lemon grass or grated lemon peel to the pan with the lime juice, grated ginger, anchovy
essence, soy sauce, whole chillis, spring onions and optional lime leaves.

5. Heat the soup to just below boiling point. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 in (25 mm) strips, add to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Reserve 4 small sprigs of coriander, chop the remainder and the bottom 1 in (25 mm) of the stalks.

7. Add to the pan. Pour the soup into bowls, garnish with coriander sprigs and serve. Do not eat the chillis or lime leaves.

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