Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Don't let the length of the ingredient list scare you. It's a simple soup to make, with incredibly complex flavor.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:

4 ounces Thai rice linguine noodles (for Pad Thai)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1–2 red Thai (or jalapeño) peppers, seeded and finely chopped (plus slices for garnish)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
Juice from one lime
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, divided
1/2 pound brown button mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored seeded and sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 1/2-inch-long by 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 cup light coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped Thai basil (or regular basil) leaves

Preparation:

1. Place noodles in a bowl; add enough boiling water to cover and let sit until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.

2. Combine broth, chile, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, lime zest, lime juice and 3 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

3. Add mushrooms and bell pepper to broth, simmer 3 minutes more. Add chicken and coconut milk and simmer, stirring, until chicken is just cooked, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

4. Add chopped cilantro and season with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Using tongs, divide noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro, basil and slices of chile.
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