Thai Chicken Soup

Although this recipe uses coconut milk as its base and key Thai flavourings, it makes no pretence at authenticity. No extra salt should be necessary as nam pla is salty.
Serves 4
Total Time
55 Minutes
4 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and cut into 1cm engths
200g of galangal, peeled and diced
5 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 chicken leg
2 small chillies
1 litre of coconut milk
1 tbsp of nam pla
Juice of 3 limes
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves
Step 1

Put the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, chicken, and 500ml of water in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon, dice the flesh, discarding the skin and bones, and set aside.

Step 2

Add the chillies to the pan and bring the soup back to the boil. Pour in the coconut milk and heat slowly – you want the soup to become hot enough for the flavours to infuse the coconut milk without coming to the boil.

Step 3

Strain the soup into a clean pan or tureen. Remove the chillies from the sieve and cut into slivers. Add the nam pla, lime juice, spring onions, coriander, and chicken to the soup, then taste to check the seasoning. Serve garnished with the chilli slivers.

Recipe courtesy of The Soup Book, published by DK, £18.99 (

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