The Food Gatherer's Note: A gorgeous summery aromatic Thai style soup using seasonal courgettes along with free range chicken. I use thigh (ask for the joints to be de-boned by your butcher) but you may prefer chicken breast - it's all a matter of preference. You can add noodles in the last few minutes of cooking time to make the soup more substantial and if you want to make things easy for yourself midweek then cook off the chicken in a Thai curry paste instead of creating your own .
THAI COCONUT, COURGETTE AND CHICKEN SOUP
For the paste to marinate chicken:
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
5 shallots, finely sliced
1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
A handful of unroasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)
2 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
For the soup
3 courgettes, washed and cut into 2cm lengths
500g chicken thighs, deboned and diced (or breast if you prefer)
330ml coconut milk
400 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised the stem
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tblsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper
To garnish: 1/2 red chilli finely sliced
A few coriander leaves, finely sliced to garnish
To make the spice paste, use a pestle and mortar or food processor to pound the garlic, shallots, coriander seeds, nuts and ginger.
In a wok, heat the vegetable oil and fry the paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves for three minutes.
Add the chicken and cook for another three minutes. Pour in the the stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Add the courgettes and coconut milk and cook for another five minutes, until the courgettes are softened. Add salt and pepper to taste .
Serve immediately and sprinkle with some sliced chili and chopped coriander leaves on top