6 cups (1.5 L) chicken broth
Zest of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 stalk lemongrass, split in half lengthwise (see Note)
1/2 cup (125 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) Thai fish sauce
3 slices gingerroot, about 1/8-inch (5 mm) thick
1 small red chili pepper (about 1-inch/2.5 cm long), chopped fine
3/4 cup (175 mL) very thinly sliced leek
1/4 cup (50 mL) very thinly sliced sweet red pepper
3 small chicken breasts, browned in hot oil and sliced crosswise as thin as possible
1/3 cup (75 mL) finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) canned coconut milk that includes cream
1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut syrup (available in supermarket beverage section)
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, lime and lemon zest, lemongrass, lemon juice, fish sauce, gingerroot and the chili pepper; bring to a simmer. For best results, Sean says, do not to boil the broth, but rather let it steep-as you would when making tea-over low heat, for about 30 minutes.
Sauté leek, sweet pepper and seared chicken in hot oil and add to broth along with the cilantro, coconut milk and coconut syrup. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Makes 10 servings.
Note: Sean strongly encourages the use of lemongrass because it gives a nice herbaceous flavour to the soup, he says. It's available in most large supermarkets; however if you can't find it, substitute with the zest of another half lemon.