Lemongrass Chicken Soup

Tammy | Chez Nous
by Tammy | Chez Nous
8 servings
1 hr 5 min
A bowl of Lemongrass Chicken Soup on a wooden platter with garnishes

When I need a warming, filling, nutritive soup, I pull out this recipe for Lemongrass Chicken Soup. It’s light, but filled with protein, healthy carbohydrates, flavor, and color.

Lemongrass?! Give me a substitute, please!

Don’t worry if you can’t find lemongrass! You can just use lemon peels! I love the subtle flavor of lemongrass, but you can usually only find it in higher end grocery stores or specialty produce markets. So … lemon peels for the win! Just be sure you peel thinly without any pith. The pith lends too much bitterness.

Thinly slice ginger root and halve jalapeno peppers to put into the broth.

Lemongrass and ginger root on the counter

How to choose good jalapeno peppers

  • Firm skin
  • No blemishes
  • If there are white lines on the pepper, it’s fine, but that’s an indication that they will be spicier.
two whole jalapenos and one cut in half

Build the base of flavor

Put broth in a large pot (8-10 quarts) with smashed lemongrass or lemon peels, ginger slices, and halved jalapenos.

Lemongrass, ginger, and jalapenos in chicken broth in a large pot

What vegetables are in Lemongrass Chicken Soup?

Thinly sliced cabbage, sliced mushrooms, sliced carrots, and chopped garlic … so flavorful and nutritious! I usually get all of this cut while the broth is simmering with the aromatics.

Shredded cabbage, sliced mushrooms and carrots, and chopped garlic on a platter

Just look at how beautiful that is!

All the vegetables in the broth in a large Le Creuset pot

Prepare the garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced, green onions, and lemon wedges.

Chopped cilantro and green onions and lemon wedges in bowls for garnishes

How to serve Lemongrass Chicken Soup

Spoon some steamed rice into a bowl, then ladle the soup over it. Garnish with jalapeno peppers, lemon wedges, and plenty of chopped cilantro.

A bowl of Lemongrass Chicken Soup with a vintage spoon alongside and garnishes
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 stalk fresh lemon grass (each 12-18 inches long) or 6 3-inch strips lemon peel, white only
  • 12 slices fresh ginger cut thinly
  • 6-7 fresh jalapeno chiles 3-3.5 ounces total
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh cabbage cut into 2-3 inch long shreds
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 carrots (about 8 ounces) sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts sliced 1/4-inch thick, 1 1/2-2 inches long
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce (AKA nam pla or nuoc mam) or soy sauce
  • Salt to season
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 5 cups hot cooked rice

In an 8-10 quart pot, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, pull off and discard coarse outer layers from the lemon grass and trim the stem ends. Cut each stalk into about 3-inch lengths. With the flat side of a chef's knife, lightly crush the lemon grass and ginger.
Cut 1 or 2 of the jalapeno chiles in half lengthwise. Stem the remaining chiles, finely chop, and reserve. Add lemon grass, ginger, and halved chiles to the boiling broth. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic and cut the chicken into slices.
Add the cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic to the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 8-10 minutes.
Add chicken and tomatoes. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is no longer pink, 2-4 minutes. Add lemon juice and fish sauce. Taste and season with salt as needed.
Serve soup over steamed rice and garnish with lemon wedges, cilantro, and chopped chiles.
  • You can make the soup up through step 4 a day or two ahead of time. You can also freeze it and finish it when you are ready to use it. Return it to a simmer and continue with the recipe.
Tammy | Chez Nous
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