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Friday – possibly the best day of the week? Free-recipe – Thai chicken, mushroom and leek soup

Here at EFB we do love Mondays, there’s something very cool about coming to work knowing that you have a whole week ahead to create and do awesome things. We love Sundays too, because it’s the day of the week most of our deliveries go out and we get to catch up with many of our customers for a chit chat. Tuesdays are a good day too because that’s the day we test cook our menus, and yeah, test eat too!
Fridays though… there’s something about Friday, that beautiful day at the end of the week and start of the weekend. We normally kick off early on a Friday and start the wind down to the weekend, it’s an exciting time isn’t it? It has to be said, we have some troopers who sometimes come in and do some work on a Saturday, and I take my hat off to those dudes and dudettes, they rock our world.
So yeah, it’s Friday. I hope you have some exciting plans for the weekend! I  It’s a wee bit grey out there so I thought a soup recipe would float your boat. This one is an absolute fave of mine. So easy to cook, and even easier to eat! I’ve been battling a sore throat this week so I think it’s exactly what I need for dinner tonight…
This dish was actually born from a rushed lunch in a local café. I didn’t read the menu properly and thought it said Thai chicken, mushroom and leek soup. In reality it was THYME, chicken, mushroom and leek soup. Oh well, I thought, that’s nice too but I think I will go ahead and create a THAI chicken, mushroom and leek soup, because it made me so excited. Some easy swaps – out with the thyme, in with the lemongrass, ginger and lime, out with the dairy cream, in with the coconut cream. And voilà! What’s more, this bowl full of yum will be on the table in 20 minutes or less. As so many customers will tell me, simple is best during the week. Simple and inspiring, I say.
Serves: 4 
Gluten Free 
Dairy Free
Thai-inspired chicken, leek and mushroom soup
2 tbsp rice bran oil
600g chicken thigh pieces
1 leek, finely sliced
3 tbsp lemongrass, hulled and finely chopped
300g mushrooms, diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbspginger, peeled and grated
1 lime, zested and cut into wedges  
400ml coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 cups vegetable stock
Handful of fresh Thai basil
Heat the rice bran oil to a medium-high heat in a large soup pot, preferably with a wide base. Once the oil is shimmering, add a layer of chicken to the pan (don’t overcrowd the pan). Allow the meat to sear on one side, around 3 minutes, before gently stirring. Brown for a further 2 minutes, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon – do this in batches if necessary.
While the chicken is underway start preparing the vegetables; trim, slice and rinse the leek – using most of the green and all of the white; remove the rough outer husk from the lemongrass and chop very finely; cut the mushrooms into 6-8 pieces; peel and grate the ginger and finely chop the red chilli – removing the seeds if you prefer a milder flavour.
Once all of the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan, start adding the leeks to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add in the mushrooms and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the lemongrass, ginger and chilli and cook out for a minute, then add the chicken back in. Sprinkle in the lime zest and pour in the stock and coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar.
Simmer the soup for 5-6 minutes on a medium-high heat to let the flavours develop, then turn down to a low heat. Avoid rapid boiling as this would split the coconut milk. Taste and season with some more fish sauce and black pepper as desired. Roughly chop the Thai basil and cut the zested lime into wedges.
Serve the soup in deep plates or bowls. Squeeze over some lime juice and garnish with Thai basil.
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