- 1 small fresh red chilli, such as birdseye, split open lengthwise but left whole
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 1 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 slices
- 2 stems lemongrass, bruised and cut in half
- 4 chicken joints, such as breasts or thighs, about 175 g each, skinned
- 1 red Asian shallot, finely chopped
- 250 g green beans, trimmed and cut into bite–sized pieces
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler into thin strips
- 1 can light coconut cream, about 270 ml
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- Pour 1 litre water into a saucepan over a high heat.
- Spear the chilli, garlic and ginger on a wooden cocktail stick (this makes them easy to remove later) and add to the pan together with the lemongrass.
- Bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
- Return the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat to low.
- Add the chicken joints, shallot and beans, and poach for 12–15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked (test with the tip of a knife: the juices should run clear).
- Add the zucchini for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, beans and zucchini to a warmed bowl.
- Add a little of the poaching liquid to keep them moist, then cover tightly and keep warm.
- Return the liquid to the boil and add the coconut cream.
- Continue boiling for 5–6 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about one–third.
- Remove the chicken meat from the bones and shred it roughly.
- Return the chicken meat, beans and zucchini to the soup and stir, then reheat.
- Stir in the grated lime zest and juice.
- Season to taste.
- Divide the chicken and vegetables among 4 soup bowls.
- Spoon over the liquid, discarding the lemongrass and stick of chilli, garlic and ginger.
- Sprinkle with coriander and serve.
Preparation: about 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes infusing
Cooking: about 25 minutes