Food and Wine's Thai Style Cornish Hen and Cauliflower Soup

This soup was absolutely incredible! I would make this one again. And again.

1 t dried peppercorns green (I used Tellicherry since that was what I had on hand)
1 Cornish hen
water (plus a couple chicken bouillon cubes) to cover
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1" pieces fresh ginger, minced and divided
hot pepper flakes to taste
salt to taste
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 T Thai fish sauce
2 lemongrass stalks, inner white bulb only, cut into strips and smashed (optional. I can't find it here)
1 t ground turmeric
juice from 1 fresh lime plus 1 t finely grated lime zest
cooked white rice for serving

In a small frying pan, toast peppercorns over moderately high heat til fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a spice grinder or food mill and cool completely; coarsely grind.

Add hen to a large soup pot and cover with water and bouillon cubes. Add ground peppercorns, onion, garlic, half of ginger, hot pepper flakes and salt. Cover and simmer over medium low heat 1 1/2-2 hours or til hen is very tender and falling apart. Carefully remove from pot and discard bones, gristle and fat. Return meat to pot.

Add remaining ingredients to pot (except rice) and heat through.

I served the soup with a dollop of rice.


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