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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup

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One rainy day I was inspired to create a version of Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup. Earlier in the week I had planted Thai basil in my garden and my well-stocked Asian pantry had everything else I needed.

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Organize For Success – The Asian Pantry

I always keep frozen, chopped lemongrass in my freezer. You can certainly buy lemongrass and use it fresh and sometimes I do that. But I also buy it frozen, already chopped and keep that in my freezer so I can make any recipe with lemongrass when I want to. No extra trip to the grocery store required.

If you are interested in knowing a little more about lemongrass I wrote this post, How To Use Lemongrass.

How To Use Lemongrass
How To Use Lemongrass -photo credit Jim Little

You can also freeze ginger. Did you know that? Of course you can buy it prepared in little jars but I go for the fresh stuff. It keeps for a long time in the fridge but you need to use it before it gets old and shrivelled up. Or you can freeze it. I use my Microplane grater to grate frozen ginger easily, no need to thaw it. Then just throw it in your dish immediately.

My Asian pantry also includes cans of coconut milk, Vietnamese fish sauce and packages of dried rice noodles. Having these items close at hand makes this an easy soup to put together and the fresh flavours of Vietnam are perfect for an easy dinner on a rainy day.

Cans of Gluten Free Coconut Milk
Gluten Free Coconut Milk -photo credit Jim Little

Allergic Living Magazine for Celiac Disease

I can’t say enough good things about Allergic Living magazine. It includes health information plus recipes free of the top allergens including gluten. As an asthma educator I have been reading this magazine since it began and recommend it to anyone I see who has allergies or celiac disease. The magazine provides expert advice, articles on parenting and school, allergy-friendly products, understanding celiac disease as well as delicious recipes. I encourage you to check it out.

The Tools

Every kitchen needs a few tools and for soup makers that includes pots. Cookware is an investment but you don’t need the most expensive set of pots. There is a wide variety of affordable cookware available and many items you purchase will last for decades. Notice what you like and choose wisely when you buy.

For the everyday home cook like me the largest pot in a typical set of pots is usually perfect for making soup. Recipes sometimes call for making soup in a Dutch oven or a soup pot. A modern Dutch oven is like the gorgeous Le Creuset enamelled cast iron pot. They are heavy and expensive but will last for a lifetime of cooking. For a fraction of the cost you can buy a lesser quality enamelled cast iron Dutch oven and although I’m not sure, I think it would last at least half a lifetime.

Some recipes will call for a soup pot, also called a stockpot. Technically this is an extra large, bigger than what comes with a set of pots. They are ideal for an annual jam or salsa-making party, or special events like a lobster boil. If you cook for large groups you should own one. But to simply make an everyday soup recipe, the largest pot in a typical set of pots is perfect.

Let me know in the comments below what you thought of this soup.


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
2 green onions sliced in 1" pieces
2 Tbsp frozen, chopped lemongrass
1 Tbsp minced ginger root
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 cups GF chicken stock
6 oz wide, dried rice noodles
1 - 14 oz can coconut milk
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 Tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp hot pepper sauce such as Sriracha chili sauce or Tabasco
salt to taste
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
Thai basil leaves
4 lime wedges


Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Saute carrot and red pepper for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Return pan to heat and saute green onion, lemongrass and ginger for 1-2 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
While soup is simmering soak noodles in tap hot water for 15 minutes. Drain.
Remove broth from heat and pour through a fine strainer to remove green onion, lemongrass and ginger. Return to the pan and add coconut milk, chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, hot sauce and noodles. Reheat and serve.
Garnish each bowl with green onion, bean sprouts, basil leaves and lime.


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