Spicy Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1-1/2 Tbsp. chile oil
1 red onion,diced
2 stalks lemongrass very thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper,julienned
2 habanero chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed and finely chopped
4 Thai chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
1 poblano chile,stemmed and finely chopped
1 green New Mexican chile, stemmed and finely chopped
2Tbsp. ginger,finely grated
1/2 head minced garlic
1/4 pound shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 pound crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-1/2 cups coconut milk
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut in 1/2″ strips
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and chopped
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
salt to taste

Heat a large soup pot and add the oil. Add the onions, lemongrass and all the peppers and chiles. Saute until soft, stirring frequently. Add the ginger, garlic and mushrooms, reduce the heat and continue to saute for 10 minutes. Turn the heat to very low and stir in the coconut milk, stock and chicken. Heat very slowly, but do not allow the soup to boil. Simmer until the chicken is just tender. Add the remaining ingredients and garnish with a couple of Thai chiles, if desired and serve.