Light, healthy and carb-free, this classic Thai soup is a great pick-me-up. It's also easy to make, and depending on how many chillies you use, it's spicy enough to clear out your sinuses (something many of us in Australia need help with during this lamentable bushfire summer).
- Prep Time : 20-25 minutes
- Cook Time : 25-30 minutes
- Yield : 6
- clear chicken stock, preferably homemade - 1.5 litres
- lemongrass - 2 stalks, white part only sliced finely on the diagonal
- garlic cloves - 2, peeled and flattened
- kaffir lime leaves - 6, torn
- ripe tomatoes - 2, cut in eighths
- Thai fish sauce - 60ml (3 tablespoons)
- fresh coriander (including root end), well-washed - 8 stalks, leaves removed and set aside
- fresh button or oyster mushrooms - 200g (slice the button mushrooms and tear the oyster mushrooms)
- red chillies - 4 - 6, finely sliced (start with 4)
- sugar - 1 teaspoon
- fresh limes - 1 -2, strained juice
- cooking salt - to taste
- fresh medium green prawns - 2 -3 per person, peeled and cleaned with tail left intact
Put the chicken stock into a large saucepan with the lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and coriander roots. Bring to the boil and simmer 15- 20 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and strain the stock into a large bowl.
Return stock to saucepan, add remaining ingredients and simmer until prawns turn pink and mushrooms are cooked.
Taste the soup - it should be hot, sour, sweet and salty. When to your liking, spoon into soup bowls and top with coriander leaves.
Tip: add a 2cm piece fresh peeled and smashed galangal or ginger to the stock along with lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and coriander roots for more flavour.
If you don't like the soup hot, remove seeds from the chillies before adding.