The lemongrass announces a Thai speciality. Used in soups, this fragrant and versatile herb adds great depth to what could be a rather commonplace vegetable soup.
I have omitted the fish sauce from the original Thai recipe and instead rely upon soy sauce, which I believe works better here and also makes the soup suitable for my vegetarian friends. This is a very sustaining soup.
Peel the lemongrass to the tender whitish centre and crush with the flat of a knife. Then cut into
In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and add the lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
While the stock is simmering, prepare the vegetables. Slice the mushrooms. Cut the beancurd into
Remove the lemongrass, galangal and leaves from the stock with a slotted spoon and discard. Then add the salt, pepper, soy sauce, lime juice and chilli bean sauce. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Now add the vegetables, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
Finally, stir in the spring onions and fresh coriander leaves. Ladle into a large soup tureen or individual bowls and serve immediately.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.