Tom yum goong (hot and sour soup) and tom kha gai (chicken, coconut and galangal) are both legendary Thai soups and it was tortuous to decide which to feature in this book. But after slurping down the best bowl ever in a street stall in Bangkok I realised I could have both. Basically, this is tom yum with coconut cream: the best of both worlds. If you want to bulk this out into a meal on its own, add some rice or noodles.
Put the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, and coriander roots and stems in a mortar and pestle and pound until coarsely chopped. Transfer the paste to a large saucepan, add the stock and 4 of the kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and discard the solids.
Add the coconut cream, roasted chilli paste, tamarind purée, lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce and mushrooms. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add the prawns, pineapple and the remaining kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms and prawns are just cooked. Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with the chilli, if using, and reserved coriander leaves.
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