This recipe comes from my Aunt Katie, which means it's pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Lately, I've been thinking about adding a can of coconut milk to it but I already know it's so good without the coconut milk. When I lived in Boston, I was determined to find a recipe to make that slightly sweet coconut lemongrass soup that one could get at pretty much any Thai food restruant. I tried 5 different recipes before giving up. This is a great substitute; it's spicy instead of sweet.
It's also delicious as a side dish with pad thai.
3-4 stalks of lemongrass
8 cups chicken broth
1 tomato, diced
1 can straw mushrooms
1 small can bamboo shoots (I added this)
1/2 pound shelled shrimp or tofu diced
2 T instant sour shrimp paste (Tom Yum)
fish sauce Aunt Katie suggests a few shakes; I think I did about 1/2 t
green onions, sliced thinly
basil (I happened to have some Thai basil)
Trim ends of lemongrass, using meaty portion only. Pound lemongrass with mallet. Add lemongrass to chicken broth in sauce pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove lemongrass from broth using a strainer.
To broth, stir in shrimp and cook until pink (only takes a few minutes). Drain liquid from mushrooms and bamboo and add to broth and shrimp. In a serving bowl, combine Tom Yum paste, juice from 1/2 lime and a few shakes of fish sauce. Stir until blended. Stir hot broth into mixture.
Garnish with diced tomato, green onion, cilantro, and basil.