Thai Lemongrass and Chile Soup (Tom Yum)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 stalks lemongrass, peeled and cut into 4 inch pieces
3 fresh kaffir lime leaf (optional)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon peeled minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons roasted chili paste
1 1/2 cups chopped oyster mushrooms or white mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
3/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
2-3 small hot green chilies, seeded and halved (optional)
1. In medium saucepan, heat vegetable broth to a simmer with lemongrass and lime leaves if desired.
2. In small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
3. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring often, about 30 seconds.
4. When broth has simmered for 5 minutes, remove lemongrass and lime leaves and discard.
5. Add cooked garlic and ginger to broth.
6. Return broth to a boil, and stir in chile paste and mushrooms.
7. Cook until mushrooms have wilted, about 30 seconds, then stir in lime juice and fish sauce.
8. Remove from heat, and ladle soup into small bowls along with your favorite rice noodles.
9. Top each bowl with chopped tomatoes, cilantro and a pinch of hot green chiles if you want it really really spicy.
10. Alternatively, tomatoes and chiles can be mixed together and placed in small serving bowl for people to help themselves (this way people can make it as spicy as they want).