THAI LEMONGRASS, MUSHROOM AND SHRIMP SOUP (for four)
2 stalks lemon grass or two 2 x 1 inch strips lemon zest
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
two 2×1 inch strips lime zest
1 tablespoon nam pla, or other Asian fish sauce, or soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
½ pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
½ cup canned straw mushrooms or one 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1. Discard tough lemon grass tops and outer leaves. Cut lemon grass into 2 inch lengths and smash with flat side of a chef’s knife. Set aside.
2. Bring chicken stock and water to boiling in a large heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add lemon grass, lime zest, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, cayenne, shrimp and mushrooms. Cook just until shrimp turn pink – 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Stir in scallions, ladle into heated soup bowls and serve.
from Jean Anderson, American Century Cookbook