With its lively dance of flavors, this soup is a spring tonic.
2 lemongrass stalks
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 or 2 serrano chiles, halved lengthwise
1 shallot, sliced
2 slices (1/4 in. thick) fresh ginger, crushed
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-in. dice
4 button mushrooms, quartered
1 red jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
3/4 pound small (about 50 per lb.) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
About 1 tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh dill, coarsely chopped
How to Make It
Trim green tips from lemongrass and peel off tough outer layer from each. Mash stalks with a meat mallet or rolling pin, then tie each stalk in a knot. Put in a small pot, add chicken broth, serrano chile, shallot, and ginger, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove lemongrass, serrano chile, and ginger from pot and discard. Add zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeño chile, and shrimp. Turn off heat and let steep until shrimp is just cooked through, 2 minutes.
Stir in fish sauce, 1 tbsp. vinegar, the cilantro, and dill. Add more vinegar to taste, if you like.
Divide among 4 bowls and serve hot.
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