Spicy Lemongrass Soup - With Mushrooms and Tomato
One of the most disappointing things that can happen.... is not being able to find a simple meal that you are specifically craving!!! This happened to me recently and it was annoying AF!!!!! There used to be a cafeteria style fast food place near my old office building that served this AMAZINGGGG super spicy lemongrass Thai soup. The kind that was so spicy it would make you sweat, but so delicious you would finish the whole thing no matter how spicy it was lol Anyways, it was one of my fave things to eat that I would sometimes even get this as a "snack" because I was craving it so much.
After I switched jobs, I kinda forgot about this soup ...until recently. So I went searching! I needed to fulfill my craving of a bowl of spicy/sour/lemongrass/chili perfection but... i COULD. NOT. FIND. IT.!!! The cafeteria store place had shut down and moved to a new location. But the new location didn't serve it =(
So there I was, craving this soup so much so that I had to try to make it for myself and eat it whenever the eff I want :D muahahahaha I found a recipe which sounded similar to the ingredients I had remembered and adapted it to create this recipe. And it turned out damn good!!!
I know it's like the peak of summer in most parts of the world, but trust this is a soup that you can enjoy year-round! It's a clear chicken broth base (you can use whatever broth you fancy though!) with simple veggies, so it's nice and light but soup-er flavorful (hehe see what I did there?) This version is pretty spicy and the lemongrass gives it that extra sourness that compliments the rest of the flavors so well! The mushrooms give it an earthy flavor and the tomatoes and cilantro give it that hit of freshness. I would even recommend mixing and matching other veggies that you prefer/that you have on hand in your fridge - the broth is a great foundation for a variety of veggies!!
Anyways, keep on reading for the very easy recipe and some pics of this delish soup you will want to try! P.s. it's also good for when you're feelin' a little under the weather, the spice will kick you back into gear!
Spicy Lemongrass Soup
Adapted from Connoisseurusveg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of Ginger, sliced into thick strips lengthwise
3 lemon grass stalks, bruised and cut into thirds
6 C chicken broth
3 Thai chili's, stemmed and sliced
1/2 tbsp chili paste (like sambal oelek)
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tomato, chopped
2 C oyster mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tbsp fish sauce (depends on how salty the broth is)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 C cilantro, roughly chopped and some extra cilantro for garnish
1. In a large pot, heat up the vegetable oil on medium heat and add in the garlic and ginger, lightly saute until the garlic turns golden brown. Next add in the lemon grass stalks, make sure you bruise them with the back of a knife so that the flavor is released in your soup!
2. Once the aromatics have been sauteed, add in the chicken broth, chili's, chili paste, black peppercorns and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the tomato and mushrooms. You can add in the fish sauce at this point too, but taste the broth first as it may already be salty enough (depends on how salty your chicken broth was to begin!)
3. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Once the tomatoes have softened and the flavors have all combined just squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle in the chopped cilantro! And that's pretty much it. Ready to serve, devour & enjoy!
Note: You can adjust the spice level by adding or reducing the amount of Thai chili peppers used. I like to chop up a few extra peppers and leave it on the side when serving in case people want extra spice to their soup! I also suggest to continually taste test throughout cooking as the saltiness can vary greatly depending on the broth that you start out with! Also, you can fish out the lemongrass before serving.