Thai-Style Coconut & Lemongrass Soup

Tom Yum and Tom Ka soups are so delicious but my favorite Thai place charges $7 for a tiny bowl. It's kind of ridiculous. So, the solution is to just make it at home. The following recipe isn't authentically Thai, as it is missing fish sauce, but it has that lemongrassy taste which is what I love about those Thai soups. The benefit is that you can get all of the ingredients at your local supermarket (at least I can) so special trips to exotic grocery stores are rendered unnecessary.
4 to 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 piece of lemongrass
1 knob of ginger
2" piece of lime peel
6 cilantro stalks
2 to 3 hot peppers, sliced
juice of 1 lime
¼ cup coconut milk
salt and sugar to taste
button mushrooms
cilantro leaves
Start by hacking at the piece of lemongrass with a sharp knife. The point here is to just break through the skin to allow the lemongrass to give off as much flavor as possible without cutting it into small pieces (because biting into a piece of lemongrass sucks).
Peel some ginger and leave the knob whole, again because biting into a piece of ginger sucks. This way, you can fish out the piece before you serve.
Rip the leaves off of some cilantro and keep the stalks.
Cut up some button mushrooms.
To make the soup, pour the stock into a soup pot. Throw in the ginger, lemongrass, and cilantro stalks. Throw in the lime peel and then bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, throw in some spicy peppers. Add in the coconut milk and bring the soup back to a boil. Sprinkle in some salt and sugar to taste and then squeeze in some lime juice. Cook for a few more minutes just to allow the flavors to develop.
About 5 minutes before you're ready to serve, throw in the mushrooms.
Allow them to cook just for a few minutes - you don't want them to get rubbery - and then it's time to eat.
Serve up a nice big bowl and garnish with plenty of cilantro. The cilantro is my favorite part.
Here's the recipe page:


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