We’ve been depending on the foods we have around lately, rather than the foods we want to make.
Yay for budgeting!
Yay for eating out of the pantry!
That said, this has caused some, uh, more interesting food inventions.
Some dishes, like this Lemongrass Coconut Shrimp Soup, were successful.
Some dishes, like the noodly shrimpy rice noodle toss pictured below, were less so.
But we shall learn from my mistakes, and soldier on.
On to a soup that’s lovely for summer,
easy on the waistline and
customizable enough for the rest of us.
1 pound raw shrimp in shells
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Lemongrass paste or 3 stalks lemongrass, chopped into 2 inch pieces.
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup coconut milk
2 scallions, chopped fine
Minced cilantro and Sriracha sauce to garnish
Separate shrimp from their shells, save the shells.
Cut larger shrimp in thirds, smaller shrimp in half — set aside.
Rinse the shrimp shells and put them in a large soup pot.
Add 2 cups water and 2 cups of chicken broth.
Heat shrimp shells and water/broth to boiling.
If you’re adding lemongrass stalks, add those now too.
Strain mixture and discard shrimp shells and lemongrass stalks.
Set the broth aside.
In a dutch oven or soup pot, add the peanut oil, heat to medium high.
Add chopped shallot, stir until translucent, about 3 minutes.
If you’re using lemongrass paste, add it to the soup pot now. Stir through.
Add garlic and light brown sugar, stir through for about a minute or until the pot is fragrant and the shallot pieces are starting to goldenify.
Add the strained shrimp broth to the soup pot.
Add fish sauce, soy sauce and coconut milk, heat to boiling.
Add shrimp, turn to low.
Add scallions, stir through.
After shrimp are opaque – about 3 minutes – turn off the heat and serve.
I like to serve it with Siracha and cilantro.
James likes it just the way it is.
If you like these kinds of soups, my Hot and Sour Thai Soup is also a winner. We’ll serve it with Pad Thai or these lettuce wraps (scroll down a bit on the linked page — I made the wraps with ground chicken on this particular night).