Rated one of the Top Ten Soups in the world. The weather here in Southern Oregon has been gorgeous the past couple of days, normally too perfect for soup but I’m feeling a bit puny, wanted something tasty, you know, spicy and fortifying. Jim immediately responded with suggestion of Tom Yum soup.
Long story short there’s a Bouquet Garni needed, however, I just found this suggestion in Cook’s Illustrated May & June 2020 issue.
Easier Herb Bundles – Instead of using cheesecloth to wrap fresh herbs or whole spices for steeping in stock, soups, or stews. Use a disposable loose-leaf tea bag. The bag is large enough to hold several herb sprigs and is easy to find and discard, when cooking is complete. Plus there’s no cutting or trying required.
4 stalks Lemongrass
6 leaves Kaffir lime, or as needed
5 pieces Galangal, or ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
1 pound Shrimp, unpeeled
8 ounces mushrooms, optional
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons green onion, sliced 1/4″
2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
5 pods Thai chilies, or serrano chilies, optional
3 tablespoons Nam Phrik Pao, or chili garlic paste
1/2 cup coconut milk, optional
3 tomatoes, quartered optional
1 package rice noodles
1. FOR SOUP: Peel and devein shrimp reserving shells.
2. In a Dutch oven, bring stock to a boil. Tie shrimp shells in a cheese cloth sack. Add shells to boiling broth.
3. Crush lemongrass with a mallet and cut them down to fit your pot. Cut diagonal slits in lemongrass leaving them whole.
4. Tear Kaffir leaves. Using cheese cloth and string or the tea bag mentioned above, create a bouquet garni with the lemongrass stalks, Kaffir leaves and the galangal slices.
5. Add the bouquet garni to the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Season the soup with fish sauce and additional salt to taste. Remove the shrimp shells but leave the bouquet garni.
7. Increase heat to high and add the shrimp and mushrooms and tomatoes if using. Bring to a boil then take it off the heat.
8. Add Nam Phrik Pao, crushed chilies (if using), lime juice (to taste), and coconut milk if using. Just before serving remove bouquet garni and add green onion and cilantro.
9. Serve with white rice or rice noodles.
10. FOR NOODLES: Boil water. Place noodles in a strainer inside a larger bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles until covered and let sit for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Remove colander and rinse with cool water briefly. Separate the noodles now or they will stick together. Place in serving bowl and ladle soup over.