Thai shrimp soup

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So… I’m a bad friend. I should’ve called, texted, anything. Blogger fail. I took a major break while pregnant. Yeah-that is actually a great excuse right? I was growing a human! I had a great pregnancy. I am a lucky gal and my most memorable symptom was that  was SUPER tired and I didn’t have any energy to do anything let alone come home and cook. I either did not have the appetite of a 300 lb truck driver (as everyone says you will) or I required food ASAP (like ‘bring me food and no-one dies’ type of hunger) so it was beyond hard to plan ahead for blog posts — since god only knows what mood I would be in that day when it came to meals. Honestly we are probably Papa Murphys best customers after that bun in the oven. Now after giving birth to my first child (Little Samuel) I am back, cooking again and now blogging again! Yay for all of us!

It’s winter here in KC and it’s starting to get cold. I love cold days as it gives me hope the planet may not be completely destroyed by global warming and because I love soup. I’ll be posting many of my soup recipes – but so far this is my favorite. It’s the right balance of tangy, savory and has a bit of spice. I hope you enjoy it!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 stalk lemongrass

8 kafir lime leaves

1 lb raw peeled and deveined shrimp

4 tbsp red curry paste

2 cans (12 oz) unsweetened coconut milk

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp minced ginger

1 diced onion (white or yellow)

1 diced red pepper

3 tbsp chopper cilantro

1 cup basmati rice

2 tbsp butter

1 Iime juiced

salt

pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Peel the outer stalks off the lemongrass. Only use the inner stalks. With the flat side of a kitchen knife smash the lemon grass a bit (similarly to smashing garlic) to release the oils and aroma.
  • In a small sauce pan pour in coconut milk, smashed lemongrass stalks and the lime leaves. Turn to low and simmer for the entire time you arw cooking. You can even start this process earlier to infuse more flavor into your coconut base. Remember to stir occasionally while you proceed with the following steps.

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  • Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.

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  • Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.
  • In a large stock pot on medium/low heat add butter and half of garlic and begin to simmer. Add shrimp for 2-3 minutes until they are just turning pink. Remove from heat immediately and set aside. Do not cook any longer. Shrimp get overlooked and rubbery real fast — they will bring up to temperature when you add them back to the hot soup.

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  • Turn heat on stock pot to medium and add in remainder of garlic, onion and red pepper. Simmer until cooked and soft. Add in ginger and stir another 1 minute or so.

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  • Whisk in red curry paste.

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  • Remove coconut milk from stove and strain off lemongrass and lime leaves. Toss aside an only use the infused milk.

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  • Whisk in the coconut milk infusion into the red curry paste mixture in the pot.
  • Whisk in the vegetable or chicken stock to the pot.

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  • Bring heat up to boil the soup- then once it reaches a boiling point reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add in lime juice, rice and shrimp. Stir until the ingredients are all warmed to temperature.
  • Taste and add salt or pepper as you wish.
  • Stir in chipped cilantro and serve immediately.

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**if you plan to reheat leftovers, I would reserve some raw shrimp and only cook what you plan to eat at each meal. Then when you plan to eat the leftovers, cook the shrimp, heat up the soup, and then toss in the shrimp at the end once the soup is hot. This keeps the shrimp from getting chewy if they sit in the broth and hen get reheated that way.