Thai Coconut Lemongrass Soup

I am a huge fan of Thai food and frequently visit Chelsea Thai (in Chelsea Market) for their Tom Ka Gai soup. It’s sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time.  I’ve always wanted to try and make it myself, so today I went for it! I made my version without chicken and just stuck to veggies. I added some bok choy that I got in my CSA this week which I thought was a nice addition. I am lucky to have had my best friend bring me back spices from her trip to Thailand recently, so a few of the “what the heck is that” ingredients were already on hand. If you end up making this soup, Whole Foods has a great selection of spices etc and should have what you need. The soup came out better than I could have hoped for- it tasted just like Chelsea Thai!

Ingredients: (adapted from Atelier Christine)
Serves 2

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
2-3 lemongrass stalks, pressed down with a knife (like you do to garlic) and cut into 3 inch pieces
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon Thai galangal powder
2 small shallots, one cut in half & the other minced
1-2 small Thai red chilies, depending on preferred heat
2 baby bok choy bunches, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 can of straw mushrooms
1/2 can of bamboo shoots
1/8 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 small limes, juiced (saving half a lime for serving)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (and a few sprigs left whole)

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the first 8 ingredients and bring to a simmer along with a few cilantro sprigs as well. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, adding all the liquid back to the pot along with the lemongrass and red chilies. Discard the rest. Next add the remainder of the ingredients- bok choy, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, coconut cream, fish sauce, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with a small wedge of lime for an extra squeeze!

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