The other day I needed something very, very light for dinner. A soup that was barely more than a broth, but still had some substance. I figured the way to go was Asian, since their flavorful broths don't need a lot of other ingredients to make them feel substantial. So, I turned to Flavorsfrom Donna Hay. On page 54, I found exactly what I was looking for: Lemongrass, Prawn, and Mint Soup.
The beauty of this soup is that other than the mint, I had every single ingredient already in my pantry or freezer. The prawns (shrimp), lemongrass, ginger, red chillies, and kaffir lime leaves are always in my freezer. I also always have noodles of some sort and, of course, soy sauce in my pantry. This was really good, and perfect when you need something really light. It is amazing how much flavor the broth has from the simple ingredients, and I love the idea of first infusing the broth with the shrimp shells.
Lemongrass, Prawn and Mint Soup
Adapted From Donna Hay Flavors
1 1/4 lbs shrimp
6 cups water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 stalks lemongrass, bruised
2 slices ginger
1-2 red chilies, sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
3 1/2 oz rice vermicelli noodles (or you favorite noodle)
1/4 cup shredded Vietnamese mint (or whatever kind you have)
Peel the shrimp and place the shells into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the shells are well colored. Add the water and bring to a boil, let simmer for 2 minutes, skimming the foam off the top if you need to.
Drain through a fine strainer and discard the shrimp peels. Place the shrimp stock, soy sauce, lemongrass, ginger, chilies and kaffir lime leaves into the saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Cook the noodles according to directions, drain and place in bowls. Add the shrimp to the broth in the saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes are until the shrimp are tender.
Stir the mint through the soup and ladle into bowls on top of the noodles. (I removed the lemongrass and ginger before spooning the soup over). Serve with lime wedges and extra chilli.