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Hot and Sour Lemongrass Soup


Lemongrass is not only tasty. It is also used in alternative medicine. It might help prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast. Lemongrass also contains substances that are thought to relieve pain, reduce fever, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and have antioxidant properties. This is a great soup if you have a cold or other respiratory illness.

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 fresh chiles, or to taste, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 block firm silken tofu, cubed
  • a handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 green onions (scallions) sliced
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots (if from a can, rinse well)
  • a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine the ginger, lemongrass and chilies in a medium-sized pot. Add all the stock and fish sauce and bring just to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes to infuse. Strain all solid ingredients from stock.

Bring the stock back to a slight boil, uncovered, and add the mushrooms, tofu and bamboo shoots. Let it simmer gently another 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the carrot into thin ribbons with a peeler (rotating the carrot as you peel, holding the thickest end). Set aside for garnish.

Add the lime juice and taste for seasoning. Serve in individual bowls with a shower of carrots, scallions, and cilantro as garnish.

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