One of my favorite Thai soups. It is pretty easy and simple to make.
-2 quarts chicken broth
-2 stalks fresh lemongrass, sliced on a bias in 2-inch pieces
-4 kaffir lime leaves (I haven't used them but can find them at the Asian market)
-1-inch piece fresh galangal or ginger (I used galangal which you can also find at the Asian market)
-2 red chilies, sliced (Jalapeno or Serrano chilies work too)
-2 tablespoons fish sauce
-1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
-1 bunch of straw mushrooms
-1 pound large shrimp, peeled with tails on
-2 limes, juiced
-2 green onions, sliced
-1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Bring the stock to boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chilies. (I also add about 1 tsp of chili garlic paste for a little more spice, we like spicy). Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.
Uncover and add the fish sauce, sugar, and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in the shrimp and cook for about 8 minutes until they turn pink. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, green onions, and cilantro. Taste for salt and spices.
When eating don't eat the lemongrass and lime leaves they are for flavor only.