This soup has much the same base as a Laksa, but not so much coconut cream. I tend to use low fat versions of the coconut and chicken stock, but that's an option. Fresh Asian vegetables can be used instead of tinned, or one could use tinned Asian mushrooms instead of fresh. This really is best with chicken. The lemongrass is the fragrance, the kaffir lime gives the sourness, and the red curry paste gives the spice. Excellent for when one has a cold.
1 400 ml tin coconut cream
1 tblsp Thai red curry paste
1 teasp Asian shrimp paste
2 litres chicken stock
500 grams finely diced chicken (thighs/breasts/tenderloins)
6 kaffir lime leaves
2 teasp finely sliced lemongrass roots
250grams fresh Asian mushrooms, finely chopped
2 425grams tins mixed Asian vegetables (bean sprouts/bamboo shoots/baby corn etc)
vermicelli rice noodles
1 tblsp Thai fish sauce
fresh coriander to garnish
Make sure the coconut cream has been standing long enough for the thick cream to rise. Scoop the coconut cream off the top of the tin and place in a large pot on a moderate heat.
Allow the coconut cream to bubble and reduce by 1/3. Add shrimp paste and curry paste and allow coconut mixture to reduce further until spices smell cooked. (Chop chicken now)
Add chicken and stir through coconut spice mixture until meat whitens. Add coconut milk remaining in tin and simmer. Add kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Add chicken stock slowly, 1 cup at a time so that soup mixture never goes off simmer.
Now put lid on pot and allow soup to simmer for 30 minutes. Chop mushrooms now, and add after 20 minutes.
5 minutes before serving, add tinned Asian vegetables, fish sauce and vermicelli noodles. Stir through and allow cook for the 5 minutes.
Serve with a garnish of fresh coriander.