Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 stalk lemongrass, tender bottom portion smashed with the back of a knife and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh galangal or ginger, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 8 fresh Thai lime leaves, torn and lightly bruised
  • 6 ounces unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 ounces button mushrooms (about 2 cups), quartered
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. red Thai chili paste (I like nam prik pao)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 or 2 dried Thai chilies or 1 fresh Anaheim chili, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tsp. fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1 tsp. palm or light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chili oil

    In a stockpot, bring the chicken broth to a gentle boil over medium heat. Add the lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves and reduce the heat to low so the liquid is barely simmering. Cook until the broth is well infused with aromatic flavor, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the coconut milk, mushrooms, bell pepper, chili paste, fish sauce and dried chilies and simmer, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about another 5 minutes. Add the shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

    Season the soup to your liking with the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. Stir in the cilantro leaves.

    Serve with the chili oil if you want to make the soup spicier—be sure to add it a few drops at a time!

    Excerpted from Pull Up a Chair © 2018 by Tiffani Thiessen. Photography © 2018 by Rebecca Sanabria. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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