Spicy, savory, scrumptious and quick soup to make to boot. A fairly well-stocked Asian market should have all of the ingredients listed. The veggies listed in the ingredients list are easily substituted with others, such as summer squash, green bean, cauliflower, okra, celery, button, shitake or enoki mushroom and cabbage. If you wish, you could incorporate into the soup with Asian rice vermicelli noodles to make it a complete meal. —nasilemak
large shrimp, shell removed and set aside
tamarind, from a block of tamarind
4 inch long piece, peeled, smashed and cut into thick slices
stalks lemongrass, outer layers peeled and discarded, bottom ends removed, remaining stalk smashed and cut into 2 inch pieces
lime leaf, finely sliced
roasted garlic clove
habanero, cut in half, stalk removed.
long horn pepper, cut into half inch pieces
zucchini, cut into large cubes
plum tomato, cut into large cubes
king oyster mushroom, cut into half inch slices
red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch batons
soft tofu, block cut into large cubes
sprigs of cilantro or thai basil for garnish, optional
Add 5 cups of water into a stockpot. Add the reserved shrimp shells into pot. Bring to a simmer for 6 minutes. Remove the shells and discard.
Maintain the broth at low simmer and begin adding all of the ingredients into the pot starting with the flavoring agents (tamarind, ginger, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaf, lemongrass, garlic), followed by the peppers (habanero and long horn) and then the vegetables (zucchini, tomato, mushroom, red bell pepper). Simmer for a total of 10 minutes and add the shrimp and tofu in the final 3 minutes of cooking. Remove lemongrass, tamarind and ginger pieces. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning to your liking. The sweet and sour should taste balanced.
Garnish the soup with a couple of sprigs of cilantro or Thai basil if you like. Serve immediately.