Quick and easy, this vibrant Cambodian-style Coconut Shrimp Soup with coconut milk, green beans, and tomatoes is perfect for a weeknight supper!
For the lemongrass paste
- 3 stalks lemongrass (or the zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon, plus additional lime juice to taste)
- 1 (3-inch) piece fresh turmeric (or substitute 1 tablespoon ground turmeric)
- 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger
- 1 shallot
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, finely sliced (optional)
For the soup:
- 1 can (14-ounce) full-fat coconut milk, do not shake
- 2 1/2 cups flavorful stock (fish, chicken, or vegetable)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, such as Red Boat, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 8 ounces French green beans (haricots verts), trimmed and halved
- 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salt, to taste
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large handful Thai basil leaves
- Cooked rice
- Lime wedges
1 Make the lemon grass paste: Peel away and discard the top outer layer of tough, fibrous leaves from the lemongrass, leaving the tender, lighter-colored inside layers. Cut this tender part into thin slices. Also peel and slice the turmeric, ginger, shallot, and garlic cloves.
Combine the lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, shallot, garlic, and lime leaves in a blender or food processor and process until the ingredients are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the blender as necessary. Set the paste aside.
This paste can be prepared in advance and kept refrigerated for up to a week.
2 Separate the coconut cream from the milk: Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open the top, and you should see a thick layer of coconut cream on top. Spoon this out of the can and transfer to a stock pot. Reserve the watery milk on the bottom.
If you don't see a clear layer of cream on top, then just add all the coconut milk at once.
3 Cook the coconut cream and lemongrass paste: Over medium-high heat, bring the coconut cream to a simmer. Add the lemongrass paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and fragrant.
Add the remaining coconut milk from the can, the stock, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer.
4 Cook the vegetables and shrimp: Add the zucchini and green beans to soup. Simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are just barely tender.
Add the shrimp and the tomatoes, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until pink and opaque. Stir in the basil leaves. Taste the soup and add additional salt, fish sauce, or brown sugar to taste.
5 Serve: Ladle into bowls, and serve with rice and lime wedges. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for about 5 days.