Vegetable Soup, Thai Style

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes

This style of Thai soup tends to be thin, almost meager, but extremely flavorful, laced with lime, chile, and lemongrass. The selection of vegetables here is pretty traditional, but you can substitute freely.

6 cups vegetable stock, Mushroom Stock, or water

3 stalks lemongrass

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste

1 lime leaf, minced, or the grated zest of a lime

1 small hot fresh chile, preferably Thai, stemmed, seeded, and minced, or more to taste Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup sliced button or oyster mushrooms

1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed, or shelled peas (frozen are fine)

1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

01 Put the stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Mince the core of one of the lemongrass stalks and add it; trim and bruise the other 2 lemongrass stalks, cut them into 2- or 3-inch lengths, and add them to the pot along with the soy sauce, lime leaf, chile, pepper, and sugar. Stir, then add the vegetables.

02 Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add the lime juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy, lime, chile, or pepper as you like. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.