This refreshing Thai lemongrass soup is made with a light gingery broth, pan-fried tofu, cherry tomatoes and fresh cilantro.
After I made this the other day I realized I wasn’t sure of it’s appropriateness for this time of year. This might sound like a weird thing to say about soup, but it’s rather summery. Yeah, I know lots of people aren’t big on a hot bowl of spicy broth in the warmer months, but in this case I think the tomatoes, lime and cilantro make this a soup of the more refreshing variety.
Because I have a hard time hanging onto post material for more than a month without unleashing it on the world, I decided to let this one out anyway. Also, it does seem like something light and refreshing might be desirable in the near future. Okay, I’m still pounding the bag of Christmas cookies my mom sent me home with last week, but those will soon be gone (I’m hoping they go off to work with my husband, and not into my belly, but time will tell). I’m betting by Friday we’ll all be ready for some healthiness.
This lemongrass soup is refreshing and healthy, but what’s great is that it’s also hot and comforting, and if you choose, spicy as well. I will probably make this again in the summer just to test out my theory. Okay, I’ll probably make this again next week. It was really enjoyable, even on a rainy December evening, and it only took 20 minutes to throw together. So, I kinda have to make it again, you know, when I’m over Christmas cookies and all. I love it when my New Year’s resolutions pretty much take care of themselves like that.
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. Asian chili paste (or to taste)
- 2 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ lb extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for at least 15 minutes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- soy sauce or tamari to taste*
- Bruise lemongrass stalks by pressing on them with a large knife, until they flatten a bit. Cut each into 4 sections. Set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute. Add broth, lemongrass, chili paste, shiitakes and cherry tomatoes. Bring to a low simmer and allow to cook about 12-15 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.
- While broth simmers, cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Coat medium skillet with remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and place over medium-high heat. Arrange tofu cubes in a single layer. Cook about 5 minutes until lightly browned on bottoms, turn and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add tofu to broth mixture, along with cilantro and lime juice. Season with soy sauce to taste. Remove lemongrass and discard. Ladle into bowls and serve.
For additional guidance on the tofu cooking step, check out my post on how to cook tofu.