Thai spiced shrimp broth

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

After a shellfish feast I hate throwing away the shells as they make such a good bisque or clear soup. If you're not a shell hoarder like me just buy your prawns with the head and shells on.

After a shellfish feast I hate throwing away the shells as they make such a good bisque or clear soup. If you're not a shell hoarder like me just buy your prawns with the head and shells on.

for the soup

500g large raw prawns with the heads and shells on
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small leek, roughly chopped and washed
1 stick of lemon grass, roughly chopped
2 lime leaves
A small piece (about 20g) of root ginger or galangal
3 cloves of garlic
Stalks from Thai basil and coriander
1 12 litres fish stock (a good cube will do)
3tbsp Thai fish sauce

for the garnish

1 stick of lemon grass, outer leaves trimmed off, and chopped
4 lime leaves
A small piece of root ginger, peeled and shredded
1 mild red chilli, seeded and shredded
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the angle
A few sprigs of Thai basil
A few sprigs of coriander
60g Oriental mushrooms - enoki or hoi shemegi

Remove the shells and heads from the prawns, leaving the tail on. Put the meat in the fridge. Wash the shells and put them in a saucepan with the rest of the soup ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, skimming regularly, for 1 hour. Strain the soup through a fine meshed sieve into a clean pan and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Run a small knife along the back of the prawns and remove the black entrails with your fingers under the tap. Put the prawns and the rest of the ingredients for the garnish in the soup and simmer for 4-5 minutes and serve.

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