Spicy Thai Mixed Vegetable Soup - Kaeng Liang (แกงเลียง)
Published and copyrighted by shesimmers.com
(Serve 6-8 as a main course)
64g peeled shallots, sliced
6g whole white peppercorns
100g cooked shrimp meat
4 cups (~ 1 liter) broth
300g zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
300g chayote, cut into 1-inch cubes
300g baby corns
200g mild-flavored mushrooms (button or oyster are great), cut into bite-sized pieces
500g large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fish sauce, to taste
20g fresh lemon basil leaves
In a mortar, pound together the shallots and peppercorns into a smooth paste. Add the shrimp meat and continue to pound until the shrimp and the paste become homogenous. If you don't have a mortar, use equal amount of ground white pepper and blend that with the shallots and the shrimp meat in a small food processor until you get a smooth paste.
Put the broth into a large pot along with the paste; bring to a boil.
Immediately add the pumpkin, zucchini, chayote, corns, and mushrooms to the pot; bring to a gentle boil once again.
Add a tablespoon of fish sauce to the pot.
Once the vegetables are tender but still hold their shape, add the shrimp.
Once the shrimp is cooked through, immediately turn off the heat.
Add more fish sauce, if needed.
Stir in the lemon basil leaves.
Serve with rice as a main course.
Note: Angle luffa (Buap บวบ) is also an ideal vegetable for this soup. Feel free to play around with the amounts of vegetables. If you like zucchini but not chayote, omit the chayote and double the amount of zucchini. Etc. But in terms of the kinds of vegetable to use in this soup, traditionally the Thai people don't venture too far from this recommended list.