It’s soup weather
  |  First Published: June 2005

When the temperature drops just a smidgen, I head straight to the soup pot. Soups can make a delicious snack or a comforting and filling meal. The following soup is full of delicious Asian flavours with a hint of bite. The lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves are available in most large supermarkets these days.

Asian Prawn Soup

Occasionally, I add some seafood wontons to the soup at the same time as the prawns to make it extra hearty. Seafood wontons can be difficult to find, so try your local Asian supermarket. In Brisbane you can sometimes find them at Action supermarkets or the Asian supermarket at Aspley Hypermarket. I suggest that you stock up on the wontons when you can get them and pop them into your freezer for later use.


500g green prawns

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 lemon grass stalks, white part only

3-4 thin slices fresh ginger

8 cups fish stock (or vegetable)

2-3 small red chillies (add more if you like the heat)

4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

6 small but flat mushrooms, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

2 tablespoons lime juice

coriander leaves to garnish (optional)


 Peel and devein the prawns, keeping the shells and the heads.

 Heat the oil in a large pot and add the prawn heads and shells. Cook for a few minutes until the shells turn bright pink.

 Bruise the stalks of lemon grass with the back of a heavy knife. Add one stalk of lemon grass to the pot with the cooked shells, along with the ginger slices and stock. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about twenty minutes. Strain the stock into another clean pot, discarding the prawn shells, ginger and lemon grass.

 Finely slice the remaining lemon grass and add it to the stock with the whole chillies, shredded lime leaves, fish sauce, mushrooms and shallots. Simmer gently for a few minutes.

 Add the peeled prawns and cook for a few more minutes until the prawns are pink. Take the pot off the heat and add the lime juice. Taste the soup and adjust the flavour with extra lime juice if necessary. Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy!

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