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300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds

Thai red curry paste, which you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores, is one of our favorite add-ins when we want to kick up the flavor in a soup. Here, we've used it to lend a punch to this rich and creamy coconut milk-based soup. Mushrooms and shrimp make it a meal, but it's the wonderful balance of spicy, sweet and a little sour that keeps us coming back for more.
Serves 6


• 4 cups chicken stock
• 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
• 1 1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
• 2 cans (each 14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
• 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
• 1 Ib medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
• Whole fresh cilantro leaves


In a large pot, bring stock, sugar, fish sauce and curry paste to a boil over medium heat; boil for 1 minute. Add coconut milk and return to a boil. Add mushrooms, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 4 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice.

2. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with whole cilantro leaves.

To clean mushrooms, you can either rinse them quickly in water or wipe them with a damp paper towel. Mushrooms will be much happier in your refrigerator if you store them in a paper bag.

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