3 small tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
1 teaspoon palm or white sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 lemongrass stalks, cut into 5cm lengths and bruised
2 shallots, sliced
4 slices galangal
4-6 bird’s eye chillies
4 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves
1 chicken breast, (approx 250g)
150g shiitake or button mushrooms, cut into small quarters or wedges
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
to serve, sliced chilli, coriander, Thai basil or Vietnamese mint

This light soup is perfect for lunch or dinner on a cooler day. Feel free to remove the aromatics from the stock before serving, but don’t omit the galangal from the recipe as it adds a lemony and slightly camphorous flavour to the soup. It can be hard to find fresh, so I usually buy it frozen and bring out a piece as I need it.


1.Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
2.Set aside the flesh but strain the juice and seeds through a sieve and put the tomato liquid into a large pot.
3.Add the chicken stock, the palm sugar, salt, lemongrass stalks, shallots, galangal, chillies and makrut lime leaves.
4.Bring up to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
5.Add the chicken breast and simmer for another 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.
6.Remove and when cool enough to handle, shred or slice into thin pieces.
7.If you wish you can strain the soup of aromatics at this point.
8.Add the tomato flesh and mushrooms to the soup and cook for 5 minutes or until tender, add the chicken back to the broth and finish to taste with the fish sauce and lime juice adding more of each of these if necessary.
9.The soup should be hot, salty and sour.
10.Add extra chilli and herbs to taste and serve.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings

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