- 3/4 pound mushrooms of your choice, cleaned (see note)
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1/4 cup loosely packed dulse or kombu (sea vegetables)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed bonito (dried white fish)
- 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
- 1 (4-inch) piece lemongrass, coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 to 5 cilantro sprigs
- Soy sauce, to taste
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored or untoasted sesame oil
- 12 cooked prawns
- Thin strips of carrot, cilantro sprigs, thinly sliced green onions or lime wedges, to garnish (optional)
Remove stems from mushrooms and reserve; slice mushrooms.
Pour vegetable stock or water into a saucepan and add mushroom stems, dulse, bonito, ginger, lemongrass, half the garlic, green onions and cilantro. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with soy sauce.
While the stock is simmering, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Stir-fry sliced mushrooms with remaining garlic for a scant 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are tender but not mushy. Splash the pan with a small amount of soy sauce to season mushrooms. Remove from the heat.
Spoon mushrooms in the center of 4 to 6 shallow soup bowls and divide prawns between the bowls, placing them around the mushrooms. Scatter or place a few carrot strips between prawns. Strain the soup stock over mushrooms and prawns. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and cilantro sprigs, and serve with lime wedges.
On the show we used chanterelle, shiitake, oyster and domestic mushrooms. Chanterelles and oysters are very seasonal. If you can’t find them, shiitakes are my mushroom of choice for this soup.