Fall Mushroom and Prawn Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

Fall Mushroom and Prawn Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

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  • 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.

Special notes:

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.