6lemongrass stalksremove lower bulb & outer sheath and cut into 3 inch pieces*
1 1/2tsp.fresh gingerminced
3Tbsp.Thai red curry pasteyou can find this in the ethnic food section; use half of this amount if you want a less spicy soup
3Tbsp.fish sauceethnic food section
1can unsweetened coconut milk
2tsp.red pepper oil/ red chili oil (ethnic food sectionuse half of this amount if you want a less spicy soup or substitute olive oil
Tofu cut into small cubesoptional
Heat chili oil in a stockpot on medium -low heat. Add lemongrass (or lemon zest), garlic and ginger. Cook. Stirring constantly so it won't burn for 30-60 sec until it becomes aromatic. Add curry paste, cook for about 30 sec.
Add 3 cups of chicken stock to dissolve the curry paste. Stir until it dissolves. Add remaining stock, fish sauce, and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
If adding mushrooms, add about 5 min before next step. If adding tofu cook as directed on package then add in.
Stir in coconut milk and lime juice. Cook for 5 min. Remove lemongrass with strainer, if you used this.
*if using lemongrass paste use 3 tablespoons or zest of 1 lemon