We love to get creative with Georgia Grown members’ products, and with the Made in Georgia Festival coming up, Chef Olivia was inspired by Biron Tea’s Endurance Lemongrass Blend, Green Box Mushrooms’ oyster mushrooms, Oliver Farm’s Green Peanut Oil; all vendors at the festival. She showed attendees how to create a soup with these ingredients alongside shrimp, summer squash, oyster mushrooms, coconut milk and fresh Thai basil that is reminiscent of tom kha gai, a popular staple on Thai restaurant menus.
- ¾ pound shell-on shrimp
- 1 bag of Biron Endurance lemongrass tea
- 3 cups water
- 3 slices ginger
- 1 tablespoon green peanut oil, plus more for garnish
- 2 large yellow squash, rough diced, about 4 cups
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 red or green jalapeño or serrano pepper, sliced into thin rounds, divided
- 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
- 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 2 limes, juiced
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- 4-6 portions of rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package directions and divided between soup bowls (optional)
- Peel shrimp, reserving peels in a medium pot. Pound the ginger using the flat side of your knife and the heel of your hand, as if you were smashing a garlic clove, to release some of the juices and fragrance. Add water and sliced pounded ginger and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until liquid is reduced by 1/3. Strain into a measuring cup or bowl – you should have 2 cups of stock – and add tea bag. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag and set stock aside.
- Rinse pot and set over medium heat until moisture evaporates. Add green peanut oil, onion, and squash. Cover and cook on low heat until squash and onion are very soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water if necessary to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Increase heat, and add ginger, garlic, and half of the sliced jalapeño. Saute until fragrant. Add to the pitcher of a blender with stock, and puree until smooth.
- Return squash puree to the pot. Add fish sauce and mushrooms, and bring to a simmer. Cook the mushrooms for about 3 minutes. Add shrimp while the broth is still simmering, then remove from the heat. Add coconut milk, lime juice, Thai basil and about 1 tablespoon of green peanut oil, stirring gently. The shrimp will cook as the soup cools. Let soup stand off heat for 5 minutes, check the shrimp for doneness, and correct seasoning, using fish sauce and/or lime juice. Serve immediately over rice vermicelli.