6 cups good-quality chicken stock
1-2 chicken breasts sliced
1 lemongrass stalk
4 kaffir limes leaves (found at your local asian grocer)
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated
1 Tablespoon of Thai Chili Paste
1 can good-quality coconut milk
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
handful fresh cilantro
handful fresh basil leaves
Cut 1/2 off the top of the lemon grass stalk. Bruise the stalk by beating it gently with the side of soup can or a rolling pin -- you want to open it up a bit so when you place it into the broth it will release it's flavor easily.
Place chicken broth in a pot over medium-high heat
Add sliced chicken and mushrooms. Add the lemongrass, galangal or ginger, kaffir lime leaves and chili paste. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is done.
Turn heat down to medium. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar and simmer for a few minutes.
Turn heat down to simmer and add the lime juice and basil leaves and stir through.
Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro.