This is a very common version of a typical Vietnamese clear soup with a fruity, spicy-tart broth based on tamarind.
plus 3 cups water
or 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
bruised and tied into a knot, or 1 wide ribbon of fresh lime peel
halved lengthwise, or to taste
cut into thin wedges
peeled, or diced tofu
What You'll Need
- tenderizer or muddler
- Cutting board
- Soup pot
Combine all ingredients for the broth (stock, water, onion, tamarind paste, lemongrass, chiles, fish sauce) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add celery, tomatoes and pineapple. Simmer for about 2 minutes. Gently stir in bean sprouts and shrimp (or tofu). Simmer until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Just before serving, sprinkle with green onion and cilantro. Serve as a first course soup, or ladle over brown rice as a one-bowl meal.
Purple-brown tamarind fruit comes from the seed pods of a large, tropical tree. Look for it in Asian or Latin American markets. It comes bottled as a concentrated paste or dried in dark, brown blocks. The dried fruit needs to be soaked in hot water and then strained before using.