Thai Soup with Shrimp
Trim both ends of lemongrass, peel outer layers and cut into pieces. Cook the dried shrimp in oil, pour in 1 liter (approximately 1 quart) of water and add the lemongrass. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Rinse cilantro, shake dry and pluck off the leaves. Peel garlic and coarsely chop the cilantro, then process with the pepper and salt in a mortar to a spice paste. Clean mushrooms and cut into strips. Peel galangal and cut into slices. Rinse chile and finely chop. Rinse the remaining lemongrass and cut into very thin rings.
Drain the broth through a sieve and put back into the pot. Add chile, spice paste, lime juice, lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar and boil everything again. Add galangal, mushrooms and shrimp and leave to infuse for 2-3 minutes. Trim the scallions, rinse and cut into rings. Pour the soup into bowls and serve garnished with scallion rings.