For a thicker soup, feel free to add 1- 1 1/2 cups of diced potato ( or sweet potato)- totally optional.
Heat oil in a medium, heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the shallots, saute 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. Saute 3 more minutes until the shallot is tender. Add lemongrass, saute 1-2 more minutes.
Add the veggie or chicken stock or broth, kefir lime leaves, salt and broccoli and bring to boil – it’s OK if the broccoli isn’t all submerged, it will still steam. SEE NOTES for potato.
Bring this to a boil, cover, lower heat and gently simmer 10-12 minutes, or until broccoli is fork-tender.
Once tender, turn the heat off, uncover. At this point, you could add a handful of optional spinach to give the soup a more vibrant green color. Add 1/4 cup cilantro (save the rest for garnish) and blend until very smooth using a submersion blender. Or cool and blend in batches using a regular blender (keeping in mind, blending a blender full of hot soup will explode! So either fill the blender only halfway full & place a kitchen towel on top of the lid and firmly hold the lid down while blending- or wait until it has cooled!
Place the smooth blended soup back in the pot, over low heat.
Stir in the coconut milk (solids and liquid) – you can start with half a can and add more to taste. Add sugar and stir until warmed through. Do not boil or you will lose the lovely color!
Add lime juice, and optional fish sauce to taste, or add salt. Find the balance.
Divide among bowls, garnish with any of the options above.
For a thicker soup add 1- 1 1/2 cups diced sweet potato or potato ( simmer with broccoli). If adding the potato, you can cut back on the coconut milk if you like, to lighten things up.