This is the ultimate fusion soup – part Vietnamese, part Thai, part Japanese. Healthy and heart warming it really lifts your spirits on dark winter days. Packed with immune boosting ingredients it not only feels cleansing but also fills you up leaving you tingling with the heat of chilli and scent of Asia. It does require a wee bit of forward planning and is not an instant throw it together soup – but the wait is worth it. As soups go, it is also pretty versatile, I make it stuffed with vegetables but you could add in shredded chicken or duck for a meatier option or prawns and squid for a fish alternative!
YUM YUM BROTH
Serves 2 healthy portions or 4 small starter size
- 800ml of fresh homemade chicken stock (you can also use game stock but it can be quite strong)
- 2 organic carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 1 banana shallot, finely sliced
- 1 large red chilli, roughly chopped
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, skinned and roughly sliced
- 2 sticks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
- 3 star anise
- 8 coriander seeds
- 1 stick of lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 2 fresh lime leaves
- 1 large handful of coriander roughly chopped
Sieved Broth Additions:
- Juice of at least 2 limes
- 4 table spoons of Thai fish sauce
- 1 red chilli very finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander
- 2 tablespoons of cashew nuts, roasted in the oven and chopped finely
- Freshly grated ginger
- 200gms udon noodles – cooked as instructed
Broth building blocks:
I used diced roasted butternut, a handful of brocolli florets and a handful of julliened mange tout. You could also add in prawns, squid for a fishy take on it or go for shredded chicken or duck. Pak choi works well as does shitake mushrooms, there are so many combinations you really have to play around to see what works for you.
1. Place all the ingredients for the infusion broth in to a large pan and bring slowly up to the boil. Turn it down to a very low simmer and continue at this heat for about 2 hours. Sieve all the ingredients out and put the Asian spiced broth in a clean pan.
2. Dice the butternut and roast in a baking tray for 35 minutes until soft to the touch and slighltly caramelised.
3. Cook the udon noodles as instucted. Add the butternut into the sieved broth, add in the brocolli and let it cook till it is just al dente, add in the cooked noodles. Now get your tasting spoon out, add in the thai fish sauce, lime juice, additional chilli and coriander. Taste the broth…. it may need more lime juice or more fish sauce, or a little more grated ginger.
4. Lift the noodles out of the sauce pan and place in soup bowls and then ladle the broth and vegetables over the top. Top with more coriander, a slither or 2 of chilli and the cashew nuts.
Written by the wonderful Joanna Preston of Larder Saga. Check it out for other scrumptious ideas!