Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Thai inspired noodle soup

I LOVE Thai food!! Although I've only started eating it in the last two years...what a shame I didn't discover all the beautiful flavour combinations earlier! This recipe is Thai inspired and is based on a Nigel Slater recipe from his simple suppers collection..and it's exactly that..simple!  It's warming and comforting and if you use reduced fat coconut milk..not totally fattening either! 

The recipe below serves 2 people.  To make the Thai inspired soup you'll need:

  • 1 good knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 red chillies, seeds removed (optional), roughly chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-2 stalks of lemongrass (tough outer layers removed), roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, a few sprigs reserved and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • prawns 
  • Rice noodles (or if you cant get them use fine egg noodles)
  • oil for frying

Firstly blend the ginger, chilli, lemongrass, garlic and coriander in a food processor.  Alternatively if you are like me and have left your food processor 105 miles away until you move into your new house permanently then you can use the jars or tubes of already ground up chilli/lemongrass/ginger paste, grate your garlic cloves and finely chop your coriander. It works just as well.  I used a generous teaspoon of the lemongrass, ginger and chilli pastes and stuck with the amounts above for the garlic and coriander.  Either way, add your "paste" to the pan with a little bit of oil and cook for a few minutes to release the aromas. Mmmmmmmm!!!!

Next, add the juice of half a lime, the turmeric and some vegetable stock.  Nigel recommends a "small jug", I didn't have a measuring jug or a kettle (again 105 miles away!) so I boiled a little water in a pan and added the stock cube.  I would estimate I probably added about 300ml of stock.  What is a "small jug" anyway? I like Nigel's style of set measurements, just a bit of a guess, go with it and make it to your taste..I suppose that's what makes it simple, not having to measure everything out perfectly.  Anyway, I digress... simmer the stock/paste mixture for a few minutes.

Whilst the stock/paste mixture is bubbling away put your noodles on to cook.  Add a can of coconut milk to the stock/paste mix and bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer it for a few minutes.  Once it has simmered away for a few minutes, add your prawns (if cooking from raw then to cook for a few minutes, or to reheat if you have bought pre-cooked ones.  I prefer raw ones, but hey sometimes you cant always get them so go with what you prefer/have to hand)

When the noodles are cooked, drain them and add them to a couple of nice deep bowls and ladle the soup/prawns over them and serve straightaway.  I added a little extra coriander to the top of mine too.  Nigel says that this recipe also works well with chicken, scallops or mushrooms as an alternative to prawns.  Whatever you choose to put in it, it's flippin' tasty! It's like a great big hug in a bowl and all in under 20 minutes, perfect!

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