My birthday was at the weekend which meant bellini cocktails, cake(s), a picnic on the beach (complete with Pan Bagnat which I’ll write up shortly) and fabulous meals out and about – safe to say getting into my jeans was not a happy experience. Enter the famous Thai Tom Yum soup – delicious, filling and with just the right amount of spice to ram any metabolism back up to speed. I played with this recipe by LEON (my new favourite cookbook) so that it was to my taste (adding prawns + soba noodles) but you could add anything - sweet corn, shredded chicken, green beans etc - once you’ve got the zingy Thai paste and coconut base.
For the paste
3 cloves of garlic peeled
2 sticks of lemongrass, roughly chopped
30g root ginger, sliced
3 lime leaves
1-2 red chillies (hot or hotter), roughly chopped
2 shallots, peeled
40ml sunflower or groundnut oil (or enough to wet the paste)
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
200g frozen peas
150g button mushrooms, sliced
2 medium good quality tomatoes
200g soba noodles
A couple of handfuls of prawns
1 spring onion, sliced on a strong diagonal
1. Blend all the paste ingredients to a purée.
2. Put into a hot pan and stir for a few minutes to release the aromas. Add 400ml of water, the coconut milk and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles for 5 inutes in boiling salted water, drain.
4. Turn off the heat and stir in the peas, mushrooms and prawns.
5. Cut the tomatoes into thin slices and lay 2 or 3 at the bottom of each warmed bowl. Distribute the noodles between each bowl and spoon the hot soup over each.
6. Finish with a sprinkle of spring onions, a wedge of lime and extra chilli if required.