Recipe of the week! Cold and flu killer soup….

I have had a dose of what my GP described as “likely to be flu, could be tonsillitis”  this week, and felt grim for a few days. When I am sick, I want to eat simple, clean, tasty or spicy foods, and this recipe for Thom Yum Soup, which is a very simple soup with a real kick to it, ideal for clearing out stuffed up sinuses, and the chilli and garlic, I am convinced, help to kill some of the germs! I made this for myself in the week, as a comfort/healing soup.

I used chicken in this recipe, because I had some cooked, leftover chicken, technically you should use prawns, but you can vary and add what you like or make it vegetarian if you require, it’s basically about the getting the flavour, and then add what you fancy. I spent some time in Thailand, as a child, because my Dad worked there for a few years, and we have Thai friends and family, so Thai food is generally a favourite in the Mad House of Cats and Babies (Layla LOVES Thai Green curry – freaky cat). I love the tastes, spices, and freshness of Thai food, and the way you can tweak recipes to suit your preferences!

  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (this makes enough soup to serve 2 people)
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass  1/3 finely minced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food stores)
  • 12-14 medium or large raw prawns (I used chicken this week)
  • 2 Tbsp  Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1-2 small red chilies, minced OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (add more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  •  1 tsp. brown sugar, and a squeeze of lime juice

Preparation:

  1. Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and turn heat to medium-high. Add prepared lemongrass to the pot, including upper parts of the stalk you didn’t mince. Boil 5 to 6 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Reduce heat slightly to achieve a nice simmer. Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms to broth. Continue simmering for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp,  or whatever meat or veg you are using if doing a vegetable only version.  Simmer 5-6 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump.
  4. Turn down the heat to low and add 1/2 can coconut milk plus fish sauce. Test-test the soup for spice and salt, adding more chili and/or fish sauce (instead of salt) as desired. If too sour for your taste, add 1 tsp. brown sugar; if too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. Add more coconut milk if you want your soup richer/creamier, or if it’s too spicy for your taste.
  5. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over.
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