Spicy Thai Noodle Soup

Spicy Thai Noodle Soup

Veganuary is going well for me again this year, I’ve been cooking lots of my usual favourites and, as usual, trying out some new ideas.

You might know I’ve got a bit of a problem with cookbooks, I have lots, I bought six since Christmas… oops! To be fair they were secondhand and four of them were bargains at a penny each! For me they don’t have to be exclusively vegetarian or vegan. I like the challenge of taking a recipe that isn’t vegetarian or vegan and making it suitable. This approach to cooking has totally changed how I eat and made me try so many more things other than your typical and somewhat expected vegetarian food. Some restaurants could do with taking this approach to vegetarian and vegan food, quit with the boring standard pasta or roast veg dishes.

There’s loads of noodle broth type recipes in my collection of cookbooks. The ones that are meaty are pretty easy to make vegan, lose the meat and meaty stock and switch it out for veg or tofu and veg stock.

This recipe was created by looking at a few different recipes for Thai noodle soups. My first attempt had a real kick, so I toned it down a bit here, but if you like it hot add another chilli or two. It really depends on how hot the chillies are that you buy too, be brave, give them a taste and make a judgement for how many to add. Or, if you aren’t feeling brave that’s alright, just go with one chilli and then have some fresh sliced on the side for people to pimp their bowl with if they like it hot!

This makes enough for two. You’ll need a blender to make the paste quickly, though if you don’t have one, chopping it all up superfine, or bashing it up in a pestle and mortar will work. It doesn’t take long to make, but I’m not great at timing how long stuff takes in the kitchen, sorry!

Ingredients:

For the paste…
1 chilli, keep the seeds in, take them out, whatever you fancy
3 cloves garlic, peeled
5cm ish of ginger, peeled
1 lemongrass stalk
4 shallots, peeled (you could use spring onions here instead)
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp turmeric
1tsp curry powder (I opted for a mild one)
1 handful of fresh coriander use the stalks for this, the leaves to garnish

50g fine rice noodles
1 tin coconut milk
soy sauce
1 lime

That’s the ingredients for the basic broth, make it your own and add whatever veg you fancy, or go for tofu, I roasted some squash and steamed some broccoli. I also sliced some raw sugar snap peas and spring onion to garnish it with.

Thai Spicy Noodle Soup Ingredients

Start by making the paste, chop the ingredients into chunks to help your blender out, pop everything in said blender and whiz it up until it’s a fine paste, you might need to add a bit of water too. In a medium saucepan, heat a little veg oil over a medium heat and fry the paste for a couple of minutes. You should be able to smell the paste, yum! Then add the coconut milk and a bit of water, the amount of water depends on how thick your coconut milk is, just use your judgement, it might not even need any. Turn the heat down as low as it’ll go and let the soup simmer. While it’s doing it’s thing, cook your veg and noodles. Keep checking in on the broth though, don’t let it boil.

When your veg and noodles are ready, add soy sauce and lime juice to the soup to taste, this is personal, I don’t want to dictate how much you should use here! To serve divide the noodles between your bowls and then pop in whatever extras you’ve used. Ladle over the soup and then garnish with the coriander and whatever other bits you’ve chosen to use. Will you go for extra chilli!?

Vegan Spicy Thai Noodle Soup

Satay Noodle Soup

Satay Illustration

The weather’s turned wintery again this week and I’m in need of something warming but something different and not too heavy. I thought I might try and make some sort of noodle soup. I don’t mind broths, which is what I normally think of when I think noodle soups, but fancied having a do at something different. So inspired by my partner’s favourite from a Thai restaurant we go to, chicken satay soup, here’s my recipe for satay noodle soup…

Ingredients (serves 2):
5 spring onionsSatay Ingredients
1 garlic clove
1 red chilli
1 thumb sized piece of ginger
6 coriander sprigs
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp curry powder (use whatever you like here, I went for a medium one but if you like it hotter, go hotter!)
1 heaped tbsp peanut butter (mmm I love peanut butter!)
1 tin of coconut milk
2 nests of rice noodles
1 stock cube
A handful of sugar snap peas or mangetout
groundnut oil (or sunflower/veg oil)
soy sauce

Get everything prepped before you start, this dish all comes together pretty quickly. Finely slice the spring onion, put the sliced green tops to one side to use as a garnish. Finely mine the garlic, ginger and half of the chilli. Slice the other half of the chilli for garnish. Slice the coriander stalks, save the leaves for garnish. Slice the lime leaves. Lastly diagonally slice the sugar snaps, makes them look pretty! It should all look kind of like this, garnishes are on the left, everything else is on the right… I like to be organised!

Satay Prep
Right, now were ready to go. Get the kettle on ready for the noodles. Put the noodles and the stock cube into a bowl ready to pour the water over later. Use a high sided frying pan, or a wok, or whatever you have that’ll fit everything in! Put the pan on a medium heat and add some oil. When the oil is hot add the spring onions. Let these soften then add the garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander stalks. This lot should smell good! Once these have softened a bit add the curry powder and lime leaves. Make sure everything’s coated in the curry powder. Now add the coconut milk and peanut butter. Give it all a good stir and leave to simmer.

Meanwhile pour the hot water from your kettle over the noodles and stock cube, cover and leave for a few minutes. Check the packet, but mine took 3-4 minutes. Once the noodles are ready, drain them, reserving the water in case you want to thin your soup a little with it. Divide the noodles between two bowls. Add some of the stock from the noodles to the soup if you think it needs thinning a bit, I didn’t bother with mine, just depends how much it’s thickened. Give the soup a taste and add soy sauce to season if you think it needs it. Ladle the soup round the noodles and then top with your garnishes.

Give it a try, hope you enjoy.

Satay Noodle Soup

Trying to be good

So it’s that time of year when everyone’s banging on about diets and gym sessions. I’m trying to make a healthy start to 2015. I don’t want to be, and frankly never will be, one of those people who barely eats anything or is on ridiculous a diet where all they is celery (nothing against celery, just not constantly)! I love food too much. But I do realise I’ve had a month of some nice drinks, treats and heavy food in December so I’m thinking more about what I’m eating, doesn’t mean it has to be boring and bland. Living in the north of the UK doesn’t help though, it’s cold and wet and all I want to eat is pie and potatoes! But I’ve had a positive start with loads of veggies in the form of some nice homemade soups, salads and noodle dishes. I’ll get trying out some more ideas and post them soon!

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