8 Spring onions – white and green part, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 TBSP Fish Sauce , divided
1 TBSP Lemongrass , white part only – minced
1 TBSP Fresh Coriander – roughly chopped
5 Cups Chicken Broth , divided
1 Cups Water
1 Thai Chili – sliced (optional)
2 TBSP Miso (I used white)
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
2 heads Baby Pak Choy , quartered into wedges (can substitute 1 regular head)
¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes , plus more for garnish
Salt and Pepper , to taste
Make the Meatballs: In a large bowl combine the chicken/turkey, panko, minced garlic, soy sauce, grated ginger, half the spring onions, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, lemon grass, coriander and 2 tablespoons of broth. Gently mix, just until combined. Use your hands to scoop out about a tablespoon and form mixture into (1’’-diameter) meatballs. Transfer to a plate or clean work surface lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all meatballs are formed. I had 22.
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine remaining broth, water, Thai chili, smashed garlic, onion, sliced ginger, 1 tablespoon fish sauce and remaining scallions. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove solids and discard. In a small bowl combine miso with 2 tablespoons of the broth and whisk to combine. Add the miso mixture to the pot of broth. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add meatballs to the pan (in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan) and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove and transfer to a clean plate.
Add the pak choy and crushed red pepper flakes to the broth. Simmer until pak choy is almost tender, about 3 minutes.
Add in the meatballs and bring broth back to a simmer. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Taste broth and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with spring onions and crushed red pepper flakes.
A really simple recipe that uses store cupboard ingredients with a zingy tang from lightly pickled onions.
I have found that some vegan recipes are made up of a lot of specialist ingredients that I have never heard of, cost a fortune and would have to buy a huge quantity of to use one teaspoon of before placing at the back of the cupboard for the rest of eternity. However, I urge you to try these vegan offerings. They are made from simple ingredients, real food and taste delicious. This soup is a case in point.
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
½ tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tbsp ground cumin
½ tbsp smoked paprika
½ tbsp chipotle paste, or to taste
400g can black bean, drained and rinsed
400ml vegetable stock
soured cream, to serve (omit if vegan)
coriander leaves, to serve
tortilla crisps, to serve
To make the lime-pickled onions, combine ½ the lime juice and ½ the onions in a small bowl, and season. Leave to pickle for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and remaining onions, and season. Cook for 8 mins or until the onions are translucent. Add the spices and chipotle purée, cook for 1 min, then add the beans, stock and remaining lime juice. Simmer for 15 mins, then purée in a blender.
Pour the soup into a clean pan to reheat. Serve with a little of the drained pickled onions, topped with a small drizzle of soured cream and some coriander, and the tortillas on the side.
The second instalment in the vegan chronicles comes in the form of mushroom and lentil soup with miso. Miso paste is basically made of fermented soy beans. It’s similar to soy sauce in terms of flavour, but more mellow and earthy. It works fantastically well in many dishes, meat included, to add umami depth. When it’s paired with meaty mushrooms and hearty lentils, the result is a thick, rich and filling soup!
1 White Onion
4 cloves garlic
500 g Mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ tsp Fresh Thyme
950ml Vegetable Stock
100g Brown Lentils
1 tbsp Miso Paste
Heat a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a large pot. Prepare all the ingredients by slicing the mushrooms, dicing the onion, mincing the garlic and finely chopping the thyme.
Start by sautéing the onion in the pan for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced and most of the water they release is evaporated.
Next add the thyme and stir through the mixture, letting it cook for a minute or two. Add the vegetable stock and the lentils then simmer for 25 minutes.
Blend the soup thoroughly then stir in the miso paste. If the soup is too thick for you, just add some more vegetable stock until you have the consistency you like!
Serve topped with some extra mushrooms and some fresh parsley.
Spice up your mid-week with this deliciously fragrant broth packed with soft rice noodles and juicy prawns. Using vibrant curry paste, zesty lime, rich fish sauce and creamy coconut milk you can achieve an authentic taste in minutes with this recipe.
2 sheets Thai rice noodles
1 tsp oil
1 garlic clove, grated
Knob of ginger, grated
1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
200g large cooked king prawns
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded, and sliced
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Dash of fish sauce and soy sauce
Coriander leaves, to garnish
Put the noodles into a bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for 4 minutes until they swell up and turn white.
Add the oil to a wok over a medium heat. Fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.
Add the Thai curry paste to the wok with the coconut milk. Heat gently, stirring.
Add the prawns, spring onions, red chilli, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and soy sauce. Warm through for a couple of minutes.
Drain the noodles and nestle them in the centre of your dinner bowls. Pour the coconut curry broth around the outside and top with the prawns. Garnish with coriander leaves.
The beauty with soup is that you can use whatever you have and pretty much always guarantee a satisfying, tasty meal. I’m not going to sit and tell you what variations you can try. Decide for yourself. Go crazy! This is a really simple, luxuriously smooth, thick and wholesome soup that is easily freezable and even tastes better the next day.
1 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, sliced
½ onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
½ teaspoon each of dried thyme and rosemary
1 litre hot chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently sweat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the other vegetables, stir well and cover with the pan lid to sweat until beginning to soften. Stir occasionally.
Add the dried herbs and the chicken stock and bring everything to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft when pricked with a knife.
Remove from the heat and pour into a blender. Be careful with the hot liquid. A ladle might be useful so you don’t splash yourself. Blend the soup to a creamy velvety consistency. Be careful with the blender lid. You may need to hold the lid with a cloth to allow a little steam to escape.
Season with black pepper and check the thickness of the soup. You may need to add more water to achieve the consistency you like.
Pour back into the pan and heat through gently. Serve with lovely crusty bread and butter.
Addictive and comforting, this lentil soup is rich and creamy, yet still manages to be light and delicate, if that makes any sense at all. It also uses puy lentils. They become tender in a relatively short amount of time but don’t lose their shape, unlike most other lentil varieties.
Make this soup for a crowd and I guarantee you everyone will be scratching their heads, wondering what is in it that makes it taste so special. Also, as is the case with practically all soups, this one tastes even better on day two or three.
The use of ghee and gently frying the spices really intensifies their flavour while adding rich, buttery goodness.
As shown in the pictures, you can vary the amount of stock and coconut milk added and have this dish as a dahl served with paratha or as a soup. I made a big batch and added more stock and coconut milk to one half. Best of both worlds!
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
500ml-1.5 L (6 cups) chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 and 1/2 cups Lentilles de Puy (French green lentils), rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of ground nutmeg
fresh black pepper
1/2 cup-1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
Heat the unsalted butter in a large soup pot. Add the diced onion and garlic, and saute over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and translucent. They will reduce in volume significantly.
Add the fresh thyme and turmeric, and continue to saute for an additional 7-8 minutes, until the mixture is very soft and fragrant.
Add the stock and the lentils and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (yet still hold their shape).
In a small saucepan, heat the ghee (or clarified butter or unsalted butter) over low heat. Add the spices and fresh black pepper, and saute, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or so, until the butter is fragrant. Watch the pan carefully, as it can easily go from fragrant to burned quite quickly.
Add the butter-spice mixture to the soil. Pour in the coconut milk, and heat soup over medium heat for 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Salty samphire and umami-loaded miso go so well with sweet salmon in this East Asian-inspired dish. You can use any fish with this dish. Sea bream and Sea bass work particularly well. The delicate flaky fish and crispy skin contrast beautifully with the silky broth.
2 nests (140g/5oz) medium or thick egg noodles
2 fillets sustainable salmon, skinned or white fish, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
4 tsp sesame seeds
3 tsp sunflower or vegetable oil
thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely shredded
2 tbsp dry sherry
90g pack samphire
1 x pak choi
2 x 18g sachets (or 2 tbsp) miso soup paste
bunch spring onions, shredded
little sesame oil for drizzling
Cook the noodles following pack instructions. As soon as they are just tender, drain in a colander, rinse under the cold tap and set aside.
Slash each piece of fish 3 times on the skin side. Season well and press the sesame seeds over the skin in an even layer. Heat the oven to low, ready to keep the fish warm. Put a couple of wide bowls in to warm, too.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick frying pan, the sturdier the better. Add the fish, and fry for 5 mins on the crusted side until the seeds are pale golden and the flesh of the fish has changed colour almost all the way through. Turn the fish over, cook for a few seconds more, then remove to a plate and transfer to the oven. Put the kettle on to boil.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and sizzle the ginger for 30 seconds. Add the samphire and pak choi, cover again and cook for 1 min more until bright and just tender. Make up the miso in a jug with 450ml boiling water. Run boiling water through the noodles to reheat then pile into the warm bowls. Spoon over the ginger, samphire and pak choi plus the spring onions, then pour over the miso and top with a piece of crisp fish, sesame-side up. Drizzle with a little sesame oil then dig in.