Noodle soup is, to me, the ultimate comfort food.
When living on a paltry teacher’s salary in China, I practically lived on it. When backpacking round Asia, my first mission in a new location was to find the best bowl of broth in town. I cannot WAIT for Wagamama to open in Belfast (if the rumours are true).
This i my home version, for a fairly quick supper. The ingredients are fairly ‘loose’ and can be adjusted as per your own preference. I like to leave mine fairly neutral, and then add extra chopped chillies, coriander and lime at the table.
The quantities are for one (and it is the perfect meal to slurp on when dining alone) but can be easily multiplied for more people.
First up, we have the spices: lemon grass, chilli, ginger, garlic and shallots.
Finely slice the ginger…
Cut the lemon grass stalk in half, and then half those pieces lengthways…
Give the garlic a good bash with the side of a knife….
Bash your chillies a bit too, but completely forget to take a picture. Nice one, Mrs P.
Quarter your shallots…
Put the spices in a pot with some soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar…
Some kaffir lime leaves (yes, this is a terrible picture, but I love these little beauties. Flavour of Thailand in a jar)…
And some chicken stock. Fresh is best, but a cube is a-OK too…
And allow the whole lot to simmer, covered for as long as you can, or while you prepare the veggies.
You can pretty much use this soup to use up anything you have lying around: leftover roast chicken, cabbage, pak choi, frozen peas, mushrooms, whatever, but I like pak choi, mushrooms and baby sweetcorn in mine.
Chop the veggies up into nicely sized pieces.
I quarter mushrooms, cut the bottom of pak choi and separate the leaves, and leave things like sweetcorn whole, fact fans.
Now drain the liquid from your pot of stocky goodness, and add this to a new saucepan with a portion of noodles. You can use any type you like but these ones are my current favourites.
They have a yummy flavour and texture, and fill me up far more, and for far longer, than egg noodles. Which can only be a good thing.
While everything is cooking (which takes moments), chop up some coriander.
Lots of coriander.
It’s probably my favourite herb.
Put the coriander at the bottom of a bowl…
And add the rest of your lovely soup.
Serve with a wedge of lime, and slurrppppppppp.
Serves 1. Cooking time 15 minutes.
1 stalk lemon grass
2cm piece ginger
2 bird’s eye chillies
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
500ml chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 generous handfuls vegetables: I used one head pak choi, 4 mushrooms, and a few stalks of baby sweetcorn
I portion noodles
1. Slice the ginger finely.
2. Half the lemon grass, and then cut these pieces in half lengthways.
3. Lightly crush the garlic and chillies.
4. Quarter the shallots.
5. Put the prepared ingredients in a pot with the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves.
6. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
7. Cover and simmer while you prepare the vegetables,
8. Drain the stock into a new saucepan.
9. Add a portion of noodles and the vegetables.
10. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
11. Finely chop some coriander and place in the bottom of the serving dish.
12. Ladle the soup over the coriander and serve with a wedge of lime.