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

Gold glitter Happy New Year 2017 background. Happy new year glittering texture. Gold sparkles with frame. Chic glittering invitation template for new year eve.

A New Year 

2016 might have been a bit of a shoddy year in terms of losing some great celebs and politics turning ridiculous, but in terms of food it was a good one. I geeked out over lots of new recipes and independent cafes and restaurants. So I’m looking forward to another good year of cooking and eating!

I intend to try out more new recipes and learn more about food and cuisines from around the world. I bought the #CookForSyria cookbook and there’s lots of interesting new ideas, plenty of veggie and vegan ones to try out. And as you might have seen I’ve got a whole host of other cookbooks to get stuck into, I might have a slight addiction!

I’m starting 2017 with Veganuary, I did this last year and it totally changed the way I eat, I eat way less dairy than I used to. I didn’t struggle too much with it, only eating out wasn’t the best, but there’s a few new vegan places opened up across town over the last year so it’s the perfect excuse to try them out! I’m looking forward to at least another month of vegan eating.

Whatever your intentions are for 2017 make it a good one!

Unorganised Christmas Cooking

It’s that festive time of year again, only a few days to go, are you ready for it!?

Every year I decide I’m going to be organised and make loads of yummy treats and snacks, this generally turns into running out of time and buying nuts, crisps and chocolate!

Every year I say I’m going to decide early what to cook for Christmas dinner, I pretty much always leave it until the last minute to decide.

This year we’re off to someone else’s for Christmas dinner, I’m going to take along a veggie main option for myself, yep you guessed it, I’m not prepared at all, still don’t know what to cook. The fridge is looking pretty bare and I’m really not looking forward to doing a food shop this last minute.

So, I’m torn between doing a nut roast of some sort, which yes, it’s a typical choice but I do love them, and I think I have most of the ingredients in to make one. Or attempting something different like a veggie wellington maybe, it’ll be a first for me so I need to decide if I have the time and if I want to risk experimenting with a new recipe or not. It’s a choice between being safe or brave, will have to see how I’m feeling on Christmas Eve!

Hope you’re all more organised than me, suggestions for recipes are welcome please!

Have a very merry one folks.

Christmas Recipe Hunting

£5 Note

A Rant About The New Fiver!

Time for a little rant…

After the news coming out yesterday that the new £5 note has tallow in it, people are moaning at vegetarians and vegans for not being happy about this. Tallow is an animal product, rendered fat usually from beef or mutton. What’s that doing in our money!? Probably something reeeally important (note the sarcasm) like making them feel super smooth. The notes have been in circulation for two months, the Bank of England replied to a tweet yesterday to confirm that the note does contain tallow.

Bank of England Tweet

So obviously the news got out, a petition was started and loads of people took to Twitter and made hilaaarious tweets (again with the sarcasm) and slagged off vegetarians and vegans for caring. Yes you jokers, we don’t eat the money, but if you understood vegetarians and vegans then you’d know it’s not just about what we eat. I don’t want to wash in tallow so I buy vegan soap! I don’t want to be carrying it around in my pocket either, even if it could pay for my vegan soap!

Please try and understand the issue before insulting someone for caring.

hot-toddy-ingredients

Got A Cold? You Need A Hot Toddy!

Last week I was struck with a dreaded cold, it’s that time of year when they’re pretty hard to avoid. I set about eating loads of good stuff, vegetables, not a challenge at all for a vegetarian! Soup is perfect for getting loads of goodness in you, so it was time to make some pumpkin soup. Warming and seasoned with curry spices it was a winner, made me feel like I was on the road to being rid of the cold.

Another perfect recipe for when you have a cold is a hot toddy. If you’re a whisky lover then it’s great, if not then maybe skip the whisky and just make a honey and lemon, still good but the boozy warmth is what gives a hot toddy that great medicinal feeling! After a hearty bowl of soup I set about making one of these.

In a mug add…

2 shots of whisky, use whichever you like, this time I went for a single malt, Aberlour 12 year old. The juice of half a lemon. 1 tsp of honey, if you’re vegan then agave would work instead to add some sweetness.

…top it all off with boiling water and garnish with a slice of lemon and, if you like, a cinnamon stick or some cloves.

hot-toddy-ingredients

So the soup and a hot toddy or two seemed to do the trick for me, I’ve kindly shared my cold with my husband, let’s see if it works for him too!