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!
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 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
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.
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!?