This months Sweet Heat Challenge is to make a spicy Soup of your choice....Perfect at this time of year as despite it being an exceptionally mild British October, I am now back in Canada where things are a little cooler (to say the least!).
That being said, for this particular challenge I couldn't resist turning to warmer climates for inspiration and instead of a thick, hearty soup (which is generally my first choice for this time of year) I opted for a lighter, fragrant Thai soup with a good dose of spiky chilli heat – perfect for warming me up as well as attempting to banish any nasty germs that I inevitably always pick up after flying!
1.5 litres water
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled & roughly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & sliced
a small bunch of coriander stalks, chopped
3 tbsp tom yum paste
200ml coconut milk
3 lime leaves, torn in half
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 limes (keep 1 for garnish)
125g mushrooms, thinly sliced
Small tin of bamboo shoots or 100g baby corn on the cob (optional)
200g cooked, shelled & de-veined prawns*
Coriander leaves & extra sliced chillies to garnish
Start by making the stock. Put the water, ginger, garlic and coriander stalks in a large pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Sieve the stock into a bowl and discard the ginger, garlic and coriander.
Return the stock to the pan then add the tom yum paste, coconut milk, lime leaves, chilli, fish sauce and the juice of 1 lime. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary (adding more fish sauce if it needs a little extra salty flavour).
Add the sliced mushrooms and bamboo shoots and cook for a further 5 minutes. Right as you are ready to serve add the prawns as they just need to be heated through and not overcooked. Ladle into bowls then finish with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, some extra chilli and a lime wedge on the side.
*If you get prawns that still have their shells on then add the shells to the stock at the beginning for an even more delicious broth!
*If you would like to participate in this months Sweet Heat Challenge, you have until November 25th to submit your Spicy Soup entry!