My tastebuds have been crying out for a good punch, the sort of punch that comes from chilli, garlic, ginger or lime juice. Call it a middle class dilemma but I am bored senseless of fillet steak, champagne, lobster, pork belly and dark chocolate!
I think in the days at the beginning of the new year, everyone is either beginning diets or crying out for vegetables and I’m sort of havering around on the edge of both. With 2012 fresh on our calendars, we’re all making resolutions that include more vitamins and less calories but often these are the kind of resolutions that you never keep and really, is there any point in making a resolution you can’t keep because that then begins the path of recrimination and self-disgust.
Don’t resolve to ring your Great Aunt Maud every week if you know that you’ll have given up by the second of January and she’ll not even notice you didn’t ring. Don’t resolve to consume only 4 calories a day or 1 glass of wine a week if you’re closest friend is a cake or you know how many units of alcohol are in the fridge down to the .1 of a unit. And don’t resolve to read the shortlist for the Man Booker prize if you’re counting the days, and these days alone, until the new Jackie Collins comes out… (I am counting those days!)
One of my new year’s resolutions, ingeniously chosen last August as the best resolutions are, was to improve the state of the photos on my blog because I hated the awful photos that my Blackberry was responsible for. Thanks to my Dad and a brilliant christmas gift, the quality of the photos should begin to improve. I struggle with the concept of photography and whilst this is very much an all-singing, all-dancing camera, there will have to be some element of manual skill so don’t expect perfection at first!
This soup is really more of a laksa. You could use prawns or just vegetables. There’s quite a bit of coconut milk in the recipe which does contain fat but it’s the healthier sort, you could bulk up the stock over the milk if this was a concern for you. Chilli is great for weight loss though so you could reassure yourself in other ways and you can pile this absolutely full of vegetables too which is great for your five-a-day. You could use any kind of vegetables, you can move around the amounts of chilli et al but in essence, the below is a recipe for you to tweak to suit your new year tastebud blues.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 150g thin noodles
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly, then cut into skinny strips
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 fresh long red chilli, de-seeded and cut into strips
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice and some lime zest
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped, shredded, sliced
- 250g tender-stem, sugar snap peas and baby sweetcorn
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, to serve
- Pour the chicken stock in a good-sized pan and bring to the boil.
- Add the chicken to the stock and simmer for 2 minutes .
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegetables and noodles, to the pan and bring to a boil.
- When the chicken is piping hot, add the vegetables and noodles and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes.
- When tender, squeeze over the lime juice.
- Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander.
I wanted to make some of those lovely crispy onions to top these with but I didn’t have time. Next time, though…