Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Soup Fit For A January Detox

The clocks chime Midnight 'Happy Bloody New Year' chimes around the room, across the country, glasses of champagne clinking in celebration on the New Year. Hugging and kissing those around you. A year that everyone hopes to be their best yet. Resolutions are made, in a hope they will be kept. Well for at least a month anyway. 

In sight of this I decided not to make a resolutions per say, any one who knows me, knows I am not good at keeping them. I get bored after 2 days. I don't do diets- why waste your time starving your self for then 1 month later pile it all back on because it's your body's way of protecting itself from you. My mini resolution this year was to eat more consciously, not cut anything out, not deny myself of anything, just not eat a whole bag of Tyrell's in one sitting smothered in sour cream and chive dip. Just simply be more conscious of what I am eating.

Whilst reading some of my daily blog reads, I came across A life of geekery, a lovely food blog which had an amazing sounding recipe for a Thai inspired soup. 

I am obsessed with Thai soups, always in the hope they will live up the Tom Yum I had when I visited Thailand in 2008. All those years ago and the taste still lives with me. It came from this little shack on the beach in Kho Tao. That hot and sour soup with a few prawns still haunts me today and nothing has lived up to it, until I found this recipe. I have tried countless soups and recipes and this is the best I have found. Thank you Vicki, you have found my January soup, the one that I can eat at lunch at my desk and I will float back to the little island in Thailand.

The recipe isn't strictly a Tom Yum, its a Tom Kha Gai, almost similar, but much cleaner and easier to make. 

To make 2 big bowlfuls of soup you will need: 

400ml coconut milk
400ml chicken stock
1 inch galangal- thinly sliced (you could use ginger, but galangal has more depth of flavour in asian dishes- waitrose had run out of galangal soooo had to go for ginger)
1 lemon grass stalk, halved and bashed gently to release the flavour
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp lime juice (depends how sour you like your soup)
1 chilli thinly sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 chicken breasts thinly sliced
handful of frozen uncooked prawns
2 bunches of Pak Choi
some chilli oil ( use as much as you can handle!)
Ideally some coriander (unfortunately Waitrose had also run out of this when I got there- nightmare!)

In a pan/ wok put your coconut milk, stock, galangal, lemon grass, lime leaves, lime juice, soy sauce, chilli and fish sauce and leave to simmer for about 6 mins. 

I know this doesn't look like much but believe me it tastes like sunshine.

When the broth is on a gentle simmer reduce the heat and add your chicken slices and prawns and leave to gentle poach for approx. 8 mins. The prawns should be just pink but the chicken white but soft and tender. 

When the chicken and prawns are starting to turn, add the pak choi and cover with a lid until soft.

Add to a big bowl and drizzle over the chilli oil. You don't want it to be burning hot, but a happy tingle in your mouth that marries the sour limey, lemongrass flavoured broth. 

This is a soup to enjoy, it's on the healthy scale of things but still packs a punch flavour wise. 

* I'm planning on making this soup so I can take it to work in my new tupperware mug that I got for Christmas. It should keep for up to 4 days. *


  1. This soup looks delish, perfect for january as everyone seems to be dieting at the moment! I just found your blog and have scrolled through for about two hours now, I love it and want to try pretty much all of your recipes. Also definitely going to go to the next bbc good food festival after reading about your trip - it looked fantastic xx Rosie

    1. Oh Rosie, I can't believe you have read the whole blog, thats so nice to hear. Glad you are enjoying the recipes. :) xxxx Charlotte


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