As winter edges closer and the colder nights settle in until spring, a warm and nourishing soup is exactly what the doctor ordered to keep sniffling noses and sore throats at bay. Tom yum soup, from Thailand, is both supremely hot and bracingly sour, making it an ideal addition to your roster of winter dishes this year.
The below tom yum soup recipe is a basic template which uses tofu as its main bulk ingredient, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike. However, meat eaters can easily tweak it to add beef, chicken, crab, prawns or whatever other ingredient their heart desires and the taste (and its nutritional impact) will remain just as resilient.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
200g extra-firm tofu, cubed
150g cremini mushroom, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
2 Thai red chili peppers, sliced
2 stalks lemongrass
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.2 litres vegetable broth
5 lime leaves
240ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon galangal, minced
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon agave
salt, to taste
fresh coriander leaf, for garnish
Trim the bottom end and top third from the lemongrass stalks, then bruise them with the flat side of a knife before chopping them into four pieces each. Meanwhile, grind the chilis, galangal and garlic to a paste using a mortar and pestle.
Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over a medium heat and add the lemongrass for three or four minutes, until it becomes fragrant. Add the paste and simmer for another four minutes. Then add the coconut milk, lime leaves, soy sauce, tomato and vegetable broth and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover, simmering for 20 minutes.