While I'm no advocate of soup, I fully support the odd restorative broth. Try this if you’re feeling a little delicate from the night before, if you've succumbed to the inevitable surge of viral infections of the upper respiratory tract, or if you just need an injection of simple fresh food into your life. Hey, even I need a break from all the cake sometimes.
Pak choi is clearly the fanciest member of the cabbage family. It can be eaten raw, but cooking it for a couple of minutes brings out a unique almost creamy flavour which is perfect in a soup style situation. Slice the whole leaf, including the stem, at about 1cm intervals.
Keep your garlic and onion very thinly sliced, Goodfellas style, and prepare your carrot by shaving slices off with a vegetable peeler, before cutting them half. Keeping everything thin will mean it cooks through and retains a crunchy texture without tasting raw. For the same reason, if adding noodles, the thinner the better.
The simple broth is tasty on its own. However embellishing it is even better. Add king prawns, noodles, coconut milk, the world’s your oyster. Quite literally: you could even add oysters.
One small onion – thinly sliced
Two cloves of garlic – peeled and diced
3cm fresh ginger – peeled and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
500ml chicken stock
Pak choi – sliced
Carrot – finely sliced
Pinch of salt
Chilli flakes to taste
Chicken – cooked and shredded
Rice vermicelli noodles
1. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger in oil until soft. Add the turmeric and cumin and fry for a few minutes being careful not to burn the spices.
2. Add the stock, pak choi, carrot, salt and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil and simmer for several minutes.
3. Add additional ingredients as desired and continue to cook until warmed through.
4. Eat in huge quantities while feeling self-righteous.