There’s nothing more homely and comforting to me than a bowl of soup– it’s the perfect combination of warm, satisfying and nourishing, and whatever the flavour combination, hits the spot every time. Lately I’ve been playing around with some asian-inspired broths. Prior to not eating meat, I’d always choose the Pho when at a Vietnamese restaurant, the Tom Kha at Thai and the Laksa at Malaysian. Unfortunately, these soups are usually based around fish sauce and bone broths– incredibly health beneficial in their own right, but not if you’re not partial to eating animals. In desperation to still enjoy the flavours of these dishes, I’ve come up with my own recipe that kind of blends these three classics.
This dish is simple, yet packed with flavour. Permitting you have all the ingredients chopped and ready to go, you can make this broth in 10 minutes, then relax for an hour while the flavours of the herbs and spice steep themselves into the coconut and water, then enjoy.
Coconut is rich in medium-chain fatty acids– a type of fat that is easily digested and sent directly to the liver to be used as energy, rather than stored as fat. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut also help to stimulate your metabolism and therefore encourage weight loss, rather than weight gain– something a lot of people associate with eating dietary fat. Coconut is also antibacterial and antiviral, proving an effective addition to your diet daily, to help ward-off sickness. On that note…. the warming spices in this broth make it a perfect dish for when you’re fighting a cold. The cloves especially, help to relieve pain and break up mucus.
- 1 tblsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tblsp coconut oil
- 3 onions, roughly chopped
- 1 piece of ginger (approx 10cms), sliced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 stick of lemon grass, bruised
- 6 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 6 cardamom pods
- 2 cups water
- 1 400ml can coconut milk
- 1 packet of rice noodles (approximately 1 handful per person)
- vegetables of choice for serving
- Dry toast coriander seeds in a large crock pot over medium heat. You'll know they're ready when they crackle and pop.
- Add in the coconut oil and chopped onions and let sweat for about 2 minutes.
- Add the ginger and let cook for about another minute.
- Add in kaffir lime, lemongrass, spices, water and cococonut milk and bring to the boil.
- Let soup boil for 2 minutes, then reduce and cook on low for at least one hour. The longer the soup cooks, the more fragrant it will be.
- When ready to serve, strain broth using a mesh collander. Place a large bowl into the sink with the collander on top, then pour the contents of the saucepan over and into the bowl to capture the soup.
- Spoon the broth over noodles and vegetables of choice– I used panfried mushrooms, raw cabbage and radishes, and coriander.