The key to Tom Yum Soup is a good stock. The great thing about this recipe is that you make your own. The soup is known to be a potent immune-booster and with winter around the corner it is the perfect time to break it out.
As with some of my recipes, the ingredients are guidelines. This is a dish where you have to taste constantly and add as you want to. It is a balance of heat, sweetness, saltiness and sourness. That balance is up to you.
Stuff you'll need to make a pot of soup:
- Roughly chopped carrots (two handfuls)
- One roughly chopped onion
- Roughly chopped celery (same amount as above)
- Two quartered tomatoes
- A few whole cloves
- Two star aniseeds
- 2 chopped chillies
- Roughly chopped wild mushrooms (two handfuls)
- Three cloves of crushed garlic
- About 2 thumbnails of chopped ginger
- Two teaspoons of fish sauce
- Two teaspoons of lemon juice
- 300g of shelled, de-vained prawns
- Salt and pepper
- A handful of cooked noodles
- Two tablespoons of organic honey
- Halved cherry tomatoes (A handful)
- Coriander (For garnishing)
What to do:
1. In your largest pot place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chillies, tomatoes (not the cherry ones), cloves, aniseeds, honey, salt and pepper. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn heat down and let it simmer for a few hours. The longer the better.
2. Keep tasting. As I said, there must be a balance between sour, sweet, hot and salty. When you are happy with the flavours drain the stock and discard the vegetables and spices.
3. Bring the stock back to a gentle boil and add the cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. After a few minutes add the prawns. The prawns must only cook for a few minutes. When they are done add the noodles and lemon juice. Garnish with coriander and extra chilli sliced diagonally.
So there you go. No need to rush out to your Thai local - this will be better. Make it yourself, save some money and enjoy every bite with a smug satisfaction.