Tom Yum Soup
This soup is so easy to make, especially if you can find a Tom Yum Soup kit at your local supermarket. They usually include most of the necessary ingredients.
I remember the first time I made this soup with my now husband, then boyfriend, like it was yesterday. We walked in and out of half a dozen produce stores looking for the ingredients and we couldn’t find lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves anywhere so we had to postpone making the soup. It was still a fun food adventure; I love going for walks, especially with Eli. Just in case you’re wondering, you can almost always find the soup kits at Superstore in the produce section.
This soup is sweet, sour and spicy. It has it all. It’s great on a rainy day. We have lots of those in Vancouver unfortunately, but snow is coming soon. It will be a nice change. :0)
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 lemongrass stalk
2 kaffir lime leaves
A few large slices of fresh galangal or ginger (1/4 cup)
2 red Thai chili peppers
1 tsp of red chili paste
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
A dozen medium prawns
A handful of Enoki mushrooms
The juice of 1 lime
A handful of finely chopped green onions
A handful of cilantro leaves
Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan. Cut the lemongrass stalk into 2 or 3 large pieces and add it to your stock. Add the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, red chili paste and red chili peppers. If you like your soup really spicy, cut your chili peppers in half. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes so that all the flavours come together.
Add the fish sauce and prawns. Simmer until the prawns are just about cooked, about 5 minutes. Add your noodles and cook for a minute or two. Add your mushrooms, green onions, lime juice and cilantro. Stir all the ingredients.
Remove the lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves before serving.
Yam and Carrot Soup
This soup is simple to make. It’s really flavourful and not high in calories so feel free to have more than one bowl. I love yams, so this soup is one of my favourites. If you prefer squash, just substitute squash for the yams.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp butter (optional)
1/4 cup white onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (1 carrot)
1/4 cup diced celery (1 small stalk)
2 1/2 cups chopped yams (1 large yam)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup half-and-half (optional)
Saute the onions in a large pot with olive oil and butter on low to medium heat until they are nearly translucent. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 5 more minutes. Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric, sage, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and stir. I always add the garlic last so that it’s impossible for me burn it and ruin the soup. Add the chopped yams and stir again. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked. Check for seasoning. There’s not a lot of salt in this recipe because the chicken stock is already salty. If the soup needs a little more salt, add a little now. Remove the bay leaf.
Let the soup cool a few minutes and then put the soup in the blender. Fill your blender only half way. Blend until smooth. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your blender. Return the soup to the pot and warm it up and serve it with a little dollop of sour cream and a few drops of really good olive oil.
This recipe makes a pretty thick soup. If you like your soup a little runnier, add another cup of stock.
Serves two. Enjoy!