THAI SPICED SOUP
90g (3oz) thin egg noodles salt and black pepper 500ml (16fl oz) chicken stock 1 × 400g (13oz) can coconut milk 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped 30g (1oz) French beans, cut into 1cm (1/2 in) pieces 3 spring onions, thinly sliced 250g (8oz) cooked lean boneless and skinless chicken, shredded 125g (4oz) mixed green leaves, such as spinach and pak choi, shredded 30g (1oz) bean sprouts 1tsp fish sauce 2tsp thai curry paste (green or red) ¼ cucumber, cut into matchstick – thin strips, and coriander springs to garnish .
1- Cook the noodles in boiling salted water for 2 – 3 minutes, or according to package instructions, until just tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside while preparing the soup.
2- Put the stock, coconut milk, carrot, French beans, and spring onions into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil.
3- Lower the heat, add the chicken, green leaves, bean sprouts, fish sauce, and spice paste, and cook for 2 minutes or until the green leaves are just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4- To serve, divide the cooked noodles among warmed bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles, and garnish with cucumber strips and coriander springs .
Cook’s know – how
For a vegetarian version, omit the cooked chicken and use a vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock. You can also vary the vegetables, but their cooking times may be different. Try shredded white cabbage instead of the green leaves and mange tout instead of French beans. Shredded Swiss chard would also be good in this soup, as would a small quantity of sweet corn kernels or peas, and even a little diced aubergine .