Friday Food: Laksa Soup

This morning we are welcoming Bex from The Olive Dragonfly back, who is sharing a soup that I can’t wait to try – A little like the Tom Yum I shared a few weeks ago, it’s packed with flavour and perfect for winter whilst remaining light… give it a go!

Here is a yummy, spicy, substantial soup – Rachel Allen’s Laksa soup recipe, which she usually serves with Thai Sticky Chicken on the side. It is delish, but time consuming and messy so I do it with pieces of cooked chicken breast or prawns instead. Prawns are my favourite and make it look nice with the pink and green colours, so I have written my adjusted quantities to serve 4 – for her original recipe see here.

I love how quick and simple this recipe is – don’t spend too much time chopping as it’s all getting blitzed in a processor anyway. You can even make the paste a day in advance and keep in the fridge so it takes even less time in the evening. It’s also great to serve if you have people round for dinner as you don’t need to spend much time in the kitchen but it looks impressive and tastes great!

Ingredients (Serves 4)
375g pack of the fresh rice noodles from the veg aisle (they don’t need to be soaked – just zap in the microwave)
2 red chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, soft inner core roughly chopped
25g fresh coriander, roughly torn
1-2 limes, juice only
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk (use the reduced fat version if being healthier)
400ml vegetable stock
1-2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla) or soy sauce
150g sugar snap peas, halved
75g beansprouts
200g raw king prawns
4 spring onions, trimmed, finely sliced at an angle


  • Place the chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander (reserving a few leaves for serving) and juice of one of the limes in a food processor or mini chopper and blend to a paste.
  • Heat the toasted sesame oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the paste for 2-3 minutes, or until aromatic. Add the coconut milk, stock and one tablespoon of the fish sauce or soy sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around ten minutes.
  • Add the sugar snap peas and bean sprouts to the pan and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, or until almost cooked but still a bit crunchy. Taste, and if necessary, season with more lime juice and/or fish/soy sauce. Add the prawns and heat through for about 1 minute until they turn pink. Meanwhile heat the rice noodles in the microwave according to packet instructions.
  • To serve, divide the rice noodles among 4 warm bowls, ladle the hot soup over and scatter the sliced spring onions and reserved coriander leaves on top.


January Food: Tom Yum Soup

I found this recipe years ago in one of Rachel Allen’s cook books, Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends¬†where it is described as ‘clean food’, a description that I’ve often returned to for food.

It’s basically a cloudy broth with a kick, full of beautiful thai flavours and juicy chicken and I tend to pad it out a bit with some rice noodles and leaves like pak choi. You can’t help but feel virtuous after eating it and thanks to the spice it’s also perfect for when you’re suffering from a heavy cold.

Image Credit: Martha Stewart

Here it is…

Serves 4
4 stalk’s worth of coriander leaves, chopped. Keep the stalks.
2 x chicken breasts (this is delicious and even lighter when made with giant prawns too.)
3 x 1/4inch thick slices of ginger (skin on)
1 green chilli squashed with the flat side of a knife.
1/4 – 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 stalks of lemongrass, outer layer removed, then squashed and bruised.
1L of light chicken stock
3tbsp thai fish sauce
Juice of one lime
5 Basil leaves


  • Add the coriander stalks, chicken, ginger, both chills and lemongrass to a large pan and cover with cold chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil and heat for 3 minutes to cook the chicken.
  • Take off the heat and add the fish sauce, lime juice, chopped coriander and basil leaves.
  • (At this point you can add some ready cooked rice noodles (or any noodles really) and/or some chinese leaves or spinach to bulk it out a bit.)
  • To serve remove the coriander stalks, ginger green chilli and lemongrass.

And that’s it!

Do you like Thai food or is it a bit of a faff for at home? Although this looks like a long ingredient list, they all come in little convenient packets in the veg aisle of a basic supermarket, so it’s not hard to give it a go.


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