OK so it isn’t pretty and it is a kind of khaki colour, but this soup is delicious.
It packs a flavour punch enhanced by the caramelised flavours of onions and brussels sprouts and it is velvety smooth from the background of broken down potato.
I like mine with a teaspoon of cashew cheese stirred through. It adds to the flavour and creaminess. Other good toppings are dill (I am currently in love with dill as a herb) and crunchy fried onions.
I made this soup on a recent nasty, windy, cold day in Melbourne with hail and rain pounding outside and it was lovely to sit with the bowl warming my hands and eating it with some crunchy sourdough toast.
I’ve been so sick for a couple of weeks, that I haven’t felt like cooking much at all. After getting sick of eating nothing much but breakfast cereal and toast, I really needed to make something that was easy, that I could make a large batch of, and reheat as needed. And with a cold and a sore throat, soup ticked all the boxes and has been just the thing I’ve needed.
This soup is pretty easy to make, which is good since I’ve felt so awful. It is a substantial and yummy blend of grains, lentils and beans cooked in a tomato and stock base, with extra vegetables added near the end. The secret ingredient is roasted pumpkin (I just happened to have some in the fridge) which I added to the soup near the end, along with the extra vegetables. While they are cooking the pumpkin melts away to a smooth background, thickening and enhancing the soup’s flavour and texture.
I’m sitting and writing this post with all the effects of eating a wonderful bowl of fragrant, hot, sour and salty tom yum soup. Tissues at the ready, hiccups from the chillies. And loving it.
My family all love Thailand and Thai food, a legacy of one of my sisters living in Bangkok for a couple of years. I received a kaffir lime tree for my birthday a few years back. It is popular with my family, neighbours and friends when they are making Thai food. Just the smell of the leaves is transporting. Back to Thailand in an instant.
Anyway, recent events led me to making the soup, which I have never done before. I had been in the city for a couple of days and dropped into Supercharger for lunch. They have a tom yum soup that is just delicious and I decided I must make some.
As luck would have it, that night I watched an episode of David Thompson’s Thai Street Food and he was making Tom Yum. I had no idea it was so easy to make. I learned that ‘tom’ means to boil in Thai, and that’s exactly what the soup is. Stock boiled with aromatic herbs and some vegetables.
The classic tom yum in Thailand often has prawns and straw mushrooms. I happened to have some mock vegan prawns in the freezer from Vincent’s Vegetarian so I used them along with some canned champignons. You could put any vegetables or tofu in it, the soup is the star.
It is easy to make and utterly delicious. Perfect for something light after all that holiday excess. Just go and make some!