On Sunday, when I posted a virtual hug for Barbara, I promised to follow up with a recipe for her, something she might be able to manage to eat whilst going through Chemotherapy. Let's be clear, I really have no idea about what somebody who has to endure this kind of treatment might be comfortable consuming. But what I do know is that when I am feeling under the weather, soup is a food I often turn to for warmth and comfort. And if I am feeling nauseous then I tend towards the clean bright flavours of a thin, spicy soup.
There is a recipe in Matthew Drennan's book Simply Sensational Soup for 'tom yam gung' that I often turn to as a guide. I can't claim to understand how much of an authentic Thai soup the recipe makes and after I have chopped and changed the ingredients around to suit what is in season and what I have to hand, I doubt it is anything close to an original soup from Thailand. But what I do know is that I have liked this recipe enough to riff on it many times and enjoy the results. In a helpful comment on this post someone pointed out that spice might not be the most appropriate thing for a Chemotherapy patient, in which case I recommend using only the mildest of chilies for colour, or even experiment by replacing them with a little ginger. This soup is so packed full of other fragrant flavours, leaving out the spice component shouldn't damage it too much. Either way, without further ado, this is the version I made, yesterday, in Barbara's honour...
4 cups Duck Broth [Fatted Calf]
1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
1 Bag Tofu Puffs [Hodo Soy Beanery]
1 Tablespoon Chili Jam [Tierra]
Grated zest & juice of 1 lime [Bernard Ranches]
1 shallot, minced [Dirty Girl]
1 Garlic, minced
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves, shredded [Bernard Ranches]
2 red chilies, one minced, one shredded
1 lemon grass stalk, diced [Chue's Farm]
1 punnet Shiitake Mushrooms, halved [Far West Funghi]
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Green onion or Scallion, to garnish, shredded [Catalán Family Farm]
Salt & Pepper
- In a heavy saucepan bring the following ingredients to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes: Duck Broth, Peanut Oil, Chili Jam, Lime zest, Shallot, Garlic, Kaffir Leaves, Minced Chili and lemongrass.
- Strain the stock into a clean pan and add the mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, shredded chili and sugar. Simmer for 3 minutes or until the mushrooms are just cooked. Add the tofu puffs and simmer for a further minute to heat them through. Season to taste and serve garnished with shredded green onions.
Serves four, probably
Made with lots of love for Barbara and her family...
2005 | David Lebovitz - Will this be the man I marry?
2004 | The Start of My love Affair with Hangar One
© 2008 Sam Breach "Soupernova"