When I used to live in London and spend a couple of hours every day commuting (never again!) I would whip up this kind of soup really regularly. It is quick to make, and I find the warm coconut broth to be soothing and calming after a stressful day. Or a stressful few days, as happened this time. Uuurgh.
DH doesn’t like soup, so I would certainly not have made this meal-in-a-bowl if he’d been eating with us, but he was out for the evening, and Kipper was only too happy to have a bowl of delicious noodles and vegetables, with yummy soup to run down her chin. Definitely a “bib-required” meal, this one.
The ginger, garlic and chilli give the broth a delicious fragrant flavour, and the pesto may sound odd, but believe me, it works. Pesto makes everything delicious. If I’d called for a handful of Thai basil you wouldn’t have given it a second thought, and this is sort of the same. Isn’t it? It’s certainly a lot easier, and an ingredient that you’re a lot more likely to have on hand – especially if you live in this house, where pesto is considered a staple food.
I used lokshen – traditional Jewish soup noodles – in my soup, but angel hair pasta, vermicelli, skinny rice noodles or thin Chinese egg noodles would all work fine. To be honest, I was going to use egg noodles, but then Kipper started agitating for lokshen, and it was easier to give in. They were as good, if not better, designed, as they are, for soup.
The recipe below makes one generous serving – enough for me to share with a small person, but I could probably have eaten the lot given half a chance. This is feel-good food, and should be served in a large bowl and enjoyed.
- 75g lokshen or other noodles
- 350ml hot vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 50g creamed coconut
- 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 tsp chopped ginger
- 0.5 tsp crushed red chilli
- 100g broccoli florets
- 125g mushrooms
- 2 tsp pesto
- Boil the noodles as per the directions on the packet.
- Mix the stock, creamed coconut and tamari and set aside.
- Cut the mushrooms into thin slices.
- Heat the oil in a wok. Fry the ginger, garlic and chilli for a few seconds, then add the broccoli and mushrooms. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the broccoli is bright green.
- Pour over the stock mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the pesto. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Drain the noodles and spoon into a bowl. Top with the vegetables, and pour the coconut broth over.