Friday, 5 October 2012

Hot and Sour Vegetable Noodle Soup

A friend gave me a bag of lovely crisp sugar snap peas during the week, and it was a toss-up between this or a coconutty laksa.  I wanted something spicy and cleansing, so went down the hot and sour route.  Use whatever veg you have to hand - in my case, some red pepper, mushrooms, beansprouts, onions and the said sugar snaps.  The ingredients here are for 2 people but just double for 4.  Prep the veg for a stir-fry and leave to one side.  Cook some noodles - entirely up to you what variety, but I went for medium rice noodles - one 'nest' per person.  Now prepare your broth: make up 700ml of veg stock using Marigold powder and bring to a boil in a pot.  Add a good thumb-size piece of peeled grated ginger, a grated clove of garlic and one finely-sliced hot red or green chilli.  Now add a tablespoon of tamari or light soy sauce, a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and a teaspoon of brown sugar.  Add plenty of ground black pepper, or a little Szechuan pepper if you have it - careful, it'll blow yer socks off! Finely-chop around a tablespoonful of fresh coriander and slice a lime into 'cheeks' and keep to one side.   Keep this broth base simmering as you heat a tablespoon of light oil (I like rape-seed) in a wok and quickly stir-fry the veg, keeping them crisp and colourful.   In big, warm bowls, divide the noodles on the bottom, top with the cooked veg and pour over the simmering stock, to which you have added the coriander.  Serve right away, with the lime to squeeze over to enhance the 'sour' element, and perhaps some Tabasco sauce to add extra heat at the table.  Delicious, warming, reviving and incredibly healthy.

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