Spicy Thai Soup with Meatballs and Pickled Veg

Cold weather, numb fingers, seeing your breath – this is the perfect antidote, hot spicy, the contrast of the sweet & sour crisp vegetables is a perfect balance to the coconut laced spicy soup. A great recipe you could have ready for when you come in from a long cold walk over Christmas. There I finally said the C word…. .

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Thai Meatballs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1lb minced beef, lamb or pork
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Kecap manis
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Tip the meat into a large bowl and add the garlic, chilli, ginger, fish sauce, kecap manis, plenty of salt and pepper and leave to marinate a while. Shape the meat into small balls. Heat a decent amount of oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs over a medium heat until browned on the underside, flip and cook the other side until browned. You can continue cooking on the pan until just cooked through and set aside until the soup is ready.

Thai Green Veg Soup
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled mashed and chopped
2 Tbsp green curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
1¾ l veg or chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves if you can get them – well chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 bunch spring onions, the white sliced on the diagonal and the green finely chopped
2 Bok Choi – the white sliced more finely than the green, and separated.
280g pack fine green beans, trimmed and chopped
juice 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
small bunch Thai Basil if you can get it

Heat the oil, add the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften without colouring.
Add the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken or veg stock, lime leaves and fish sauce, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the spring onions bok choi and green beans and cook for 4-6 mins, until the beans are just tender. If you were able to get the basil, blitz it with the lime juice and add to the soup with the sliced spring onion and green top of the bok choi. (Otherwise just add the lime juice without the basil). Give a final taste for seasoning, add the meatballs and heat through.
Serve with lime wedges and pickled vegetables for a delicious filling comforting meal.

Pickled Veg
A selection of thinly sliced carrot, deseeded cucumber, spring onion, very thin slices of cauliflower
Pickling juice
100ml each of water and white wine vinegar heated gently to dissolve 3 tbsp sugar
Take off the heat and let cool. Add your veggies and set aside until needed

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