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The “I have no idea where this recipe is from, but it cures my cold every time” recipe

November 13, 2010

You know those mornings where you wake up and you feel groggy and ill and can’t figure out why (and it has nothing to do with the number of glasses of wine you’d consumed the night before), but the last thing you need is to end up sick, so you’ll eat vitamin C like candy?

Yah, well, I woke up like that one day this week and from the moment I woke up, all I could think about was blasting the hovering cold away… And it had to involve soup because a) I was cold, b) it was raining, c) my nose was runny and d) did I mention, it was COLD.

I decided to make soup that involved garlic and ginger and chilli.

Years ago, I became obsessed with a thai style soup I can get here, but I’ve realized i can make an entire pot of soup for half the price they charge and it’s no longer conveniently on my way home from work. Oh, and on this day, I was too lazy to drive the 20 minutes to their Kits location to obtain a bowl, so dug out my well used recipe from a coworker 5 years and 4 jobs ago. I have no idea where she originally procured this recipe from, it was sent to me in an email and I’ve taken it and adapted it over time. It currently sits in my documents folder as “THE TOM YUM RECIPE” but I think it’s a pretty basic Tom Yum Soup recipe- stock, veggies, garlic, lime, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, thai ginger… all of which necessitated a trip to the local Asian food market because I hadn’t made this in my new place yet. Of course, it’s not just any asian market, it is seriously the Costco of Asian markets, and it’s less than 5 minutes from my house. There is even an entire aisle dedicated to rice cookers.

And, it’s cheap. C-H-E-A-P.

If you end up with more ingredients than you need for this pot, all the specialty items can be easily frozen. There is a dedicated space in my freezer for baggies of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves… Totally normal 😉

What you need:


Veggie broth, fish sauce (so gross, but necessary), lime, lemongrass, ginger, keffir lime leaves, more crazy large garlic cloves, mushrooms, peppers, cilantro, bok choy, prawns and rice noodles.


You can tell you’re bored when you start arranging your ingredients like so:


The vegetable representation of how i was feeling. Or I had just caught a whiff of the fish sauce.

Moving on… Stock into a pot, add the stalks of lemongrass (halved) and the kaffir lime leaves (tear ’em up or chop them, your choice), oh, and the lime juice and the fish sauce. Have I mentioned I don’t like fish sauce?


Mince your garlic, ginger and a pepper (I used serrano ’cause I had it in my fridge, but a red spicy pepper is usually what i use) or if you don’t have any fresh peppers, just use chilli paste. Toss it in the pot and simmer.

DSC02030.JPGOnce your pot has simmered for 5 minutes, add your veggies. Whatever you like. I threw in 2 red peppers, mushrooms and bok choy, but I have been known to add in onions, spinach and green peppers. Whatever floats your boat, or is hanging out in your crisper.


After that has simmered for a few minutes, add in your prawns, and if you are feeling like you needs some noodles to right the world, add those too. Just be warned, some times they like to suck up the broth and make it less of a soup. Or you could use rice vermicelli noodles. Again, whatever is in your cupboards. Clearly my cupboard is masquerading as a thai market.

After the prawns turn pink, ladle your soup into a bowl and top with cilantro and a lime wedge.


And then eat another bowl, just to ensure the cold stays away.


And, if the soup doesn’t totally help your cold, spend the rest of your day parked on the couch, catching up on the back log of shows on your PVR and doing a little bit of online shopping. Shoes are a known cure for the common cold, don’t you know?! 😉

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 8:00 pm

    I REALLY need to branch out on some ethnic dishes. Or at least away from hot dogs 😉

  2. November 14, 2010 5:57 am

    I now need to find an Asian grocery so I can get all the ingredients to make this soup!

  3. November 14, 2010 9:35 am

    I wanna go to Thailand so I can eat this every day!

  4. November 18, 2010 11:54 am

    This looks SO good!! I didnt even know you could get half those ingredients around here.

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