Inspired from the fragrant flavours of Vietnamese cooking, this simple soup is light but packed full of flavour. I have given measurements for your garlic, lemongrass and chili, but you don't have to follow these strictly, I never do. Measure with your heart and just taste as you go! Instead of chicken you could also do thinly sliced beef or even prawns.
3 spring onions
2 large tbsp lemongrass paste (or 1 stick of lemongrass)
2 large tbsp garlic paste (or 4 cloves of fresh garlic)
2 fresh red chillies – one for the soup and one for garnish
a handful of fresh coriander
2 litre chicken stock
1 bok choy
500g Diced Chicken Breast
300 g ready-prepared rice vermicelli
2 large tbsp of soy sauce
1 splash of fish sauce – optional
1 lime – half for soup, half for garnish
Any greens/veggies of your choice – I used broccolini and mushrooms
To start, in a large pot bring your stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
While this is heating up, we will prep everything else.
Brown off your chicken (or protein of choice) just to get some colour on there. (If using prawns, skip this step.)
Next prep all your ingredients. Finely slice the spring onions, lemongrass, peel and finely dice the garlic (if using fresh) and finely slice both chillies, keep one aside for garnish at the end. If you want a milder flavour, you can remove the seeds before slicing.
Pick your coriander leaves, I like to roughly chop these. I set some aside for garnish at the end and put some in the stock for more flavour. Separate your bok choy leaves and slice down the middle if they are large. Also chop up any other veggies you may be adding, like broccoli or mushrooms. Cut your lime in half, then one half into wedges for garnish.
Once the stock is at a simmer add in the lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, a sprinkle of coriander and the juice of half a lime.
Then we will add our veggies, spring onions, bok choy and chicken. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Or until bok choy has wilted and veggies are at your desired consistency. If putting in raw meat (e.g. prawns) let simmer until pink.
Prepare your vermicelli noodles as per instructions on the packet. Divide into your bowls. Ladle over your soup. Top with sliced chilli, fresh coriander, fresh lime, and more soy sauce if desired.