Refreshing Asian-style soup

Is it too warm for soup at this time of year? A lot of the time I’m very much inclined to think so, unless we’re talking about gazpacho or similar. But thinking about my warm weather habits when eating out, it occurred to me that Asian-style soups – with their zingy combination of ginger, herbs and limes – are also great when the thermometer’s up. I have two variations on this theme, both of which make a lovely, light, refreshing late supper when it’s warm.

soup

Basic Asian-style soup

Gently heat 250ml chicken or vegetable stock per person and add the following, making sure you leave any chicken/delicate leaves until the end:

  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, cut in large pieces
  • 1 carrot, in thin slices or ribbons
  • Cabbage, pak choi or Chinese greens, shredded
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 large handful bean sprouts
  • Shredded cooked chicken (and/or tofu)

For Japanese style:

Towards the end of the cooking process, add one tablespoon of soy sauce and one tablespoon of mirin or rice vinegar. Pour the hot soup onto a bowl of cooked soba noodles and top with chopped spring onion and sliced radishes.

For Thai style:

Add lemongrass when you begin to heat the stock, and 100ml coconut milk when you add the chicken. Top with coriander and sliced chillies. You can pour the soup on top of glass noodles, if you like

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