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Oriental Vitality Soup – Random Recipes #29

randomrecipes logoLast week was a big one. We went to Darwin and ate. And ate. And ate. Four markets, one festival, a few restaurants and countless glasses of beer, cider, wine and mojitos left me in need of some lighter, simpler food to start this week.  Dom from Belleau Kitchen has been a bit poorly of late so he was also in need of something restorative in his diet hence the title of this month’s challenge ‘Healthy & Happy’. When I saw this challenge, the first thing that sprang to mind was Nigella’s Vietnamese Chicken & Mint Salad from one of my favourites, ‘Nigella Bites’. In the intro to the section ‘Templefood’ she explains ‘it’s my term for the soothing, pure, would-be restorative food I make for myself after one binge or late night too far.  Temple as in ‘my body is a…’

But, the Random Gods had other ideas. After a few book selections with absolutely no healthy, though very happy recipes, I plucked out Margaret Fulton’s ‘Cooking for one and two‘. It’s a funny little book with lots of simple ideas to inspire small cooking adventures. Published in 1995 is has some recipes that were no doubt cutting edge at the time but are still tasty enough today.  There’s a large section on quick and simple soups and this is where I’ve drawn this month’s recipe – Oriental Vitality Soup. Now that’s a title for sings ‘Healthy & Happy’. It is described as very light yet sustaining, using seasonal vegetables.

Oriental Vitality Soup

Margaret's...and Mine...

Margaret’s…  and Mine…


  • 3 x cups chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 4 slices fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1/4 head broccoli, cut in florets and stem chopped
  • 1 zucchini, finely sliced
  • 1/2 bunch Asian greens (choy sum, gai lan, pak choy etc), chopped roughly
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 x tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 eschallots (spring onions), chopped
  • chilli or black bean sauce to taste
  • cooked, shredded chicken (optional)

Vitality Soup Close Up


  • Heat stock in a medium saucepan until simmering
  • Add garlic, ginger, chilli, broccoli, zucchini and Asian greens to pan and cook gently for 3 – 4 minutes.
  • If using chicken, add to pot to heat through
  • Beat the eggs into the soy sauce. Add a few teaspoons of stock into the egg/soy mixture and beat gently to combine.
  • Pour egg/so mix into the pot and stir gently. Small strands of eggs should form immediately.
  • Serve soup in deep soup bowls with a side dish of chilli and/or black bean sauce to add extra piquancy as desired

Serves 2

Vitality soup accompaniments

12 comments… add one
  • Phil in the Kitchen June 20, 2013, 8:33 am

    Very healthy and, I feel sure, very tasty. I could do with some vitality. Personally, I can't believe that 1995 is 18 years ago – feels like only yesterday. I obviously need more soup.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! June 21, 2013, 1:26 pm

      I'd say, surprisingly tasty conisdering it's so healthy! Thanks for making us all feel old Phil!

  • Lizzy (Good Things) June 20, 2013, 8:46 am

    Lovely recipe, Fiona. I have hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks, but that one (and three others in the series published by Barbara Beckett) are among my favourites! I think I could use some of that soup today, please. Do you deliver? ; D

  • Jan Rhoades June 20, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Looks good Fi. Put that on the menu next time I visit please.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! June 21, 2013, 1:29 pm

      We always think of soup taking a long time to make (like the Harira) but is can be surprisingly quick. I made this in under 10 minutes.

  • Mel Kettle June 20, 2013, 1:02 pm

    that looks beautiful. I need soup today as I'm cold – will have to make some 🙂

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! June 21, 2013, 1:30 pm

      An even colder day today hey Mel? Get down to Feast on Fruit & see what's on offer in the greens. Maybe fight the chooks for it?

  • belleau kitchen June 22, 2013, 5:20 pm

    now this is EXACTLY what I need to get me healthy and happy… I think those random recipes gods were kind to you this month in fact… beautiful stuff… Darwin sounds good… and eating festival is always a lovely place to be!. Thanks so much for entering xxx

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! June 22, 2013, 5:52 pm

      This has been a very popular post as it's Winter here but the weather at your end of the world doesn't look that great either so hopefully readers will give it a whirl. See you again next month.

  • Lynne June 30, 2013, 10:19 am

    It is winter here in New Zealand and soups never sounded so good 🙂
    This looks delicious – I'm a recent convert to these kinds of Asian soups and I can't believe what I've been missing out on.
    This is going to be made in the next day or so and I am salivating at the thought !!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! June 30, 2013, 4:18 pm

      Hi Lynne – yes, Winter is firmly here! This one is very quick but with so many soup options, it's often a long time before I return to it. Enjoy!

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