Last 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
- 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)
- 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