This is a base soup; you can add shrimp paste to deepen the flavour if you want. I add the noodles at the end, and sometimes they can become sticky if cooked for too long in the stock.
- 1 small cauliflower cut in to very small florets, 2cm pieces
- 420 g canned chickpeas, well drained
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 g dried rice vermicelli
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tbsp fresh red chilli finely chopped
- 2 small onions, very finely chopped
- 50 ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp lemon grass puree (jarred is great)
- 10 g vegetable stock cube
- 300 ml coconut milk, roughly
- 200 ml water, approx.
- 1 tbsp palm or light brown sugar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- small handful beansprouts
- 4 spring onions, sliced thinly and diagonally
- 50 g baby spinach
- juice of 2 large limes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- fresh sliced red chilli
- lime wedges
- cooked or raw prawns
- Pre heat the oven to 220C gas 7.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan.
- Add the chickpeas and brown slightly, and then add the cauliflower and season with a little salt and pepper. Lightly brown and pop the pan into the oven and cook for 30 minutes to get a nice colour, but do not burn, but the more colour, the better the end flavour.
- Meanwhile, place the vermicelli into a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes to soften.
- Next, blitz all the ingredients for the paste in a blender or small stick blender until you have a paste.
- Next, heat a little oil in a wok and pour in the paste and cook for 2-3 minutes to cook through.
- Add the coconut milk, water, sugar, fish sauce, beansprouts, onions and spinach, bring to a simmer.
- Add the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the cauli is just cooked.
- Season well with salt, pepper and lime juice.
- Strain the vermicelli, and add evenly into 4 bowls, ladle over the hot veg broth.
- Top with basil, coriander and fresh chilli and serve lime wedges separately.
- If adding cooked chicken or prawns, add at the point you add the cauliflower and chickpeas.
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