Cool Weather Soups
  |  First Published: June 2008

In this month’s recipes we are going to compete with the bite in the air with spicy soups that also pack a punch. I can guarantee that the heat in these soups will combat any chill in the air. A bonus is that they are quick, easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Tom Yam Gong

Sambal oelek is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets. If you luuurve chilli then feel free to add a touch more to the soup.


3 cups vegetable or fish stock

1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass (white part only)

half teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

500g green prawns, peeled and de-veined

3-4 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons thickened cream

100g bean sprouts

2 green shallots cut into 1cm lengths

1 teaspoon sambal oelek (chilli paste)

Juice from half a lemon

3-4 tablespoons chopped coriander


(1) Pour the stock into a large pot and bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Stir in the lemon grass, lemon zest, Thai fish sauce, mushrooms and green prawns. Simmer gently for three minutes or until the prawns turn pink.

(2) Reduce the heat to very low, stir in the cream and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the bean sprouts, shallots, sambal oelek, lemon juice and chopped coriander.

(3) Serve the Tom Yam Gong straight away while the sprouts and herbs are still crunchy.

Hot and Sour Prawn Soup

Kaffir lime leaves can be purchased at most supermarkets and fruit shops, and they freeze well too. There are two lots of chilli in this recipe – one to cook in the stock, one for use in the finished soup.


1 tablespoon cooking oil

500g green prawns, peeled and de-veined, saving the heads and shells

6 slices of fresh ginger

6 kaffir lime leaves

1 stalk lemon grass, slightly crushed

1 red chilli, cut into half

1 litre water

2 tablespoons coriander leaves

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 shredded kaffir lime leaf


(1) Heat the oil in a large pot and add the prawn heads and shells. Stir-fry over a high heat for a few minutes until the shells change colour.

(2) Stir in the ginger, lime leaves, lemon grass, halved chilli and water. Pop a lid on the pot and bring it back to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

(3) Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, discarding the solids (shells etc). Return the saucepan with the liquid to the heat, adding the prawns to the liquid. Cook for a couple of minutes before stirring in the coriander leaves, chopped chilli and lime juice. Continue to cook for a minute.

(4) To serve, ladle the Hot and Sour soup into bowls and garnish with the shredded lime leaf.

The seafood in these recipes was supplied by Princess Charlotte Seafoods ph (07) 3256 9175.

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