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Sickboy hot and sour soup recipe

If you've been enjoying some nasty cough/cold/flu/whatever and expectorating angry oyster-sized lumps of wrongness, this soup's for you. It's packed with all sorts of fragrant loveliness, it's hot and spicy, and it may just penetrate that who-robbed-my-tastebuds thing you're probably experiencing.

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients - there's not much to do apart from chuck everything in a saucepan and you'll have plenty of time to make lemsip and malinger while it's cooking.

Sickboy hot and sour soup


4 shallots, cut in half and then into thin wedges
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
Pinch of chilli flakes
One bulb of lemongrass, finely chopped
Large lump of ginger, grated
Zest of one lime
Zest of a half a lemon
One tomato, seeds removed, chopped into small chunks
Juice of half a lime
Juice of quarter of a lemon
around 600mls of vegetable stock
Three dessertspoons of soy sauce
One dessertspoon of rice vinegar
A few dried woodear mushrooms, reconstituted
Half a block of smoked tofu cut into chunks
A handful of rice noodles
A few handfuls of spinach leaves
Basil or coriander leaves

How you do it

Sweat the shallots, garlic and chilli flakes in some sesame oil until translucent or beginning to catch on the bottom of the pan.

Add the ginger, lemongrass, lemon zest, lime zest and tomato and cook for another few minutes, until the tomato is giving up its moisture.

Add the stock, soy sauce, lemon juice, lime juice and rice vinegar and cook over a low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the shallots are soft.

Add the chopped tofu and rice noodles. Leave to cook for three to five minutes, until the rice noodles are cooked.

Add the spinach and leave for a minute or so until wilted.

Add the basil or coriander, if you're using it, and serve.

Makes two whacking great bowls. Or four if you're not hungry and being all Come Dine With Me about it.

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