Vegetable Soup with Chicken and Prawns


The little Thai CookbookA bland soup that is best served with a meal, to be eaten alongside the other main dishes. Bland soups help take the heat out of chilli dishes. The chicken balls in this soup are easily made but you could use cubes of chicken instead.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 6 oz (175 g) raw prawns (shrimp)
  • 2 coriander (cilantro) roots, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • pinch of ground white pepper, plus extra, to sprinkle
  • 6 oz (150 g) minced (ground) chicken
  • ½ spring onion (scallion), finely chopped
  • 33 fl oz 3¾(935 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons preserved radish
  • 6 oz (175 g) marrow or pumpkin (squash), cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 6 oz (175 g) Chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
  • a few coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Peel and devein the prawns and cut each prawn along the back so it opens like a butterfly (leave each prawn joined along the base and at the tail, leaving the tail attached).
  2. Using a pestle and mortar or a small blender, pound or blend the coriander roots, garlic, pepper and a pinch of salt into a paste. In a bowl, combine the coriander paste with the chicken and spring onion. Use a spoon or your wet hands to shape the chicken mixture into small balls about 1 cm (½ in) in diameter.
  3. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the light soy sauce and preserved radish. Lower the chicken balls into the stock and cook over medium heat for 1–2 minutes, or until the balls are cooked through.
  4. Add the marrow or pumpkin to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the prawns and Chinese cabbage and cook for another 1–2 minutes. Taste, then adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with coriander leaves and sprinkle with ground white pepper.

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