- Lifestyle

David Atherton’s recipe for laksa noodle soup

A rich and fresh broth that is either easy or very easy to make, depending on whether you decide to make the paste yourself or buy it

Hydrating and warming, this is a go-to dish for me after a long run in winter. It is either easy or very easy, depending on whether or not you make your own paste. Making the paste is simple, but sourcing the ingredients might put you off. I would encourage you to take this step, but you can buy it pre-made. This broth is rich and fresh, and can be tweaked by adding sugar, lime juice or fish sauce to your taste. You can also throw in prawns, chicken, tofu or fish balls, but I like mine packed with veg.

Serves 2

For the laksa paste
2-3 bird’s eye chillies, deseeded
1 small onion
2 tsp lemon
grass paste
50g fresh ginger
10 cashew nuts
8 cloves of garlic
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric

For the rest
10ml vegetable oil
100g laksa paste
400ml veg stock
1 can coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fish sauce
250g sweet potato
200g vermicelli rice noodles
200g broccoli
70g beansprouts
Extra bean sprouts, lime wedges and fresh mint as a garnish

Put all the paste ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a jar (this can keep in the fridge for a week, or you can freeze in portions).

Heat the oil in a medium or large saucepan. Add the paste and fry for five minutes, stirring all the time until it goes a couple of shades darker orange. Then add the stock and coconut milk. Add the kaffir lime leaves, salt and fish sauce and bring to a simmer.

Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1cm cubes. Add these to the laksa soup and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in boiling water until soft but with integrity (three to five minutes). Drain and leave in cold water until needed.

Separate the broccoli into florets and add to the laksa for 10 minutes. Add the beansprouts and simmer for another minute.

Drain the noodles and put 70g in the bottom of each bowl. Cover with the laksa and top with beansprouts and shredded mint along with a squeeze of lime.