Shake up your supper with these balanced, easy (do-able even after a long day) recipes from celebrated chef and writer, Jo Pratt. Vegetarian? Just swap the fish for vegetables.
Asian green broth
“I’d eat a bowl of this every day if I had half a chance! It gives a wonderful cleansing feeling when you eat it, making you want to go back for more. I’ll often prepare a big batch of the broth with just the stock and aromatics, then chill it in the fridge. Over the next few days, whenever I fancy a bowlful, it’s ready to heat up and finish off by adding the fresh veggies, and that way I know I’ve maintained the nutritional properties and vibrant colour of the greens.”
Time taken 25 minutes
Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 banana (large) shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 litre/1¾ pints/4 cups vegetable stock
250g/9 oz green vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, sugarsnap peas and mange tout (use a combination or just one), cut into 1–2cm/½–¾ in pieces
100g/3½ oz frozen soy beans, defrosted
100g/3½ oz choi sum, tat soi, bok choi or spinach, stalks and leaves finely shredded
juice of 1 lime
handful of Thai or standard basil leaves
flaked sea salt
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli, and gently cook until the shallots have softened but not coloured.
2. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Stir in the cut-up green vegetables, return to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Add the soy beans and shredded stalks and leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes.
4. Season with salt and stir in the lime juice and herbs. Serve hot.
To make this into more of a substantial main course, you could spoon the steaming hot broth and vegetables over a bowl of cooked rice noodles. Or, for a seafood twist, add some raw peeled prawns or sliced squid to the broth when adding the green veg. Alternatively, stir through cooked prawns, crayfish or white crab meat when adding the soy beans.