It’s -24°c outside right now. Perfect weather for soup!
Fish or Chicken Stock:
1 pound fish bones (sole cod or other white fish), OR 1 chicken carcass, broken into pieces OR 1 pack of chicken wings (We used a whole chicken but kept aside the breasts and thighs etc. )
1 onion, quartered
1-inch piece fresh ginger, bruised
1 lime leaf
6 cilantro stems, stalks and roots bruised
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. Wash your fish or chicken bones in cold water first. Place in a saucepan and cover with 6 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil, skim if necessary.
3. Add the onion, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes only (no lid), for the fish stock. For the chicken stock- simmer half covered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Cool, strain into a clean pot and get ready to make the soup.
Hot & Sour Soup
3 cups chicken (or fish) stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemongrass stem
4 red bird’s eye chilies, seeded and finely sliced
1-inch piece galangal, peeled and finely sliced
3 lime leaves, torn into pieces
1 ready cleaned squid tube, cut into rings
1/2 pound cooked shrimp (shelled is easier to eat obviously)
4 button mushrooms, sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sucanat (sugar)
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 red chili, seeded and finely sliced for garnish
cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Place the stock in a large saucepan with the water. Heat gently.
2. Trim the root from the lemongrass and slice the bottom 2 inch section into very fine slices. Bruise the remaining stalk and add all this to the stock with the chilies, galangal, and the torn limes leaves.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the bruised lemongrass, add the shrimp, squid rings, and the mushrooms, then add the lemon juice, sugar, and fish sauce a bit at a time until you have the right balance of flavours.
5. Serve in bowls with red chili slices and cilantro garish.
I chose to start with a chicken stock rather than a fish stock and it was very delicious! This soup is of course HOT and SOUR so be aware of the number of chilies you use. Use less than I have if you can’t take the heat.