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Sig's spicy Thai meatball and noodle soup

publication date: Jan 13, 2010
author/source: Signe Johansen
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We discovered, looking back at the Facebook page, that it was freezing cold this time last year. Sig came up with this great recipe for a spicy meatball soup to warm you up so we thought you'd like a reminder.

Don't be put off by the list of ingredients - get your housemates to chip in and also help with making the meatballs. If you work together this soup can be made in under 30 minutes :)

Serves 4-6 (nah, make that 4)
Time: about 30 minutes
Cost: about 1.50 a head

For the meatballs:
500g mince (beef, veal, pork or turkey are all good)
handful breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
zest of 2 limes
handful coriander, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp thai fish sauce
2 tbsp plain yogurt (helps soften the meatballs)
1 tsp salt (more if you want these highly seasoned...)

For the soup:
3 coils of rice vermicelli
2 litres water
4 tbsp beef or chicken stock (veggie stock is also great, I used Marigold)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cm of fresh ginger, grated
2 red chillis, sliced in circles
4 tbsp thai fish sauce
juice of 1-2 limes
2-3 tbsp hot chilli sauce
bunch of coriander
(fresh mint is also good with this, but not essential)
bunch of spring onions

First, make your meatballs: In a large bowl, place all the meatball ingredients and using your hands, bring the mixture together. This is a fun, if slightly gross job to do! When you're satisfied everything's mixed through, start rolling the meatballs and place on a plate large enough to accomodate all of them. They should be about 2cm/1 inch in diameter. Any larger and they'll overcook on the outside before they cook through to the middle...

Set these aside and start making the soup. Gently fry the onions in a large saucepan for 5-10 minutes until they're soft and translucent. Add a little salt to them while they're cooking so they don't caramelise. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry a further 1 minute. Then add the hot stock, thai fish and red chilli sauces, lime juice and simmer the soup for 10 minutes while you get the remaining ingredients ready.

In a heatproof bowl or saucepan, place the rice vermicelli and cover with boiling water for 1 minute. Drain the hot water and place cold water on the noodles (stops them from going mushy).

Five minutes before you're ready to serve the soup, add the meatballs to the soup. They'll immediately sink to the bottom but you'll know the meatballs are ready when they float to the surface. If you're in doubt, take one out and cut it open to check :-)

Finally, add the rice vermicelli to the soup, stir through for a minute or so, and then you're ready to serve the soup!

Place the meatballs in large bowls, then add the noodles and finally the soup on top. Garnish with some coriander leaves, a lime wedge and sliced spring onions - the perfect winter warming soup.

This keeps for a day or so, just refrigerate and warm through the next day, the flavour keeps its punch, but the noodles get a bit more mushy.


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