Friday, 2 September 2011

... cooking to get rid of a cold(Thai-ish Porkball soup)

This week has not been the most pleasant. Whilst Dave was away for work, my seemingly rough but not awful cold took a turn for the worse. A 3am, eye's feel like they are going to explode, sinuses swollen, feeling like a poker was being rammed through my brain when I sneezed, bringing on sickness type of worse. I phoned in sick for work, and it takes a lot to make me do that. I stayed in bed on a Thursday, slept most of the day, had wee bits of twitter chat and a few 'are you ok?' phonecalls from Dave. I slept more, took a lot of cold and flu capsules, and woke today feeling marginally more human. I've been pottering around in between sitting, the painkillers are mostly keeping the sinus issues under control, and I went to the shop without people staring in horror, so I must look better too.

I got a late ((late because of the post, not the sender) birthday present in the post, which perked me up no end, and what a beautiful present it is.

I've wanted this since it came out. It's still quite expensive in most shops, so I've been waiting for either a slightly damaged and therefore cheap one, or to find a second hand one. I am very fortunate, as my lovely friend and fellow Christmas lover, Mhairi sent it to me. She is sneaky, but it's the good kind of sneaky. 3 hours of my day were spent looking through it, with a cup of tea. Mhairi says she finds a wee look through it immediately cheers her up, and I can tell it will have the same effect on me! Pretty Nigella, pretty food, pretty Christmas things, LOVELY. Cookery books are so very satisfying.

 At the very end, Nigella has put a couple of cold/hangover remedy soups. I've take bits of these, and bits of a recipe for Oriental Porkballs and Greens in Broth(from M&S's Soup Bowl) and bits of my own noodle soup recipe, and this is what I ended up with. It's heavy on chilli and ginger, spices to clear the airways and warm the body. I wanted the pork as an alternative to Nigella's chicken, since we have chicken noodle soup quite often, and it works quite well. If you like your spices to be milder, maybe add half of each, then when you get to the cooked noodle stage, you can add more.

Thai-ish Pork Ball Soup (about 6 portions)

2tbsp olive oil
2.5tsp chilli flakes
2tsp Preserved ginger (I use the English Provender one, so as not to end up wasting ginger), chopped finely
3tsp lemongrass paste (by EP again), though you could bash a fresh stalk
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 Spring onions, chopped finely (while chopping, separate the white and oniony part from the hollow   shoot part)
2ltr chicken stock
5 pork sausages worth of sausage meat, removed from skin,
1 egg
pinch of pepper
half a sweet red pepper, sliced into slivers
half a large leek, sliced into slivers
2 large carrots, grated into long strands
1 sheet dried fine noodles (I used the Sharwood's ones)

  • heat the oil over a medium heat in a soup pot
  • add most of chilli, ginger, most of the garlic, lemongrass, and whites/thick of spring onion
  • cook for a few minutes 'til everything softens.
  • setting aside a pinch of the remaining spring onions, and the veg to the pan, and cook for a few minutes
  • Put your sausage meat in a bowl with the leftover chilli, spring onions, garlic, egg and pepper and squish
  • form into balls (stir beg occasionally too)
  • add stock to pan and bring to boil for 5 mins or so
  • Break noodle sheet into 4 pieces (so that your noodles atay quite long
  • drop into soup and cook 2 minutes
  • drop pork balls in,  cook for three minutes, and set aside to cool a little.
We has shop bought prawn crackers with this (Sharwood's - they have a bit of an after taste, but it goes once you've dunked them in the spicy broth), but you could buy and cook your own (they are fun to watch puff up from little glasine disks), though the soup is quite filling and hearty on it's own. I was aiming for a light soup, but it manages to be both that and filling at the same time. 

I'm sure sometime soon, I'll post something that isn't a soup recipe. If anyone has any cold cures up their sleeve, do feel free to leave details in the comments! I'm away to have a cup of tea and look at my book some more.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am sorry you have been so sick this week! how awful, you poor thing!! That soup does sound delicious. I wish I had a magical cure. For me, it's lots of sleep, fluids, and vitamin C!

Spare Thoughts said...

Glad you're starting to feel better. I will come if you need anything (but only with my pants over my tights if it is a real emergency).

annelise said...

Oh, yuck :( Colds are the worst. I don't have any cures for you but maybe something with pseudo-ephedrine will help with the sinuses and sneezing? It's hayfever season here in Australia and I've been sneezing like a maniac but the pseudo-ephedrine has cleared it right up.

I love watching Nigella's tv shows. The way she talks and her obvious love of food cracks me up. I can't help but think she really wants to cover her body in what she cooks, she loves it that much.

Hope you're feeling better in time for the weekend. xx

Jules said...

urgh. that time of year is upon us again - and I suppose it's worse for u as the scottish schools have been back for 2 weeks!!

oh and I love nigella! don't own her recipe book but that one looks divine - thanks for sharing the recipe - although... that does remind me - i have a Rachel allen book in my bedroom!

thanks for the comment on my blog - and I do know who shirley manson is!! (I do like a bit of Garbage!!)
Jules @ a bit of jules

Hazel said...

*huggles* I hope your feeling better now, and I can imagine that soup would be lovely for when your feeling it looks yummy! may try making it myself x

Lady Jack said...

Sending you all my "get better quick" vibes. The soup looks delish!

Siobhan said...

I make a variation on this but with chilli, lemongrass, ginger and mirin inside the pork balls. And I make twice as many as I need and use the rest in fried rice (well I used to).

So to me this does look like the ulitmate in comfort food. I wonder if I could try it with turkey mince?

Gaynor {Our Day by Design} said...

I love how you describe it as thai-ish!