I find it impossible to walk past a second hand book shop or stall and some of my most treasured booked were obtained in this way. A few weeks ago TrickyRicky and I set off for a Saturday morning visit to the Essenwood Craft Market. With a spicy, crunchy and soul warming Falafel clutched in my paws I sauntered over to the book stall! I bought a copy of The Australian Women’s Weekly Easy Vietnamese Style Cookery book. I must just add here that I find the Australian cook books to be very good.
Max, who is single again, by the way, walked through the door a few weeks ago and pounced on me. The request this time was for ‘huge pots’ of my vegetable minestrone and whatever other soups I desired to make. ‘Just keep them coming Mum!”, has been his Monday morning mantra with weight loss his ultimate aim. He shed 3kgs within two weeks eating soup! Ah the benefits of youth! I am still gymming myself into oblivion every morning – the weight loss has slowed but I am feeling and LOVING the changes to my shape. I even have a set of ‘guns’ to show off!
There is only so much minestrone that one can bear so variety became the name of the game. This Vietnamese cookbook has two really delicious soup recipes and today I am posting my favourite of the two. This Chilli Meatball Soup is a corker and even had TrickyRicky asking for second helpings.
Chilli Meatball Soup
Canh Thit Bo Bam Vien
2Tbs fish sauce
1tsp sesame oil
1Tbs Sambal Oelek (which is just bottled crushed red chillies with some flavouring) I used 2Tbs as we like it hot
1 clove crushed garlic
4 green spring onions sliced
1- 2 red chilli sliced
1kg minced beef – you could easily replace the beef with either chicken, lamb or pork mince
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1Tbs finely chopped fresh lemongrass – I use the inner softer parts of the lemongrass
2 small red chillies chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2cup chopped fresh coriander
2tsp beef stock powder
2tsp sugar (I substituted with xylitol)
1Tbs corn flour
2tsp sesame oil
3Tbs fish sauce
3Tbs Hoisin sauce
To make the meatballs process all of the meatball ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.
I found it easier to do this in batches as my dear old food processor is 20 years old and on its last legs! I am waiting for the moment that she explodes!
Wet your hands (this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your fingers) and roll the mixture into balls small enough to eat in one mouthful. I always make them just big enough to fit onto a soup spoon as a rule.
Bring the 2L of water to the boil in a large pot and add the fish sauce
Add half of the meatballs and simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes or until they are cooked through, remove them from the pan and set aside while you poach the second batch.
Once the second batch is cooked add the first batch of meatballs back, the Sambal Oelek, sesame oil and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Check for seasoning – I added a little more fish sauce and a stock cube.
Serve topped with the chopped spring onions and a little chopped fresh red chilli and spring onion!
I must say that this soup is beautifully perfumed with the chopped lemongrass and sesame oil,
it’s nice and light and the fact that the meatballs are not fried means that you save on calories.
I have read that you can plant the end of celery and it will grow!
Well it works!
I plonked the stubby little bottom of a celery bunch and it’s sprouted in just 3 days!
I will never throw the end of my celery away ever again!