Monday, 7 November 2011

Roast Onion Soup with Thai Spices (RR 10).

A bit of cross-breeding in blog challenge world has resulted in Random Recipes Does No Croutons Required or No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes depending on which host you visit.  So this month we all have to make a soup randomly chosen from our recipes at home.  This challenge runs to the end of the month so plenty of time to join in for anyone who fancies a bowl of warming soup.  Just click on either of the links.  

I opted to use to get a number then counted along my cookbooks and landed on Real Cooking by Nigel Slater.

Look how young Nigel looks there!

Anyway, I went to the index and found that there are 10 recipes listed under "soups" so I used the random number generator again and it chose Cream of Roast Onion Soup with Thai Spices.

Nigel calls it "Sweet, sour, hot and creamy.  A soup to invigorate".  I have to agree.  This was absolutely delicious.  Amazingly easy to put together and tasted like it took way more effort.  I love the Thai flavours here (I missed out the ginger) and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's a funny soup - both comforting and warming, and also refreshing and zingy - really hots the spot.  Glad I made this recipe.

Recipe - adapted from Real Cooking by Nigel Slater.
Serves 4.

Ingredients - 
4 medium sized onions
4 plump cloves of garlic
1 L of vegetable stock
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (Nam pla) - now this recipe is supposed to be vegetarian for the challenge so you can just miss out the Nam pla unless anyone has any great ideas for a vegetarian substitute for me?
2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped
400ml tin of coconut milk
Grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes

Method - 
1. Cut the onions in half vertically, skin and all.  Place in a roasting tin and roast at 200C/GM6 for about 45 mins, turning once.
2. Add the whole garlic cloves after about 20 mins.
3. When the onions are golden and soft, peel off the skin and slice into big chunks - whatever you think you can eat without making too much mess!  Nigel doesn't slice his at all - just separates the layers but either my onions were too big for that or my mouth too small. 
4. Drop into a deep saucepan.  Add the roast garlic, squeezed from the skin, the stock, the fish sauce and chillies.
5. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
6. Stir in the coconut milk, bring back to simmering point, then taste for seasoning. Add salt or soy sauce if needed.  I added some of my posh soy sauce for the depth of flavour and a little sea salt for an extra kick of saltiness.  
7. Add the lime zest and juice just before serving.


  1. god this soup sounds damn fine... I love Nigel and this is classically his style isn't it?... looks lovely too. I have entries coming in thick and fast already, so I think it's going to be a popular one this month... nice and easy before I make you all work for your dinners next month!!!... thanks for taking part honey x

  2. That was quick Dom - you have your eye on the ball! Yes, I loved the easiness of this one - fits in with easy family teas. Eeek wondering what you have up your sleeve for next month - maybe something Christmassy?

  3. Looks great, I am amused by you using Random to pick a random recipe!!

  4. Sarah - hee hee - I can't remember who was first to do it - it was maybe Lucy from Kitchenmaid - but it is so wonderfully geeky, isn't it?

  5. I don't think I've ever wanted a bowl of soup as much in my life!!!!!

    How can I have this book and never tried the recipe???????????

  6. BVG - you know I had never noticed this recipe before either! Random recipes is the bees knees!

  7. Oh, this sounds superb! You talked it up well, Louise! I want to make it because it sounds so very simple - very Nigel, eh? He is an expert and using a few cheap things to make a nice dinner. Have you made many of his recipes?

  8. Looks and sounds like a delicious, comforting bowl of soup! Yum. I must get cooking with my entry.

  9. Sarah - oh yes - I am a huge Nigel Slater devotee! I have most of his books and love them all. His type of food is perfect for me - he just seems to know what is satisfying and none of his recipes are too much bother.

    Michael - looking forward to seeing what you get this month - fairly good chance it might be a Nigella soup?

  10. That looks great Louise. I love all the big bits of onion. Thanks for submitting it :)

  11. Inspirational! I'm making this soup this weekend. Sometimes there are benefits of winter arriving - wholesome soup!

  12. Oooh Misk - let me know how you got on with it.

  13. This is a brilliant soup. I've just now made it, although not entirely to your ingredient list because ... well, just because that's the way I am. I use what's available in my kitchen, and buy as few items as possible when making a new recipe. I mean, what if I really thought this soup was barfy, and I'd bought an entire bottle of fish sauce? Why, I'd have that bottle taking up space in my kitchen until the cows came home, and I don't have cows. So that's a long time. However ....

    This is a wonderfully teasing, almost jolly soup with depth of flavour I've not tasted since sitting under an umbrella at the tip of Phuket's bay.

    I'll write up my alterations to your recipe during the week. Huge thumbs up!

  14. came over from dom's. the soup sounds brilliant! i'm a huge nigel slater fan, his recipes are always so good yet simple enough to try(:

  15. Shu Han - that's exactly why I like Nigel Slater's food! I'm a huge fan too.