Tom yam soup

Photographer: Emma
serves 4 as an entrée

I think it fair to say that food, alcohol and various states of inertia are the excesses which typically define the festive season.  And what’s more, to resist this trinity of evils it requires ineffable levels of self-control not conceivably mustered at this time of year.  So once the weeks of gluttony and sloth-like behaviour pass (which eventually they will out of necessity) you will be overwhelmed with a desire to administer untold doses of fruit and vegetables and to purge the cupboards of the evidence of the weeks passed.

So when the withdrawal symptoms begin to kick-in and the cravings start playing on your conscience let this soup be your holy grail.  Light, fresh and full of flavour it will sate your hunger and satisfy your cravings and is guaranteed to keep the guilt at bay.


1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
4 lemon leaves
2 long stalks lemongrass, finely sliced
2 litres chicken stock
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
5 mushrooms, cut into 8
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, finely sliced
¼ cup coriander


1. Saute the onions until soft then add the chilli, lemongrass and lemon leaves and fry for a further minute.
2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and cook for a further minute.
4. Divide the soup between 4 bowls and garnish with spring onions and coriander.