After Christmas I’m always eager to try out recipes from new cook books. This year, one of the books I was give is a small book entitled, Only 10 Minutes, published by Marks and Spencer (I would link to it but I can’t find it). After all the seasonal excesses I felt something hot, spicy and healthy was needed so chose a recipe for noodle soup. The flavours sounded great apart from the lack of vegetables so I added mushrooms, peppers and spring onions – I like soups to be packed with vegetables. The idea of the book is that all the recipes should take just 10 minutes. A nice idea but not really possible. It took almost 10 minutes just for the stock to come to the boil, but never mind. It is a good little book and will be great for quick after work dinners. There was enough for us to have seconds and the second helping was much tastier as the stock had had time to stand and more flavour had come out of the spices and chillies so next time I would simmer the stock for longer before adding the beef and vegetables. So yes, you can probably make this in about 15-20 minutes, but give it an extra 10-15 minutes at the beginning to simmer and you’ll appreciate the difference.
Ingredients – Serves 2
2 nests of rice noodles
250g beef, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
4 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, diced
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 red chilli (I’ll use 2 next time)
1.2 litres beef stock
How to make Vietnamese Beef Soup
1. Heat the stock with all the spices. When it reaches boiling point, let it simmer for at least 15 minutes.
2. Add the peppers, mushrooms, half the spring onions and beef. Bring back to the boil then simmer for about 2 minutes.
3. Cook the noodles according to the pack instructions, put them in the bottom of two bowls. Ladle the soup over the top. Top with the remaining spring onions.
4. Serve the lime on the side to squeeze over.