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  • Serves 4

  • 40 minutes

  • Moderate

  • Selection of seasonal vegetables:

    1 medium carrot
    5 chestnut mushrooms
    2 stems of purple sprouting broccoli
    1/4 cauliflower
    1/2 small turnip
    1 stick celery
    Large handful of black kale (cavalo nero)

  • To make the stock:
    Vegetable stems (from trimmed bro & cauli)
    2 lemongrass sticks, crushed & chopped
    3-4 tsp good quality veg stock

  • 2 banana shallots, finely diced

  • 2 cups of brown basmati rice

  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled & finely chopped

  • 1 small brown onion, finely sliced

  • 2 or 3 spring onions, finely sliced at angle (optional topping)

  • 2 cups of oil for frying

  • To serve, handful of fresh coriander and 2/3 fresh hot chillies, finely sliced (optional)

Khao Tom is a Thai-style vegetable & rice soup, traditionally eaten at breakfast. The rice is cooked in the broth, and the vegetables are easily adjusted to seasonal produce as well as your own personal favourites. I find this a fantastic start to the day, especially when I'm hungry or haven't eat well the day before. I've been making this since I returned from Thailand a week or so ago, and it keeps well in the fridge for a few days. It has been the perfect antidote to the cold and gloomy mornings we are enduring in the UK. My recipe here also includes the method for making crispy garlic. This is a key ingredient in Thai cooking and makes a flavourful topping for noodles and soups.


Dice the carrot, mushrooms, turnip and celery into 1cm pieces. Roughly chop the black kale. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower heads into small florets no bigger than 2cm. Set all the veg aside.

Add all the stock ingredeints to a large pan with 2 litres of water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes then remove from heat and leave to cool. Pour the stock through a sieve into a jug, removing the stems and lemongrass.

Place empty pan back on medium stove top with a tablespoon of oil, add the diced shallots and fry on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until translucent.

Prepare the crispy garlic by adding one cup of oil for frying to a small frying pan. Add the minced garlic to the cool oil and then place on medium high heat. When garlic starts to fry, stir well and reduce the heat to low. Keep stirring and frying gently until eventually the garlic starts to turn golden brown. Turn off heat and remove garlic with slotted spoon and place on kitchen roll to drain.

Using the same pan of oil, place back on medium high heat and then add the sliced onion. Top up the oil if needed. Fry until onions are deep golden brown and crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and drain excess oil  on kitchen roll. Set aside.

Add the strained stock and uncooked rice to the shallot pan, and bring to simmer. Cook the rice on medium heat for 10 minutes until about 75% cooked. Then add the diced vegetables (except the kale), 1 tablespoon of the crispy garlic and simmer for another 7 or 8 minutes until vegetables are just tender and the rice is al dente. Add the kale and stir well for another minute or so.

To serve, add a few large spoonfuls of the rice and vegetables to a deep bowl, top up with the broth, and sprinkle with crispy garlic, crispy onions and fresh coriander, if using. 

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