Phil Vickery 2.jpg


By Phil Vickery


This is a base soup, you can add shrimp paste (blanchan) to deepen the flavour if you want. I add the noodles at the end, or sometimes they can become sticky if cooked for too long in the stock./p>


  • 1 small cauliflower cut in to very small florets say 2cm pieces
  • 1 x 420g can chickpeas, well drained
  • 4 tbsp any oil
  • 100g dried rice vermicelli


  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp fresh red chilli finely chopped
  • 2 small onions very finely chopped
  • 50ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon grass puree (jarred is great)
  • 1 x 10g vegetable stock cube


  • Roughly 300ml coconut milk
  • Roughly 200ml water approx
  • 1 -2 tbsp palm or light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • small handful beansprouts
  • 4 spring onions, sliced thinly and diagonally


  • Juice of two large limes
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Served with:

  • 2-3 tbsp roughly chopped with Thai basil
  • 2-3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
  • fresh sliced red chilli
  • lime wedges
  • cooked chicken or prawns


  • Pre heat the oven to 220 celsius
  • Heat the oil in an oven proof frying pan.
  • Add the chickpeas and brown slightly, then add the cauliflower and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Lightly brown and pop the pan into the oven and cook for 30 minutes to get a nice colour, but do not burn, but the more colour the better the end flavour.
  • Meanwhile, place the vermicelli into a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes to soften.
  • Next blitz all the ingredients for the paste in a blender or small stick blender until you have a paste.
  • Next heat a little oil in a wok and pour in the paste and cook for 2-3 minutes to cook through.
  • Add the coconut milk, water, sugar, fish sauce, beansprouts and onions and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the cauli is just cooked.
  • Season well with salt, pepper and lime juice.
  • Strain then place the vermicelli into 4 bowls evenly, the ladle over the hot veg broth.
  • Top with basil, coriander and fresh chilli and serve lime wedges separately.
  • If adding cooked chicken or prawns add at the point you add the cauliflower and chickpeas.

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