Something very strange and mystifying has happened, I’ve joined a gym. No longer happy with my soft fleshy physique, I’ve decided to take action. Over the past year, I’ve actually managed to lose a stone through healthy eating, stress and gastroenteritis (good old gastroenteritis) so I’m pretty happy. However, with weight-loss does not come toning my friends, so my body is literally a load of flesh wrapped around some bones, not a muscle in sight.
The final straw came when I recently attempted to do a press up, just the one. I lowered myself down pretty successfully but when it came to coming back up, it simply didn’t happen. So I just lay there grunting and cursing my weak upper body, my face squished into the carpet. ‘Well this is a new low’ I remember thinking along with ‘I really should hoover’.
So I joined a gym, bought a little padlock for my locker, a cool looking water bottle and decided I would go everyday for the rest of my life. First of all though, I’d have to get through my stupid induction, (sigh) can’t we just skip it? While we’re at it, can’t we just skip to my body looking like Jennifer Aniston’s please? Gym inductions are stupid. I don’t need a gym induction to strut around and pretend like I know how to use everything, that’s what everyone else does right? Anyway regardless, I went to my induction and got well and truly broken.
“Can’t you just show me how to use the machines ‘in theory’ and I’ll do it myself next time?”
“No” said my induction master (that’s what they’re called these days) “You learn by doing not watching, now give me another ten.”
“Ten??!!!” When did ten become a thing?
Forty minutes later I emerge very pink, breathless and appear to have lost the ability to move both my arms and my legs. So this is what being fit feels like? Poor Jennifer Aniston.
Anyway enough of that, lets talk about this rather lovely coconut soup I created to keep those love handles at bay. I adore Thai green curry but after a long day at work, I tend to just want something quick and easy but with similar flavours. This is it. Enjoy!
Fragrant Coconut Soup
Serves a generous 2 / takes 25-30 minutes / Vegan
2 cans of light coconut milk
1 veg stock pot or stock cube (I use knorr vegetable stock pots)
3 sticks of lemon grass, bashed with a rolling pin (this releases the flavour)
Half a white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 medium sized red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 knob of ginger, grated
2 tsp caster sugar
28g bunch coriander
1 nest rice noodles
2 tsp red miso paste (or 2tbs of soy sauce)
5 chestnut mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 bulbs of pak choy, roughly chopped
3 Chinese leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1. In a large saucepan, add the 2 cans of coconut milk, vegetable stock cube or pot, chopped onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, bashed lemongrass and sugar. Roughly chop the coriander stalks (saving the leaves) and add to the coconut milk.
2. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook your rice noodles in small saucepan according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and cover in a stream of cold water until completely cold (this will stop the noodles from continuing to cook). Drain again and divide the noodles into two large soup bowls. Put to one side.
4. Turn your attention back to the soup and give it a quick stir. Roughly chop the remaining coriander leaves, Chinese leaves, pak choy and mushrooms.
5. After 15 minutes your soup should be well infused and fragrant. Over a large bowl, carefully pour your soup through a sieve. Discard the contents of the sieve and pour the remaining soup back into your saucepan.
6. Stir through 2 tsp of red miso paste and add the pak choy, mushrooms and Chinese leaf. Give it a good stir and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes or until the veg is tender. Take the saucepan off the heat, squeeze over the lime juice and stir.
6. Finally, ladle over the cooked noodles and top with fresh coriander. Devour.
If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org