Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up some energising summer Asian broths

Bill Granger has had a thirst for Asian broths ever since he went travelling in his twenties

Asian soups make the ultimate one-bowl meals, completely turning on its head the idea that soups are only for cold, winter days. Yes, of course they're restorative, thanks to their comforting and often fierce clear broths. But more than anything else I find them invigorating – a light, yet filling pit stop in the middle of a busy day, or the perfect meal to end it.

I first fell in love with them during a trip to Indonesia in my twenties, when I saw taxi drivers, students and businessmen slurping noodle soup for breakfast. I've since had them in Thai markets and ramen bars in London, Sydney and Tokyo; basically wherever and whenever I get the opportunity.

As with all food trends, some fans are probably taking it all too seriously – becoming almost fanatical in their search for the perfect broth. For me, it's all about a quick, cleansing, satisfying meal that can be enjoyed whatever the weather.

Hot-and-sour soup with curried fish cakes

I love those sinus-cleansing soups you get in northern China. Here I've been inspired by their use of sourness and tomatoes, but also looked to the flavours of Thailand for fragrance and heat.

Serves 4

For the fishcakes

500g firm white fish
1 tbsp red curry paste
3 lime leaves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Juice 1 lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
Handful coriander, chopped

For the soup

3 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp light-flavoured oil
1 litre chicken stock
3 slices fresh ginger
2 kaffir lime leaves
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 baby pak choi, halved
Juice 1 lime
2 tbsp fish sauce

To serve

Small bunch mint
Small bunch coriander

Place all the ingredients for the fishcakes in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together, without becoming completely smooth. At this stage it might be too soft to shape, so chill in the fridge for 30 minutes if needed. Then, with wet hands, shape into golf-ball-sized fishcakes. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed.

For the soup, fry the curry paste in oil, add the chicken stock, 500ml of water, the ginger and lime leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fishcakes and pak choi and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until the fishcakes are cooked. Season the soup with lime juice and fish sauce. Ladle into four bowls and serve with fresh herbs, for everyone to add to taste.

Clam and brown rice miso

You often get a few clams at the bottom of your miso soup in Japan. They give a beautiful salty seafood quality to your soup. With a bit of brown rice and maybe some steamed spinach on the side, I'd happily have this clean, light broth as a weekday meal.

Clam and brown rice miso is a clean, light broth that can be served as a weekday meal Clam and brown rice miso is a clean, light broth that can be served as a weekday meal (Tamin Jones)
Serves 4

500g clams
30g of butter
½ tsp chilli flakes
2cm ginger, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp mirin
300g cooked brown rice
100g mangetout, shredded
3 spring onions, shredded
2 tbsp white miso paste

Melt the butter in a wide-based, shallow pan over a moderate heat. Add the chilli and ginger and fry until fragrant. Tip in the clams and pour in the mirin. Cover and steam over a high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the clams have opened. Discard any that remain closed.

Divide the rice between 4 bowls. Top with the clams and cooking juices, mangetout and spring onion. Stir the miso paste into a jug with 800ml of boiling water from the kettle. Pour into the soup bowls and serve.

Chicken curry soup

Comforting, yet light and summery, this cure-all broth is Asia's answer to chicken noodle soup.

Bill's chicken curry soup is comforting, yet light and summery Bill's chicken curry soup is comforting, yet light and summery (Tamin Jones)
Serves 4

1 tbsp light-flavoured oil
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 lemon-grass stalk, cut into thirds
1½ tbsp curry powder
750ml chicken stock
400ml tin coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
500g chicken-breast fillets
150g choi sum, cut into lengths
250g rice noodles, soaked in water, drained and rinsed
Handful beansprouts

For the Onion relish

1 white onion, finely sliced on a mandoline
Handful coriander leaves
1 red chilli, cut in rounds
Juice ½ lime
1 tsp caster sugar

Combine all the ingredients for the relish in a bowl and set aside

For the soup, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon grass and cook for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock, 750ml of water, coconut milk, fish sauce and caster sugar. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the choi sum and remove from the heat. Leave for 3 minutes. Lift out the chicken and shred into large pieces. Divide the noodles between four bowls, top with the beansprouts and chicken. Ladle over the soup and serve with the relish.

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill_granger

Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'