Laksa + Veg Soup

This has got to be one of my all time go to soups & have been making for years and years.


Process the following ingredients in a food processor or blender until pureed as fine as possible (stop to scrape side occasionally).

— 6 long red chillies, seeded if desired, coarsely chopped (100g)
—1 large shallot, coarsely chopped (75g)
— 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (30g)
— 15 fresh coriander stems (5g)
— 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground coriander seeds
— 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
— 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
— A pinch of salt
— Makes about 1 1/4 cups (375g)


— Little oil
— 1 quantity Laksa Paste (see notes above)
— 2 lemongrass stalks, coarsely chopped (65g)
— 2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger (20g)
— 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
— 2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional
— Extra Large Chicken
— Prawns (optional for at end)
— 4 kaffir lime leaves (optional – so needed for me)
— 1/4 butternut pumpkin (about 350g), peeled, cut into 2.5cm chunks + any extra veggies you like (mushrooms, bok choy, snow peas, bean shoots etc)
— 200g thin vermicelli rice noodles, cooked
— 1 long red chilli, sliced
— 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
— Lime to serve


  1. Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and laksa paste and sauté for 8-10 mins or until the mixture is fragrant and caramelising on the base of the pot. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups (625ml) of water, coconut milk and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the whole chicken, breast-side up, and lime leaves, if desired. Cover and simmer for 50-55 mins or until chicken is cooked through or just add vegetables for veggie option.
  3. Carefully transfer chicken to a large plate. Set aside for 10 mins to cool. Remove chicken meat from bones, discarding skin, bones and cartilage, and coarsely shred the meat.
  4. Meanwhile, strain the poaching liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing as much liquid through as possible. Discard solids. Return the poaching liquid to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add pumpkin and simmer for 10 mins or until pumpkin is tender.
  5. Once pumpkin tender, add chicken meat and extra veggies/prawns to pot for 5 mins or until heated through. Season laksa with remaining fish sauce and salt.
  6. Divide noodles among bowls. Ladle over laksa and serve with chilli, coriander and lime wedges.

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Ilana K