Tom Yum Soup

This post is dedicated to my good friend, Emily, (poker name, The Duchess, but more on that later).

Without her there would be no Tom Yum Soup. Pre-children and before her much-resisted (by us) move to the big smoke, she would cook for us regularly.

Friday nights were spent at The Mad Moose opposite her house, and after time had been called at the bar, we’d all pile back to hers and Jayme’s (The Kaiser), often for food. No dirty kebab for us though. However much alcohol had been consumed, Em would be on it in the kitchen, and I’d stand in the doorway, amazed at what she could produce. Whole fish would be prepared, tempura batter whipped up, and sometimes hot, fragrant bowls of Tom Yum soup. Everything always tasted amazing, although I lacked Emily’s extreme tolerance for heat (chillis).

Nights at the pub were interspersed with epic poker evenings which never ended before 2am.

The evenings would always follow a similar script: much Jagermeister would be consumed, penalty shots would be issued for poor card-dealing and the game would swing wildly from ruthless to farcical. My poker drink of choice was ice-cold Cava with a shot of Amaretto, something else Emily introduced me to. A delicious drink if you haven’t tried it, but after several, it’s hard to follow the intricacies of a poker game.

The Kaiser would lose the will to live two hours in and would play very erratically before suddenly vanishing from the table. The first time this happened we became concerned, there’s not many places to hide in a small terrace, but lo and behold, he was found tucked up in someone else’s bed (Evil Lord Warwick and Three Queens’? It definitely wasn’t his own), with his shoes neatly put together at the foot of the bed in his very precise German way.

In amongst all of this drama would be Three Queens (Cat) who showed (I think) the greatest poker stamina and wiliness and who would often clear up at the end of the night, taking a substantial pot of money home with her.

My favourite poker night was when we all dressed up as gangsters (Bugsy Malone style) with black suits and ties, and us girls in black dresses. We walked down Newmarket Street like something out of Reservoir Dogs, and frightened the local youths, who beat a hasty retreat on their BMXs.

Those nights of revelry are long gone, (for the time being), but this Tom Yum soup always brings back great memories.

On a day like this, when Ollie and I have already fallen down three times on the ice (don’t wear fashion boots on the school run), you need something to warm the cockles of your heart.

Emily added noodles and pak choi to her Tom Yum which makes it a more substantial meal. This is what I did tonight. You can use the Tom Yum paste to make a very quick version, but sometimes this blows my head off, so I added the raw ingredients to give it it’s flavour instead.

The rice noodles unfortunately turned the stock cloudy, but it didn’t deter from the fragrant, tangy taste. Better than the slightly artificial taste of the Tom Yum paste.



4 thoughts on “Tom Yum Soup”

  1. YUMYUMYUM….love it ….want it …want it now . Meant to be working so mustn’t dally : but love the blog as much as the soup / your poker past life a revelation !!!!!!! 5 star cordon bleu top marks XX

    Liked by 1 person

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