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Verses from my Kitchen: Sunday Soup Series: Hot & Sour Noodle Soup with Shrimp

November 20, 2011

Sunday Soup Series: Hot & Sour Noodle Soup with Shrimp

Sunday. With her relaxed personality and character, she can disarm you and uncover you. Your weaknesses and insecurities fall away and, for one day, you take refuge in her presence. The last day of the week plays out unlike the rest, choosing a different path, less strained and complicated. Now, after a lifetime resenting all she had to offer, I succumb to her charm. Each week. Every time.

Things have changed. Forever different. It took me that long to give in.

As a young boy growing up I looked at the less glamorous of the weekend days as the one that stood between me and a new school week. And the moment we finished dinner it was just a matter of time. When. I could hear my internal clock striking one second hand after another, ticking away and getting louder and louder. The routine continued until my parents ushered me upstairs, effectively closing the chapter on the weekend. It was there that I lay awake, refusing to shut my eyes on freedom.

These days things are different. The responsibilities that grow along with you change the way you view the week. Live the week. The days of the week unfold like dominoes, gaining momentum as the days fall off. It`s during the weekend that you regain your sanity and breathe. Long, deep breaths.

If Saturday is hurried, Sunday is deliberate. Like today. Everything about it is deliberate and easy. It started that way when the cold morning light pushed through our screen and hit our eyes. Nature`s wake up call. The pace was easy, free and stretched. The recent routine of life nearly jarred me from the bed. But this Sunday held nothing in store for us. Except what we had in store for it. So there was a moment to linger beneath the comfort of home before I snuck away.

The first thing I`ll do is run a pot of coffee. My wife sends me off each week with a fresh cup that she leaves warm in my hands, so on Sunday I take control. As my eyes fight for familiarity, I can hear the coffee fast at work. I wake her up with a cup and a reminder of all that we have on the calendar. Nothing.

We spent the morning editing pictures and catching up on past projects. I took a gap in the morning as my chance to work my way into the kitchen and start a pot of this soup. A reason to break up the day and come back together. And after a few hours spent staring at a screen, it was a welcome relief.

The two of us talked over the weekend. The shoot from the day before and some new friends we met during the process. We played out the rest of the day in our heads, noting all the things we needed to cross off. But we`ll do it at our pace. One small bit at a time. We take after Sunday. Slow and deliberate and sure.

Sunday has become our saving grace. Our chance to catch up and slow down. An opportunity to share a bowl of soup, something delicious but easy, and escape the hectic pace of life and the impending winter frost. The chance to do it as we want. When we want to do it.

Sunday is my new favourite day. It`s everything it never used to be. To me. She disarms me and relaxes me and lets me fall into her. Over and over again. And when we finish dinner the fear no longer visits. I suffocate it with the love from my family as we spend the last of the day together. Scraping out every last bit we can. Each week. Every time.

From my kitchen to yours,


Hot & Sour Shrimp Noodle Soup

  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • small piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 900 ml vegetable stock
  • 200 grams large rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 thick red hot chilli pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 tiger shrimp, tails on
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • small handful of cilantro leaves
  1. Add the oil to a large saucepan and add in the ginger over high heat. Fry for a few seconds and then pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. While the stock heats up, cook the rice noodles according to direction. For large noodles, boil for 6 minutes and then drain. Keep warm.
  3. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot chilli and garlic to the stock and reduce heat, simmering for 5 minutes. Add in the shrimp and continue simmering for a further 5 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked.
  4. Add the lime juice, sugar and green onions and cilantro to the saucepan. Season to taste.
  5. Run the noodles under hot water to prevent sticking and divide among two bowls. Remove the shrimp and set aside. Pour the stock over top and arrange the shrimp on top. Add a bit of fresh cilantro on top to garnish.


At November 20, 2011 at 2:52 PM , Blogger Mike said...

I want a bowl of this right now, looks so good! Beautiful pictures!

At November 20, 2011 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Wenderly said...

I now embrace Sunday as well. Used to be a day of mounting stress and panic that would grow as each hour passed. For years I struggled with the impending doom of a Sunday. I know look forward to the peace and calm that *she* offers. You said it perfectly, I now "take refuge in her presence."

Another gorgeous post Mike. And beyond exquisite photos!

At November 20, 2011 at 3:23 PM , Anonymous argone said...

How sweet ... I love sundays ... and soup !

At November 20, 2011 at 5:49 PM , Anonymous Dax said...

Well stated. Great writing.

At November 21, 2011 at 8:31 AM , Anonymous Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

great write up Mike. It goes perfectly well with the warm and beautiful soup. Now only if I had a bowl too :-)

At November 21, 2011 at 9:36 AM , Blogger Maria said...

What a lovely bowl of soup!

At November 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM , Anonymous Sneh | Cook Republic said...

Beautiful food! Absolutely stunning in its colours, texture and presentation!

At November 21, 2011 at 6:02 PM , Anonymous naomi said...

I love your Sunday. Food as always is so tasty, so beatifully photographed and your writing is sublime. I'm at work reading it and feeling so relaxed.

btw-I love the way you write about your wife and your life together.

At November 21, 2011 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Liren said...

Your Sundays are the kind I dream of. To relax, reconnect, and savor. So beautifully written and photographed. Wishing you both many Sundays like this.

At November 22, 2011 at 12:39 AM , Blogger zohra said...

Soup for the soul soup for the spirit
Sunday was meant to be a day of rest
Silence, senses and sensations
Slowing down for the week ahead
Strange, isn’t it how someone knew
So long ago that we would need
Sunday; the day that He had blessed.

Thank you for the langour of this post! I enjoyed it, the recipe too.
Rohini http://www.fictionpals.com

At November 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM , Blogger The Cilantropist said...

Oh how I am craving a bowl of this soup right now... and a relaxed Sunday! This past sunday I had a lovely thanksgiving meal with friends, and that was the most relaxed day I have spent in a long time - I am so looking forward to the new year when projects will be less busy, and I can linger over the weekend. And make your soup. :)

At November 22, 2011 at 7:41 AM , Blogger Lila said...

I found the paradise! Here is a beautifull! :)

At November 22, 2011 at 7:50 AM , Blogger Angie's Recipes said...

The noodle soup looks so fresh and appetizing!

At November 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM , Anonymous Charissa said...

Great Scots! This looks super duper amazing...kind of what I want right now for lunch! :)

At November 22, 2011 at 11:04 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

Oh, I just adore everything about this post. The words, the image you created, the pictures, the recipe. You are SO talented!

At November 23, 2011 at 3:22 PM , Blogger Wendy Lewicki said...

I love you.

At November 28, 2011 at 4:27 PM , Anonymous cluttercafe said...

For a long time now I have admired your recipes on TK and have been adding them to my recipe box, but have never taken the time to jump over to your site as the kids are yelling and the hockey rink is calling. But today your soup photo was so delicious, I had to take a bite and come over to your site. I am so very glad I did. Your writing is as beautiful as your photos. And from now on I will make sure I visit regularly. As a new blogger you are inspirational.

At November 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Anonymous Verses from my Kitchen said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

@cluttercafe I'm so glad you dropped in. Thanks for the kind note. I started this blog just over a year ago. Keep blogging and it will all come together!


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