In my post http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2009/05/friday-shoot-out-red.html
I posted one of my favourite soup, Thai Tom Yum Khong soup. Tom Yum is basically a sweet sour spicy soup. Khong is prawn. You can have a basic soup base, and then add your own fish, prawns, chicken, pork,mussel and so on.
I have many friends and relatives who are Westerners, so depending on who I am feeding, I can make my soup so hot that you have fire coming out of your ears, or I can make a mild soup which is more suitable to a Westerner's palate.
Apart of baking, my cooking can be modified. If you don't like garlic, you don't have to use it.
My basic ingredients:
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 onion roughly chopped
1 half of your thumb size ginger, smashed.
Brown the above in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. (Don't use Olive oil)
1 medium sized tomato cut into 8 pieces.
1 tablespoon of instant Tom Yum Paste, more if you want it more spicy.
pour one pint of boiling water to the above.
1 Tablespoon sugar,
1 teaspoon salt, (your taste)
If you are in a hurry, once the soup is boiling, and tomatoes are soft.
Add your meat or seafood, meat should be cut into thin slivers, so don't cook too long)
You can use either shelled prawns or leave the shell on. If shell, cook very quickly.
If you are not in a hurry, let the soup simmer.
Optional ingredients, if available in your area. Cilantro, (Chinese Celery), lime or lemon juice, tamarind paste or juice.
Just experiment until you get it to suit your taste.
Serve with steamed rice or soften rice vermicilli or bean/cellaphane noodles aka Tung Fern.
This is for all of you, especially you, patty