Posted: 16 February 2017

Put the lemsip down, forget the vapour rub and bin the painkillers. If you’re self medicating that winter cold this sensationally fresh, spiced Thai broth is so good, the NHS should be giving it out as a prescription.

Which is not just to say that its only for the infirm or anemic amongst us. No, this wondrously fragrant dish, that would kick start a dinner party, or liven up the most unenlightened bore at the table, is the perfect way to fortify yourself until springs awakening.

We usually make it with chestnut mushrooms, but button or oyster mushrooms would work equally well. If you can’t get hold of palm sugar, just use dark brown sugar instead.

And if all that hasn’t got you rushing to the kitchen, pans crashing, burners on, it is both vegan, and gluten free

This recipe is also in the mildreds cookbook, head here to get yours





7 tomatoes, cut into quarters

sesame oil or other light cooking oil (such as rapeseed, groundnut or sunflower)

1 white onion, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 bird’s eye chillies, trimmed and roughly chopped

6-cm (2.5-inch) piece of peeled freshroot galangal or ginger, roughly chopped

3 lemon grass stalks, bashed with a rolling pin and cut into 3.5-cm (1V-inch) pieces

1 bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated

10 lime leaves

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

70g (2.75oz) palm sugar or dark

brown sugar

2 tablespoons tomato purée

2 litres (3.5 pints) vegetable stock

500g (1lb) chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and halved

juice of 2 limes

salt and pepper


Using a spoon, scrape the seeds from the tomato quarters. Set the seeds aside and roughly chop the flesh. Warm a splash of sesame oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, chillies and galangal or ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes until the onion has softened slightly. Add the lemon grass pieces, reserved tomato seeds, coriander stalks and lime leaves and sauté for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the tamarind paste, sugar and tomato purée to the pan and give everything a good stir before adding the stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In another saucepan, heat a splash of oil over a medium heat, add the mushrooms and cook until just tender. Strain the broth through a sieve, add the cooked mushrooms, chopped tomato flesh, coriander leaves and lime juice and ladle into bowls. Serve immediately.