• Fish curry vermicelli noodle soup (Num Banh Chok) (Asia Unplated with Diana Chan)Source: Asia Unplated with Diana Chan
It's time to rethink the way you do soup, here's how.
3 Feb 2021 - 5:48 PM  UPDATED 8 Feb 2021 - 4:25 PM

--- Learn cooking techniques from across Asia with Diana Chan on the brand-new second season of Asia Unplated with Diana Chan, premieres Thursday 28 January on SBS Food, or stream it on SBS On Demand. ---


1. Go pig or go home

This mighty Mexican pork and white corn soup (pozole rojo) is traditionally made by simmering an entire pig’s head for half a day. Ours is less intimidating and stars the double whammy of pork – shoulder and ribs! You'll be nursing your satisfied belly for days after this. 

Mexican pork and white corn soup (pozole rojo)

2. The "next day" miracle

Ribollita is a simple Italian peasant dish of beans and leafy greens. Its name literally means “reboiled” and like any rustic soup, it just gets better with age. (Reheat in a saucepan, not the microwave, for best results.)

3. Get delicate with some noodles

At breakfast time in Cambodia, you'll find locals starting the day with the same colourful bowl of noodles, num banh chok. This revitalising dish varies across the country, and chef Jerry Mai's version from season two of Asia Unplated with Diana Chan is one of the most popular: rice noodles topped with fish curry, served with crisp raw vegetables and vibrant herbs.

Fish curry vermicelli noodle soup (Num Banh Chok)

4. I like the way you slurp it

In Japan, slurping is a sign of approval and appreciation for your meal. Knowing this, serve up our rich, thick and moderately spicy pork and udon soup, and really make a racket. Thanks to Feast magazine.

Spicy pork and miso udon noodle soup

5. Get one over on vampires

Moroccan chef Hassan M’Souli shares his recipe for vegetable and lentil soup. While it may look innocent, this dish calls for eight cloves of garlic, making it perfect for a weeknight meal and out of the question for those wanting to get fresh on a first date.

6. Want some soup with your meat?

Jewish beef short rib and meatball soup from Feast is, well, look at it. Meatlovers, come at it hungry and wielding a steak knife.

7. Lap up the compliments (hide the laksa paste)

When you're working 9-to-5, kitchen shortcuts can mean the difference between eating just after dark or just before midnight. This Malaysian cheat’s laksa combines fresh prawns with a store-bought laksa paste, halving the grunt work. Click here to watch how it’s made.

Malaysian laksa (cheat's laksa)

8. Know the rules of ramen

This tonkotsu ramen from Feast is for when you next happen to be working from home, seeing as it takes a whopping 6.5 hours to complete. But your ambition will be rewarded with a luscious creamy broth. A tip? Sucking in air along with the noodles will help to cool them down.

9. Add interest with toppings

You may have had sub-standard pumpkin soup from the workplace café, but thankfully that age is over. Rachel Khoo, host of The Little Paris Kitchen, sure knows how to accessorise her soup – and so this version comes topped with whipped cream, caramelised onions and crunchy pumpkin seeds.

10. Don't overcomplicate things

Rich and bursting with flavour, this slow-roasted tomato and capsicum number relies on the timeheld tenets of makin' soup: bake your vegies of choice, transfer to a pot with stock to simmer, blend until smooth. Thanks to our pals at the food dept.

11. Certain soups make winter look goooooood

With a squeeze of lemon juice, this satisfying, rustic-style puy lentil, potato and lemon soup from Feast is particularly refreshing. Dark winter days, begone.

12. If in doubt, throw in a boiled egg

Meet the Filipino answer to wonton soup. Its broth is the result of homemade chicken stock, smoked pork bones and annato powder for colour. Throw in a soft-boiled egg and – BAM! – it's breakfast. Hint: use leftover wonton wrappers to make pumpkin ravioli, rustic spinach tartlets or sweet parcels of Nutella.

13. All hail the king of comfort foods

It goes without saying, but Luke Nguyen's pho is a sure thing – the star anise-spiced broth runs proudly in his veins. Before you make haste for your local flourescent-lit Vietnamese eatery, make up a steaming bowl of this iconic beef and noodle soup at home. Watch and learn.

14. The weird and the wonderful

In some primary schools, it is completely kosher to place chips on a fluffy white roll and label it lunch. To prove that we never really grow up, this Mexican tortilla soup is a colourful riot of dried chipotle chillies, ripe tomatoes, shredded chicken, avocado and, well, corn chips.

For more hearty lunch ideas, check out our soup recipe collection here.

Pea and pancetta soup

Leftover parmesan rind is the secret ingredient that turns this soup into something very special, and skins from the potatoes are used like crunchy croutons. 

Thai breakfast rice soup (jok)

This is Thailand's breakfast of champions, a super-comforting soup. 

Spiced split lentil soup with fried eggplant

A comforting soup to welcome the change of season, but with a nod to summer just gone by in the way of crispy eggplant. It makes a lovely contrast to the creaminess of the soup.

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