09 May 2018


Fresh, fast and incredibly healthy – these are not words we necessarily associate with the food we love to eat in winter. Because let’s face it, when it’s cold out, flaky pies, rich stews and stodgy steamed puds are just so comforting. Of course there’s nothing wrong with the occasional bit of winter naughtiness. The emphasis just needs to be on ‘occasional’ and ‘bit’.

That doesn’t necessarily mean soul-destroying denial the rest of the time though because it’s so easy to pack winter meals with plenty of nutrients, loads of fibre plus bright zingy taste. The secret is in the spice ­­– in this case our incredibly versatile Cape Herb & Spice Thai 7-Spice. It contains (you guessed it) seven of the spices most associated with fragrant Thai cooking. Spices like warming chilli, perfumed lime leaves and basil, and earthy ginger and galangal. We used this spice blend as the base for a headily intense coconut broth and served it with large bowls of colourful veg.

-What You Need-


4 large spring onions, white parts only, finely sliced (reserve green part for use in vegetable stir fry)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1½ tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Thai 7-Spice

1 x 400ml tin coconut milk

500ml good quality chicken stock (use fresh stock or good liquid stock concentrate mixed with 500ml water)

4 slices fresh ginger

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced lengthwise in four and bashed a bit to release its fragrance (optional)

juice of half a lime


1 tspn minced garlic

1 tspn finely grated ginger

1tspn mild red or green chilli, sliced (optional)

Tenderstem broccoli

Sugar snap peas or mange tout

Baby corn


Exotic mushrooms like shiitake and shimeji

Baby pak choi or baby spinach

Green stems of spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal

Splash of vegetable oil for stir frying

Fresh coriander and basil, to dress

-What To Do-

To make the broth, fry the spring onions over low heat for a minute or two until they just start softening. Add the Thai 7-spice and fry for a few seconds more. Then add the rest of the broth ingredients and boil over low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger slices and lemon grass and add a squeeze of lime. Taste for salt and adjust if need be. Stir fry the vegetables with the fresh aromatics over high heat until done to your liking. Plate up the veggies in deep bowls, garnish with coriander and basil and serve with the warm broth in individual serving jugs or even a Chinese teapot.

This recipe makes enough broth to serve 3-4 people.

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at