Recipes 7-SPICE - 7-VEG BROTH


Prep 15 mins
Cooking 15 mins
Serves 2-4

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.


  • 4 lrg spring onions (white parts only), finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp THAI 7-SPICE
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 500ml good quality chicken stock
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced lengthways and bashed a bit
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp mild red/ green chilli, sliced
  • Tenderstem broccoli
  • Sugar snap peas/ mange tout
  • Baby corn
  • Carrots
  • Exotic mushroom mix
  • Baby pak choi/ baby spinach
  • Green stems of spring onions, finely sliced on diagonal
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Fresh coriander and basil, for garnish


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