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Tom Hunt’s Post-Festival Feed 

So you’ve packed up your tent, scrubbed off the last bits of stubborn glitter, and returned to a (semi) normal human state after yet another fabulous, frivolous, frenetic Shambala festival. We bet you’re in need of a detox: thankfully festival veteran Tom Hunt, author of The Natural Cook and founder of festival café and restaurant Poco, has the recipe that just might save you….


Pho Chay

I call this my mega-amazing-rejuvenating-super-soup and eat it whenever I’m feeling in need of a detox. The chillies and the fresh vegetables replenish and refresh. This recipe is simple to prepare and very enjoyable. If you do have any vegetables left in your fridge post-festival use them up in the stock.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6) 

  • 300g broccoli, cut into florets, offcuts kept for stock
  • 120g shiitake or chestnut mushrooms, stalks removed for stock
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 150g vermicelli rice noodles, or soba
  • 1 lemongrass, outer layer removed and kept for stock
  • 1ltr water

For the stock: 

  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • Small piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • Small thumb of ginger grated, skin and all
  • 1 clove garlic, grated

To serve (lay out on platters): 

  • 1 chilli, sliced on the angle, put the top in the stock
  • 100g bean sprouts or home-grown sprouts
  • 2 spring onions, sliced long and thin
  • 1 lime cut into quarters
  • Small bunch of coriander, mint and basil, stalks kept for stock
  • Tamari or soya and chilli sauce

Method – preheat oven 190°C 

1) First make the stock. Pour the water into a large saucepan. Add the grated garlic, ginger, onion and carrot. Add the clove, cinnamon and star anise. Then add all the trimmings and titbits saved from the vegetable prep. Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Place a sieve over a large bowl or saucepan and pass the liquid through it. Compost the stock vegetables, return the liquid to the pan and put on a low heat.

2) Prepare the rice noodles. Soak them in cold water for 10 minutes, drain, then pour boiling water over them and leave for 3 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Split the cooked noodles evenly between the bowls. Decorate the top of each with some of the spring onion, bean sprouts, a piece of chilli and sprig of coriander.

3) When your bowls and toppings are ready and on the dining table bring the stock back up to a rolling boil.  Add the chopped lemongrass, garlic, shiitake, carrot and broccoli. Boil for 3 minutes.

4) Serve at the table. Ladle hot stock and vegetables into everyone’s bowls. Allow everyone to add their own chilli, herbs and soya sauce.

Storage: Best eaten ultra fresh but will keep for 4 days.


Cook’s Notes and variations:

Bean sprouts come in unnecessarily large packets: try sprouting your own; there are lots of guides on YouTube. Otherwise add the surplus to your salads and stir-fries over the next few days.

To make Pho Ca. Add 100g of diced fish such as bass, salmon or trout to the bowls of noodles and then ladle the hot stock over the top. The fish will cook through perfectly.

To make cream of broccoli soup with goat’s cheese. To feed two people blend 200g of blanched broccoli with 250ml of the cooking liquid and 50g of goat’s cheese until smooth. Serve hot with more goat’s cheese on top.


Tom is an acclaimed eco-chef who works on projects throughout the UK to revive our cooking heritage and help reduce food waste. Follow his blog for more info and recipes: