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Angkor Wat in Cambodia
the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
now a world heritage site
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Samlor Samlak Kaun Katt
Vegetarian Green Soup

phoca thumb l soup - green soup 

This dish isn't a typical Khmer dish -  more an Asian fusion (East meets West). It's a slight twist on the authentic Khmer dish called 'samlor samlak'. I modified this for my son who, like most kids, did not like eating vegetables.  With some single/double cream added to the soup, I managed to do the trick. He loved it (still does) and even christened it 'Green soup'.

The real 'samlor samlak' dish is one of the Khmer people's favourite dishes.  Normally prahok (Khmer fermented fish), lemongrass leaves and fresh fish are also included in this dish. Vegetables used vary from one region to another. Basically, most  vegetables such as pumpkin, bamboo shoot, spring green, baby watermelon and gourd are suitable for this.

Traditionally, we prefer this soup as a clear broth with vegetable pieces and fish.


Daeum Sleuk Krey
Lemongrass Bush
Its leaves are for making green curry paste 'Kroeung samlor praheur'

 Ingredient - Lemon Verbina for Lemongrass - thumbnailLemon Verbina
The best substutite for


Serves 4


Vegetable oil 2 tbsp
Large Onion 1 – peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic 2 cloves – peeled and roughly chopped
Large potato 1, peeled and roughly chopped
Courgettes 3- washed and roughly chopped
Lemongrass leaves 5 leaves (see photo below) - bruised and folded & tied into a small bunch (if not available use ¼ cup of lemon verbina, see photo below) - optional

Parsley 1 large bunch - thinly sliced, stems and leaves separated (roughly 1 cup of  finely chopped stems and 2 cups of roughly chopped leaves)
Spinach 1 handful – washed & patted dry
Butter 30g / 2 tbsp
Vegetable stock 4 cups (alternatively, melt 2 tsp of of vegetable stock powder in the same amount of boiling water)
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt 1
tsp or to taste

Single/double (heavy) cream
½ cup
French baguette 1 or croutons 1 cup
Coriander/cilantro leaves a few sprigs - for garnish
Roasted sesame seeds1 1 Tbsp - optional (available at Asian grocerey stores)


1. In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, fry garlic and onion for approx 1 minute or until translucent. Add the butter, courgettes, potatoes, parsley stems, and fry for 2-3 minutes. Pour in some vegetable stock to just cover the vegetables, add lemongrass, if using, and bring to the boil. Keep the remaining stock, if any, for later use.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture (with the wok/saucepan partly covered) for about 20-25 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Finally, mix in the parsley leaves and the spinach and continue to cook for a further minute. Remove lemongrass leaves, if using. (Note: leave in the lemon verbina, if using).  Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat. (At this stage, the soup is ready to eat if served in the Khmer traditional way)

3. However, if you are like most members of my family, blend the soup in a food processor to your desired consistency. You may have to do it in two batches.  Add some stock, if there is any left, or milk/water if the soup is too thick2.  

4. Reheat the soup before serving. To serve, ladle it into individual serving bowls,  add a swirl of cream and garnish with roasted sesame seeds, if using, and coriander leaves. Serve with French baguette or croutons.


1 Raw sesame seeds can be bought at supermarkets - (how to dry-fry them)

2 This soup freezes well - can be stored up to 3 months in the freezer. Leave it to thoroughly thaw (don't worry if it looks split) before warming it up.