Made from scratch, the curry paste for this soup is quick and delicious and can be made ahead up to 3 days (or even longer if frozen).
Get creative with the garnishes! Almost any vegetables sliced thin are great-julienned cucumber or carrot, mint or basil leaves, crushed peanuts or cashews, broccoli, purple cabbage or precooked squash.
For the paste, first process the cashews very finely in a food processor (or high powered blender). The smaller they are the better as this will help add "thickness" or body to the soup. Once chopped, add garlic, lemongrass, shallot, chilis, and cilantro stalks and process until they are a coarse paste then add remaining ingredients and process again until smoothly combined. (It should be a rough paste)
Heat a soup pot on medium-low heat, add oil and then saute laksa paste (reserve 1 tbsp to stir in at end) until it turns slightly darker and cooks through. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Add coconut milk and stir until well combined, add stock, water, fish sauce and remaining tbsp of Laksa paste and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt or fish sauce as desired.
Meanwhile fill 4 large soup bowls about 1/2 full with prepared rice noodles and set aside.
Add fish and simmer until just cooked, approximately 3-5 minutes. 1 minute before it is finished, add in the bok choy and let cook just until wilted.
Spoon fish, broth and bok choy over noodles in bowls and garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges. Bring a jar of sambal oelek to the table so everyone can season to taste and enjoy :-)