Category Archives: Soups

Zingy courgette and pea soup

Cooking Time
30 mins

Serves
4

Ingredients
4 courgettes
250g frozen peas
150ml half fat creme fraiche
Juice of half a lime
1 finger chilli
3 cloves of garlic
750ml of chicken or vegetable stock
Splash of olive oil
Salt to season

This is a super zingy summer soup using courgettes and peas so it’s super healthy as well as tasty and so easy to make!

First heat the oven to 180 c and get a roasting tin/sheet ready.  Chop the courgettes into 2cm discs and add to the tin along with the chilli halved lengthways and the whole garlic still in its skin.

Add a good splash of olive oil to coat everything and a generous pinch of sea salt (about a tsp).

Roast the vegetables in the oven for about half an hour; halfway through move the mixture around so you get a colour on all the veg; they should be golden brown and cooked soft rather than brown!

If you have a blender the next bit is easy.  Simply add the courgette and chilli to the blender, squeeze out the garlic and add the garlic minus the skin; add the lime juice, a stock cube, hot water and creme fraiche and blitz to a  a smooth consistency.

If you don’t have a blender then do this in a pan and use a stick blender to  make the soup smooth and silky

Tom yum soup

Shell the prawns and set the meat aside. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium-high flame, and fry the shells until pink. Add 1 litre of water and bring to a simmer, then strain and discard the shells.

Return the prawn stock to a clean pan, and add the lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal. Bring to a simmer and leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then add the chillies and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the prawns and cook through until pink, then take off the heat and stir in the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Taste for seasoning, and then pour into bowls. Garnish with coriander or basil and serve immediately

Spiced Parsnip Soup

Method:

Heat the oven to 200C. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar. Put parsnips in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and scatter over the spice mixture. Toss the parsnips well to coat them. Roast in the oven for about half an hour or until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, fry the onion and celery in a pan until soft and slightly coloured. Add the potato and lentils and mix through. Add the stock and the roasted parsnips. Simmer until lentils are cooked, about 20 mins. Use a stick blender to whizz until smooth.

Spicy butternut squash soup

Method:

Heat the oven to 200C. Grind the coriander seeds, chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar. Put the squash in a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over the spice mixture and mix to coat well.

Roast in the oven until the squash is soft and golden at the edges.

Meanwhile, fry off the onions until soft, add the curry powder, lentils and stock and simmer. Add the squash when it is cooked and simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 20-30 mins. Add a pinch of garam masala and blend well with a stick blender until smooth.
(Use vegetable stock instead of chicken if you want this to be a vegetarian dish)

Winter minestrone

Method:

A great lunch for the winter months – warming, filling and healthy. Kale, an under-appreciated member of the cabbage family, is packed with bet-carotene, folate and vitamin C so should keep the sniffles at bay!

Heat some olive oil in a large soup pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry over a low heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes until soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for a few minutes before adding the carrot and pepper. Mix well and cover. Leave to sweat for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Check and stir occasionally.

Next, add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes or so before adding the pasta with another pinch of salt. Stir well and leave to simmer with the lid off until the pasta is nearly done. Add the kale and the beans and simmer until the kale is tender – about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and more salt if needed. Garnish with the parsley.

Italian pea and basil soup

Method:

This is such an easy soup to make. The basil gives it a lovely pungent flavour but you could also use mint to give a fresher flavour.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large pan and add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, for 30-40 minutes.

Add the peas and the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the basil and remove from the heat. Use a stick blender to whizz to a smooth soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the parmesan shavings on top and a drizzle of your best olive oil. Great served with crusty bread.

Spiced chickpea and vegetable soup

Method:

A warming and heathy soup, great for lunch.

In a large pan, gently fry the onion in some oil for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft and starting to caramelise.

Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Next, add the stock and vegetables along with some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.

Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Transfer about 4 ladlefuls of the soup to a jug and whizz to a puree using a stick blender. Return this to the pan and stir well. Pureeing some of the chickpeas and vegetables gives the soup a velvety texture.

To finish, squeeze in the lemon juice and taste to check the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1kg Ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Thyme sprig
  • 1 tsp Caster sugar
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 litre Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 Sun dried tomatoes
  • Maldon sea salt & pepper

Method:

Heat oven to 220C.

Put some olive oil in roasting tin and heat until smoking. Thinly slice the onions and tip them into the tray along with the tomatoes and the garlic (split in half). Coat in the oil and scatter over the fresh thyme sprig, sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 mins stirring occasionally.

Add the basil to the tin at the end of cookng and tip the mixture into a pan, discarding the thyme sprigs and the garlic. Add the hot stock and sun dried tomatoes. Cook for 5 mins.

Whizz the mixture using a stick blender and check seasoning

Spiced Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 Whole cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • About 5 gratings of nutmeg
  • 2 Tins tomatoes
  • 1 litre Vegetable stock
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of sugar
  • A dash of port (optional)
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped

Method:

Soften the onion in some olive oil and butter and then add the spices, tinned tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about half an hour.

Remove the cloves and bay leaves and whizz it in a blender or in the pan with a stick blender. Add the lemon juice and sugar and check the seasoning. Add the port (if using) and garnish with the chopped tomatoes.

Spicy chicken, lentil and coconut soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp each Fennel, cumin and coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, grated
  • 2 Red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 6 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Red or green chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Chopped ginger
  • 1 x 400g Can coconut milk
  • 200g Red lentils
  • 2 Chicken breast fillets, cubed
  • Fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • Fresh coriander
  • Juice of 2 limes

Method:

Dry roast seeds and crush lightly.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the leek, carrots, onion, bay leaves, 4 of the cloves of garlic, chilli, ginger and the spices. Cook over medium heat for 5 mins.

Add the coconut milk then 4 cans of water and add the lentils and bring to the boil. Simmer uncover for 20 mins.

Place the chicken, remaining garlic, mint and 2 tsp fish sauce and a quarter of the coriander in a food processor. Whizz until finely minced then chill for 10-15 mins. Roll into 30 small balls.
Add these to the soup, season with more fish sauce if necessary, and lime juice and simmer for 10 mins. Stir in remaining coriander and serve.