Zingy courgette and pea soup

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! Continue reading “Zingy courgette and pea soup”

Tom yum soup

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

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

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

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

Spiced chickpea and veg 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.

Tuscan bean soup

Ingredients:

  • 125g Pancetta, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Stalks celery, de-stringed and finely chopped
  • 1 Tin plum or chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Litre chicken stock
  • 2 Tins of beans (borlotti, cannellini etc), drained and rinsed
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • A handful of fresh basil

Method:

In a large pan, fry the pancetta with the onion and celery in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes and stock along with the rosemary. Add salt and pepper and cook for about half an hour. Add the beans and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the beans are warmed through. To serve, tear the basil leaves and mix through. Check seasoning and grate over some parmesan.

Crab and coconut soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 50g Ginger, grated
  • 3 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Red chilli, chopped
  • 1 Stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 400ml Chicken stock
  • 400ml (1 tin) Coconut milk
  • 400g White and dark crab meat
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Dash or 2 of soy sauce to taste
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Method:

Fry the onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and sweat until soft and golden.  Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Break crab meat into chunks and add to the soup. Heat through.  Season with the lime juice and soy.

Cream of watercress soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Medium potato, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 25g Butter
  • A dash of olive oil
  • Small bag of watercress, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
  • A good grating of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500ml Vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tbsp Double cream

Method:

Fry the onion in the butter and oil until soft but not coloured. Add the potato and fry for a few minutes before adding the watercress and nutmeg.

Add the stock and seasoning and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the potato is cooked through (the time will depend on how big or small you have cut your potatoes).

Remove from the heat and blend using a stick blender until really smooth. Return to the heat, ad cream and warm through. Check seasoning before serving.

Classic French onion soup

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 Large onions
  • 1-1.5 Litres chicken stock
  • Good slug white wine (about 2 glasses)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • Butter and oil for frying

Method:

Peel and slice the onions.  Heat butter and oil in a large pan and add sugar and bay leaf.  Add the onions and fry on medium heat for 15-20 mins, stirring, until well caramelised.

Add the wine. Deglaze the pan and leave until wine has reduced by half.  Add stock and simmer for 15-20 mins.  Remove bay leaves. Take 2-3 ladles of soup and blitz to a smooth puree. Add this back to pan and stir to thicken.

Season well with salt and black pepper.  Serve with garlic croutons and grated gruyere cheese

Italian vegetable soup (zuppa di verdure)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large white onion, chopped
  • 3 Medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Medium sized carrots, chopped
  • 2 Sticks celery (white middle bits), chopped
  • 1 Fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Courgettes, chopped
  • 1 Red pepper, chopped
  • 1 Litre vegetable stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper
  • Garnish (optional):
  • 100g Ricotta
  • 50g of the soft middle bit of a white loaf, torn into pieces
  • Tabasco
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Method:

This recipe was translated from an Italian food magazine. It’s a really lovely summer soup, fresh and tasty.

In a large pan, gently fry the onions in a good slug of olive oil until they start to soften.

Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, fennel and garlic and fry for a few minutes, mixing well. Add a pinch of salt, mix through, cover and reduce the heat right down. Let the vegetables sweat for about 10-15 minutes until softened. Check and stir occasionally to make sure they are not catching on the bottom of the bottom of the pan.

Add the courgettes and red pepper, fry for a further few minutes before adding the stock. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are all tender.

Using a stick blender, whizz the soup to your preferred consistency. We like it slightly chunky, still with a bit of texture – rustic stylee. Check seasoning before serving.
For the garnish, combine the ricotta, bread, a dash of Tabasco, a slug of olive oil and a little salt. Squeeze through a potato ricer onto each bowl of soup just before serving.