All posts filed under “Soups

Chicken broth Pho with homemade Kimchi

This week I would like to share part  two of Irma’s February post. The idea popped into my head whilst sampling a delicious Chicken Pho at my new local Vietnamese restaurant- I instantly thought I need to  make one of those at home.  So off… Read more

phoingredientsChicken broth Pho – serves 2-3

1 tbsp of coconut oil
4 small cloves of garlic- crushed or finely chopped
2 shallots sliced
1 medium hot chili – pierced or cut in half for more heat ( remove seeds to control the heat of the chili)
2 stalks of lemon grass sliced
3 inches of ginger finely chopped
4-6 organic chicken thighs – skinned
Spices : 2 whole star anise; 1 cinnamon stick; (spice mix for grounding: 1 tsp of coriander, 1/2 tsp of fennel, 1/2 tsp of dried ginger, 2-3 black pepper corns, 1 clove, 1 tsp of coconut sugar- alternative to own spice mix is 1-2 tsp of 5 Chinese spice )
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp tamari sauce
1.5 -2 litres of organic chicken stock
1-2 tsp of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

Phospices3Garnish per person

1/2  carrot finely sliced or shredded
1 Jerusalem artichoke finely sliced or shredded ( add some lemon juice, so it keeps its colour)
1 spring onion sliced
1 cup of Cavlo Nero or cabbage ( chopped and blanched with boiling water)
1- 2 tbsp mung bean and alfafa sprouts
1/4 fresh lime
1 cup of brown rice vermicelli noodles or courgetti (optional)
Extra chili sliced (optional)
A handful of fresh mint, coriander, Thai basil


First heat the oil in a large pot and cook garlic, ginger and shallots at medium to low heat until golden brown, then add spice mix and cook for a minute or two to enhance the flavour of the spices. Keep stirring to mix spices and other ingredients well. Next add chicken thighs, cook for a couple of minutes before adding hot chicken stock, fish sauce, lemongrass, star anise and cinnamon stick – cover with a lid and simmer at a low heat for 1.5-2 hours. The soup is ready when the chicken easily comes off the bone.

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the soup and strain the broth through a sift, return the clear broth to the pot and add tamari, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, simmer for another few minutes before serving. I like to keep the spices in the soup and tend to return them to the simmering broth for further infusion, but this is optional.

Shred the chicken with a fork, cover and set aside and prepare the brown rice vermicelli noodles as per instruction on the packaging, if you like to add some- once cooked, set aside in a bowl.

For freshness I usually prepare the other vegetables 10 minutes before serving, they look super nice served on a big plate together with the shredded chicken for guests or yourself to choose from.

Serve the piping hot broth in a nice deep soup bowl with fresh ingredients and vermicelli with a side of kimchi salad.


Irma’s rainy day gluten free banana pancakes

This spring has been a bit up and down and all around. One day it’s hot, the next freezing cold and the heating needs to go back on. The following morning you are looking for your flip flops and in the afternoon you find yourself… Read more


Gluten free mini banana pancakes – makes 12

80g of organic oat flour  ( simply ground oats in a coffee grinder)
50g of organic buckwheat flour
1 tsp of baking powder
120 ml organic nut or rice milk
4 small ripe fair trade organic bananas (2 for the pancake & 2 to garnish)
2 medium sized eggs
1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of maple syrup plus some extra to garnish
A pinch of salt, a dash of cinnamon and a handful of pecan or peanuts to garnish

Coconut & banana cream (optional)
1 cup of fresh coconut or one coconut yogurt
1 small organic fair trade banana
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp nut milk
A squeeze of lemon juice

If you want to add some extra banana flavour, start off with making a quick coconut & banana cream. Just put the 1 cup of fresh coconut, one small banana, a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of chia and 1 -2 tbsp of nut milk in the food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have fresh coconut you can use 1 small tub of coconut yogurt instead, there won’t be any need to add nut milk for that one. Once blended, leave to set in the fridge for about 20 minutes. You can either add it on each serving or spread some onto each layer of the banana tower.

For the pancake mix sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Next, whisk milk, eggs, oil and maple syrup together and pour into the flour mix, then add the mashed bananas and beat until you get a smooth batter. The easiest way to do all this is to put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, that way you ensure everything is mixed together well.

Leave the mix to sit for 15 minutes, you will see how it thickens and produces air bubbles.


Cut  a couple of bananas into equally slim slices and set aside, you will need these to layer your pancakes as you stack them into a small tower.


Next heat a small frying pan with a little coconut oil, add the first ladle of batter and cook until the top of the pancake starts to bubble, now it’s time to turn it over. Cook both sides until golden brown. Keep the temperature at medium heat to prevent burning the delicate pancake whilst it is cooking through.

Have a ‘pretty’ looking plate ready for the first pancake and whilst the next pancake is cooking away, add a layer of banana slices around the outer circle, here you would add the coconut banana cream layer as well. Carry on until you get until the 6th or 7th pancake before getting the next plate ready and repeat the process. This all depends on how  many hungry mouths you have to feed.

The final layer of each pancake ‘tower’ can be decorated with more banana slices or strawberries are pretty delicious with this combination, then add pecan nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey as a final finish – a real rainy day breakfast, any day dessert or afternoon treat.