Happy Christmas everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful time ! I am finally at home in Germany, looking forward to a few days of fun with family and friends and most importantly some delicious food ! I already got to sample lots of… Read more
All posts filed under “Soups”
Simple Crimini button mushroom soup
Inspired by some very pretty looking mushrooms at my local green grocers, I thought I would make a nice and easy mushroom soup . I love quick & delicious dishes as they really make a big difference to a busy day. And of course no… Read more
Crimini button mushroom soup– Serves 3-4
400 g crimini mushrooms – sliced
1 medium sized onion or a couple of shallots – sliced
2-4 tbsp of olive oil
25 g of ghee ( or butter)
1-2 springs of fresh thyme
750 ml of vegetable or chicken stock
Fresh flat leaf parsley ( optional -another one for the window sill)
1 tbsp of dried mushrooms -soaked in the vegetable stock
Pepper, sea salt, (Parmesan to garnish – optional)
Peel and finely slice the onion and set a side. Prepare the stock in a jug or separate pan, boiling 750ml of filtered water (quickest way to do it is to use a kettle), add the chicken or vegetable stock cube or homemade stock, stir until dissolved and add table spoon of dried mushrooms to enhance the flavour of the stock. Carefully wash the mushrooms, cut off the dry end of the stem, then finely slice and set a side.
Take another handful to keep aside for the topping (optional). For the soup: heat the olive oil and sweat the shallots for 2-3 minutes, then add thyme and mushrooms and cook for another 3-4 minutes, before adding the stock. Leave to simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
Set pot aside and leave to cool down for 5 minutes, then blend until smooth, towards the end of the blending process add the 1 tbsp of ghee . As for what to use for blending the soup, I usually use a handheld blender as it is very quick to clean, but the most smooth results you will get in using a food processor or blender. Once blended well, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serving options: just on its own or topped with a tbsp of sauteed mushrooms, freshly chopped flat parsley, some Parmesan shavings, finely chopped roasted chestnuts when in season, serve with freshly baked sourdough or multi-seed bread.
Bon Appétit !!
Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
The winter season is soup season ! I just love having a warming soup after a walk on Hampstead Heath on a cold winter’s day or after coming home from work, having frozen my feet off. And pumpkin soup is always a winner. I love… Read more
Pumpkin & Coconut Soup – Serves 3-4
1 medium sized Tom Fox pumpkin ( or any variety you can find) peeled & cubed
3-4 carrots ( peeled & slices)
2 shallots ( diced)
3-4 cm of ginger
1/2 small orange ( grated skin )
Vegetable stock ( enough to cover the pumpkin cubes & carrots well)
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 can of coconut milk/cream
1 small dried chili or 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of cumin powder
1cm vanilla pod ( optional)
Himalayan salt & pepper
Pumpkin seed oil ( optional)
Cut the pumpkin alongside the marks, so you ‘ll end up with pumpkin slices. Once sliced, it will be a lot easier to cut away the skin. If you can find a Hokkaido pumpkin you won’t need to peel off the skin, as it is edible. Remove the seeds but don’t throw them away as you can roast them in the oven and use as a nutritious garnish for the soup, add to a salad or nibble on as a snack. Just dry them off a bit, add some olive oil so they are lightly coated, season with ground cumin, Ras el Hanut or some Himalayan salt, spread on baking paper and bake at 180 degrees until crisp, keep turning during the process so they crisp up evenly.
Set the pumpkin cubes aside and peel and slice carrots and ginger, then also set aside. Heat the coconut oil in a pot add diced shallots, turmeric, cumin and ginger and sweat for a couple of minutes, taking the pot off the hob as the oil gets really hot and might burn the spices. Now add pumpkin and carrots and cook for a few minutes, keep stirring before adding the stock and the dried chili or chili powder. If you have some fresh vanilla pods you can add 2cm to the cooking process. Simmer until pumpkin and carrots are tender, this will only take about 15-20 minutes.
Whilst the soup is simmering, start preparing the orange and the coconut cream. Grate the skin of half of a small orange and set a side. Once the vegetables are tender, you can start blending the soup, adding some of the orange peel and the coconut milk during the process, keep on checking for taste, so you don’t add too much as it is always a bit tricky to correct. A hand blender will work fine but a food processor or proper blender make the soup a lot smoother. Once blended add salt and pepper for taste. To top you can add some toasted pumpkin seeds and or a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, super yummy!
Beetroot is a not everyone’s cup of tea, either you love it or you hate it. I love them raw, juiced, pickled, cooked, baked or in form of crisps . Freshly available from July until October, they are a rich source of folic acid ,… Read more
Beetroot Soup – serves 3-4
400g beetroot, peeled (organic if possible)
200g organic carrots, washed and sliced
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion ( cut into small dice or rings), 3-4 small carrot (peeled and cut into slices)
1/2-1 cm of ginger ( peeled and crushed in garlic press)
1 small bay leaf , 1-2 cardamom seeds ( crushed) , 1 star anise (optional)
1-1.5l of stock ( chicken, beef or vegetable)
2-3 tbsp of turmeric, 1-2 tsp of cumin seeds , 1 whole dried chili (or 1tsp of chili powder) , 1-2 long pepper (snapped in half), as an alternative to long pepper use normal pepper corns ( 2-4)
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Ground black pepper & Himalayan salt to taste
Heat the oil in a soup pot, add onions , ginger, turmeric, cumin seeds and cardamom and saute for about a minute or 2 ( the oil gets really hot, so it’s best to take the pot off the hob for a couple of minutes, as to not burn the spices), then add carrots and beetroot, keep stirring for another minute, before adding the stock. Once the beetroot and carrot are well covered with stock , add the bay leave, the long pepper, star anise (optional), the whole dried chili (pierced) & crushed garlic.
Cook for about 25-30 minutes . You can check the cooking process sticking a knife into the beetroot and carrot, once cooked take off the hob and leave to cool down a bit.
Before blending take out the chili , star anise, bay leaf and half the pepper, as the soup will get mega spicy otherwise. You can always add more pepper and some of the chili during the blending process, keep checking for taste. I usually return bay leaf , chilli and star anise back into the blended soup, so they can keep doing their job adding flavor.
Tips for blending, if you have a glass jar blender, it ll be very easy just to blend the ingredients in that . I have a hand held blender, so I tend to cover the pot holding the lid in one hand and the blender in the other, that way you prevent beetroot splashing accidents. If the soup is quite thick, just add more stock.
Once blended, add salt and pepper for taste. The soup gets better over time, I usually like it most on day three, if there is still any left !!
To garnish add home made kale crisps and seed mix . For the seed mix : 2tbs of pumpkin seeds, 2 tbs of sunflower seeds, 4tbsp of ground flax seeds and just a dash of cinnamon – mix well. Best to use a small jar, easy to shake & mix well, plus you can keep the mix in the jar and store in the fridge to keep the oils in the flax seed fresh. If there is any left.
Other garnish ideas include goats yogurt or cheese , just a tbsp of goats yogurt or some crumbled goats cheese , topped with some seed mix. You can add rainbow trout with a little bit of horse radish on top or roast vegetables work very well too. The different garnishes make the soup a great dish for dinner parties as you can serve the soup and have the different garnishes on the table for people to help themselves to what they want as a topping- patch work soup as a starter or main course.