Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Salsa and soup…and evidence that I cannot neatly ladle soup into these bowls.



Makes about 6 servings

  • 1 kg of carrots, peeled and chopped into lengths
  • 1 brown onion, diced finely
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1-2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Vegeta stock powder


Makes about 4 servings.

  • 1/4 of a thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • handful of basil and parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of roasted red peppers, diced

Soup: Heat your oven to 180°, pop some baking paper on a sheet pan and tip on your carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and rosemary and a sprinkle of salt and pepper then pop in the oven for 40 minutes or until soft. You will need to turn them once or twice to ensure they get lovely and roasted all over. Meanwhile boil a kettle and mix your 1-2 tsp vegeta with 2 cups of boiling water.

Once your carrots are roasted you are GTG for the rest of the soup. In a large saucepan, cook your brown onion until soft and translucent, then add your garlic into the pan, cook until fragrant and then add your carrots. Stir well and cook for a minute or two, then add your 500mL of stock and another 500mL of water. Bring to the boil and then cook on a low heat with the lid on for about 40 minutes, season to taste.

Take off the heat and cool, then blend in a blender or an immersion blender. Once blended and cooled, you can chill (or even freeze) the soup at this point and reheat when needed. If the soup is a little too thick, add a little water when you reheat and check the seasoning.


Salsa: Combine red onion and the vinegar in a bowl and let stand for at least an hour until the onion softens. Then add in the herbs and capsicum, stir well and season with salt and pepper then let stand for about 30 minutes. Spoon on top of soup just before serving.

Marinading to release the flavours

Hot tips: Grit your teeth and respond with “No it doesn’t” when one of your friends leaps to assume it has coriander in it because there is something green in it (and they have apparently forgotten the numerous times over the years they have highlighted they don’t like coriander to you and the numerous times you have remembered that particular dislike without needing to be prompted when catering for their culinary preferences as they stand for this particular month). And grit your teeth and respond with “NO it doesn’t” when another of your friends says “is that tomato” (because they have forgotten the numerous times over the years they have highlighted the fact they don’t like tomato and the numerous times you have remembered that particular dislike without needing to be prompted when catering for their particular culinary idiosyncracies.) Then have another glass of wine.

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Recipe: Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Soup Ready To Be Eaten


I’ve been trying out the 5:2 diet since May last year. It’s pretty cool: I’ve lost ~9 kilos so far, slow and steady. I am enjoying fitting back into some of my clothes again, and look forward to more fitting in the near future 🙂 That’s one reason I went on my Great Pot Noodle Experiment of 2016.

So I am on the lookout for low calorie (VERY low calorie) recipes I can meal-prep and eat on the fast days. This Zucchini Soup is a bit of a winner: when you blend the zucchinis, the soup becomes thicker and creamy looking so you could be fooled into thinking it’s richer and higher calorie than it is. I’ve worked it out as about 66-86 calories per serve (but I am not a qualified nutritionist, and am relying on online calorie calculators for quantities), and I get about 6 serves out of this.

You will need a blender or stick mixer to blend at the end.


  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tsp diced garlic (I used diced garlic in a jar for convenience)
  • 1-2 Zucchini, diced
  • 4 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1-2 tsp Vegeta Stock Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Olive Oil for frying
  • 6-8 cups of boiling water (put your kettle on when you start this recipe)

Pop the olive oil in your soup pan, and heat. Add the onions and start cooking until they are translucent. Add the garlic and fry, then add your celery and fry for a while. The onions should never turn brown at any point, we’re aiming for softened, translucent vegetables so you will need to keep an eye on your pan, and keep stirring. Add the zucchini and fry for a while, still making sure veggies are being stirred regularly and nothing is sticking to the pan.

When the Zucchini has softened, add your boiling water and stock powder. Stir to combine and then simmer for 20-30 minutes on the stove until the vegetables are completely soft.

Take off the heat, and leave to cool. Then blend and portion out into your storage containers.

When I take this to work for lunch, I will pour the soup into a bowl and add a little bit of water (1tbsp) to the jar, shake and pour into the soup bowl to get the very last dregs.

It’s pretty delicious, and I am not sick of eating this yet (although I do have something different for dinner to ensure it doesn’t wear out its welcome).

66 Calories of Lunch 🙂

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Recipe: Spiced Carrot Soup


Spice Carrot Soupness

I adapted this from the Small Food book for a friend’s surprise birthday party. The book recipe is slightly thicker and is meant to be served as soup shots.

It’s a really simple recipe: carrots are the heroes of the dish. You don’t need to fry off onion or leeks, as the spices provide the flavour. All you need is access to a roasting pan large enough, a blender and a saucepan.

Almost everything, barring the carrots, coriander, thin cream and sour cream, is likely already in your pantry. And carrots are such a basic staple, that you’ve likely already got those too!


Close Up

Serves 6.


  • 1.5 kG carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1L stock (I recommend Vegeta)
  • 2 cups water
  • 100mL thin cream
  • 1 small tub sour cream (to serve)
  • sprigs of fresh coriander (to serve)

Preheat oven to 200°C. Put carrot chunks into roasting pan, cover with cumin, coriander seeds and cinnamon. Pour on honey and olive oil. Mix thoroughly to ensure carrots are fully coated.

Pop into oven for an hour. Stir them regularly (every 20 minutes/so) to ensure they are cooking evenly and the spices and oil is mixed through them.

When they are soft, remove them from the oven and cool (you can roast the carrot the night before if you want).

Put half the carrots into a blender along with half the stock and water, blend until smooth and then pour into a clean saucepan. Repeat with the rest of the carrots, stock and water.

Put the saucepan over a low heat, add the cream and the heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated to eating temperature.

[NB: Don’t bring the soup to the boil, it’s a thick soup so the boiling soup bubbling will actually mean you end up with carrot soup over your stove, countertop and walls….I speak from experience].

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some sprigs of fresh coriander.


De-hipstamaticised for the purists

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Close Up

Continuing my theme of green dishes using peas, comes what’s basically the liquid version of the Recipe: Pea, Feta, Pancetta and Mint Bruschetta (what can I say: when you’re on a good thing…). This can also be made “vegetarian” by not using the proscuitto/pancetta garnish.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 500gm frozen peas (don’t.use.minted.peas)
  • 2L vegetable stock (I use vegeta)
  • 4 thin slices pancetta (or proscuitto) (optional)
  • 50gm feta, cubed
  • handful of mint leaves, stems removed
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Put the olive oil in a soup pan and heat over a medium heat, then add leek and cook until softened.

Then add the peas and cook them stirring until they are defrosted. Add the stock and cook over a low-medium heat for about 20 minutes until the stock boils. Turn off the soup and let it cool.

If you’re using the pancetta/proscuitto, then you  need to crisp it in the oven: Pop the slices of pancetta (or proscuitto) onto a sheet of baking paper and then straight onto a rack in the oven, they will take about 5-10 minutes to crisp dependent on how hot your oven is. When you remove them, they might still be a little pliable but as they cool they will become crispier. When cooled, break up each piece into little shards.

Mix the feta and mint together.

Once the soup is cooled, either put it in a blender or use your stick mixer to blend/process until smooth. Return to the pan and reheat on a medium-low heat (don’t boil).

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the feta and mint mix and shards of pancetta and proscuitto and serve.


Avec crostini for le dinner.

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Recipe: Tomato and Bacon Soup

Soup glorious soup

This soup is so easy to make and so delicious. I created it when I needed an entree for a 3 course meal I was making for DIY Dad and liked it so much that I made it every week for the next 4 weeks.

It’s Spring now, so soup weather is disappearing, but I want to remember this recipe for next year, so here it is…

This will serve 3-4 as a small entree or 2-3 as a more significant course with bread on the side.


  • 1 tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (optional)
  • 4 rashers of short cut bacon, diced
  • 1/2 tsp vegeta stock
  • For serving:
    • Feta crumbled (the hard Greek feta is best)
    • 1 tsp basil pesto per person

Pour a tiny slurp of olive oil into your saucepan and add the onion. You don’w want too much oil because even without the fatty bits of bacon rashers, the bacon will release alot of oil into the soup.

Fry the onion until softened and then add the bacon and garlic. Fry the bacon and garlic until softened – you will need to be vigilant, at this point if you are not careful the bacon  might end up frying to the bottom of the pan, so stir regularly.

Add the tin of diced tomatoes and turn the heat down low. Fill up the tin with water and add that to the pan as well as the vegeta, then simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add more water if the soup reduces too much during cooking – but no more than half a tin more otherwise the soup will be too watery.

When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and put a teaspoon of basil pesto in each bowl then crumble feta over the pesto. Serve!

If you don’t like feta or basil, this soup is also nice without it. It also freezes well, so makes a yummy lunch too 🙂

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Recipe: Asian Noodle Soup with Tofu


A simple fresh and easy soup that’s super quick to make.


  • Firm tofu, cubed
  • Fried garlic (you can get this from Asian gocery stores)
  • 1 stick celery, sliced into batons
  • 1 carrot, sliced into batons
  • 1/4 capsicum, slides into batons
  • 1 chili (I used jalapeno), deseeded and finely sliced
  • Handful of snow peas, destrung and sliced into batons
  • Small handful of bean sprouts
  • Dried egg noodles (I used the ones shaped like little birds nests, just needed one bird nest)
  • 1 tsp vegeta
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemongrass
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger

Put 750mL of water into your soup pan, add the egg noodles, carrot, celery, garlic, lemongrass and minced ginger. Cook until the noodles are starting to soften, then add the snow peas, capsicum and chili.

Cook until snow peas are green and tender, add the tofu cubes to warm through.

When the tofus is warm, serve in a bowl and garnish with the bean sprouts and the fried garlic.


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Recipe: Pork and Pasta Soup

This recipe should also be called “Dodged a bullet” soup because I actually thought I was defrosting a couple of chicken thigh fillets and was going to ask Imelda Ballerina over for dinner. She’d just arrived back in the state and I figured there wouldn’t be a lot in her fridge. Oh the convenience of living 5 minutes from ones friends!

However as I was unwrapping the almost defrosted chicken thigh fillets, I noticed that they didn’t look quite like any other chicken thigh fillets I had ever seen. They looked more flat and even and with the grain of a steak fillet except they were white meat and definitely not beef or lamb (and most definitely not chicken).

It was at that point I realised that I had defrosted two pork fillets, not two chicken thigh fillets. As poorly stocked as Imelda’s fridge was likely to be having flown in from Sydney, she is jewish and pork is most definitely OFF the menu.

This soup could have caused an international incident

Oh the horror.

So it was very fortunate I was being a slacker and had not rung Imelda yet. Phew. Thusly Imelda was rescued from a fate worse than death and I learnt a salutary lesson about labelling frozen goods.

Although since it was also a victory thanks to my slackerness, I am not sure I learnt any salutary lessons there.

Obviously, the discovery of the pork meant a slightly different tack for the soup. But it was still toasty and enjoyable.


  • 2 x lean pork fillets, diced
  • Handful rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 handfuls of pasta (not cooked), I used spiral pasta
  • Small handful parsley, finely chopped
  • Vegeta stock powder

Slurp some olive oil in a sauce pan and throw in the celery and carrot, soften for a couple of minutes. Then add the diced pork, garlic and rosemary and stir to ensure the outside of the pork is cooked – this will take a couple more minutes.

Turn the heat on low and add ~750mL of boiling water and 1-2 tsp of Vegeta. Leave cooking slowly for about 30 minutes (to make sure the pork is cooked through).

Throw in the pasta and the parsley and leave cooking until the pasta is ready. At that point, turn the heat up slightly to warm the soup up more and then serve.

International incidents never tasted so heart warming and yummy

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Recipe: Veggie Noodle Soup

I should put a disclaimer on this that, with the exception of 1) caspsicum stuffed with rice and cheese and 2) chargrilled capsicum, I usually don’t like cooked capsicum. These are bell peppers for those in the US and Canada, and peppers for those in the UK; there’s just something about cooking them that turns this normally non-finicky eater into a picky little child.

I do like them raw as crudites, in salads, in gazpacho and I can deal with them slightly warmed but not actually cooked in any way, such as diced through coucous; but as for actually cooking them the whole way through, I really would rather not.

So I was a little bit stumped when I realised my crisper draw only contained the following: snow peas, zucchini, celery and red capsicum. While other people might make ratatouille, that means cooking the capsicum and…just no. Not in this kitchen, not on my watch.

Of course, I could have made my trusty fail safe stir fry (where I will eat capsicum) but I had already had it once that week for dinner (and several times for lunch, yay left overs)…plus I was in the mood for soup.

So I decided to dig some somen noodles out and make a skippy asian soup, packed with flavour and vegetables:

Vegetable noodle soup all ready to eat


  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 x red capsicum, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 1 x zucchini, peeled and cut into strips
  • 1 serve somen noodles
  • Handful of snow peas, destringed and cut into strips (should be able to get 3 strips per snow pea)
  • 1-2 cube of frozen spinach (these are a little bigger than ice cubes, so not the huge cubes of spinach you get)
  • 1 x cup frozen podded edamame
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • Vegeta stock powder
  • 1L boiling water
  • Couple of drops of sesame oil

Put a small amount of oil in a pot and fry the celery, garlic and ginger until the celery is slighly soft, then add the capsicum and zucchini and stir through – the aim is not to cook these two just to coat them and soften them ever so slightly (remember what I said about not cooking capsicum, gah!).

Add 1L of hot water with vegeta stock added to it (1-2 tsp should do it). Then add the somen noodles and the snow peas and the frozen cubes of spinach, the edamame and the sesame oil.

It takes about 6 minutes for the somen noodles too cook and in that time the snow peas will have softened slightly and become beautifully green and the spinach will have defrosted so you can stir it through the soup.

Et voila, ready to serve:

In situ on the stove

Other things you can add, if you have them in your fridge:

  • Carrot (cut into strips and add at the same time you put in the zucchini etc)
  • Handful of frozen prawns (add these when you add the somen, they will cook through in that time)
  • Snow pea shoots (I’d suggest adding these to the soup bowls and the pouring the soup over them to wilt, but you can add them to the pot)

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Recipe: Unbeleekable Chicken Soup

As a follow up and expansion to my impromptu leek, onion, white wine, pork and edamame stove top casserole, I decided to try a version with diced chicken (skinless thigh meat is best) to  explore possibilities for non-pork eating/kosher friends.

It turned out very tasty and the slower cooking meant the chicken was tender and deluxe (sometimes chicken in soup or casseroles can be a little tough). I actually expanded the recipe to turn it into soup but as it’s basically the same recipe as the pork casserole – only the cooking times (for the different meats) and amount of stock powder + water are different.

This chicken soup is hearty, healthy comfort food and it is a good immunity booster – I actually made it to take over to a sickly friend so she didn’t have to cook.


  • 1 pack chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups white wine
  • a little plain flour
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chick peas, rinsed
  • 2 handfuls english spinach
  • 1/2 pack of podded frozen edamame (200-300gm), you can get these from most asian grocery stores

Put the flour in a freezer bag and add some salt and pepper to season. Dice the chicken thigh fillets and add to the bag and shake to coat well. Put aside.

Put the olive oil in the pot and add the onion and leeks when hot, stir until mostly soft and then add the garlic (garlic takes less time to cook). Do not brown, you are trying to soften everything.

When onions and leeks are soft, add chicken (discard excess flour) and stir to seal all sides of the meat. Add white wine and continue stirring to seal.

Add 5-6 cups of water and stock and let pot come to boil – you will need to ensure you stir to ensure any loose bits of flour get absorbed into sauce. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook slowing for 1-1.5 hours or until chicken is done but still soft and tender.

When ready to serve, add edamame and increase heat to bring to boil. Add chickpeas and cook (3-5 minutes should be more than enough) and then just before serving add spinach and mix through.



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a.k.a. How to use up a fuckload of silverbeet.

The soup's debut

As previously mentioned, the silverbeet has been a regular provider chez moi. This is not a bad thing at all, but it does force one to invent ways to use up its prolific multitude of leaves.

One of the best and most tasty ways I have found to use up its munificence is to make what is basically a cream of silverbeet soup that is “spiked” with a cup or two of deb.

That’s right – you read me correctly – deb. That dessicated instant potato mash that is the scorn of cooks and the culinary inclined everywhere.

I also sit comfortably in the scorn pouring ranks of the culinary inclined – something I inherited from my mother – however an episode of Nigella Express convinced me that it had the potential to have potential… 😉

My BFFTIHNM (Best friend forever that I have never met), Nigella, cooked potato cakes with smoked salmon, horseradish cream and dill using instant potato mix to make the potato cakes. Truly awesome (Recipe starts at 8:54):

This inspired me to add it to my silverbeet soup and it was a perfect match. Silverbeet can be a little bitter, but the deb takes away the bitterness and thickens and heartifies the soup. Bewdiful.


  • 3-4 Bunches of Silverbeet
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (grate fresh from the nut if possible)
  • 1-2 cups deb powder
  • 300mL thin cream
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder (Recommend Vegeta Vegetable Stock)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Chop onion and fry until soft  in butter/olive oil in your soup pan.

While onion is cooking, wash silverbeet and chop roughly  into strips, including stalk. Add to your soup pan.

While the silverbeet is wilting, boil your kettle. Once the silverbeet is soft, add 1L – 1.5 L of boiling water + your stock powder. Cook for about 20m.

Turn of heat and leave soup pan to cool then blend or process in batches and return to pan.

Heat soup again and add the deb – you’ll need to whisk well to stir it through. If you want a thinner soup, just add one cup of deb otherwise add two cups.

Once the deb has been combined, add the cream and the nutmeg and stir through. Once heated you can serve!


  • I made this soup without the onion for L’Artiste. L’Artiste has “l’allergie” to onions so they are a culinary no go zone…which can be challenging!
    It was nice when I sampled it, but in the end she couldn’t make it over and since I can have onions,  I added a teaspoon of onion powder to it prior to adding the deb. Yummo!

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