Zesty Tomato and Pepper Soup, and The F Word

Tomato and Pepper Soup

Tomato and Pepper Soup

I haven’t been able to bring myself to say the F word since August.

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October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . 5:2 Diet, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. 6 comments.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soup

This is a lusciously hearty, enthusiastically spiced, cheerfully vivid soup that belies the fact that it’s pretty lightweight, too, at 50 calories a cup. (more…)

October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Asian, Autumn, Intermittent Fasting, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Courgette, Mint and Ginger Soup (aka Zucchini Soup)

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Such a wonderful, easy soup to make, and, at 36 calories a cup, you can have someone else watch your waist for you 🙂

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September 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . 5:2 Diet, Autumn, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Chicken Soup With Asian Twist and Matzo Balls (Plus Bonus Chinese Rice Dish)

Is there a fragrance more enticing than that of a home-brewed chicken soup? Everyone I know attests that their own mothers and grandmothers make the best chicken soup (top prize in my case goes to my mum-in-law). I grew up having lots of chicken soup, although much of it was the sort that goes into, and with, a dish called Hainanese chicken rice  – a big hit with my family from our days in Southeast Asia.

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April 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Asian, Chinese, Dinners, Jewish, Kids Cuisine, Mains, Passover, Soups. 7 comments.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It was nostalgic cooking with butternut squash recently, a much-neglected activity since the early months of weaning both my children. It has literally been years since I have picked up this fruit, preferring instead to make pies, couscous, roasted veg dishes and soups with pumpkin instead.

Back in the day, I’d skin the Mr-Peanut-shaped, pale beige butternut, cube and steam it, then whizz it into the most attractive orange-colored (more…)

October 15, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Gluten-free, Rosh Hashana, Soups, winter. 2 comments.

Melon Soup (Recession-Friendly)

So I copped out on the chicken soup and matzo balls this year. What can I say, it’s a recession and I couldn’t countenance wasting an entire carcass for what would have been, no doubt, a tasty soup. Besides, the butcher was long on non-kosher sausages and short on chicken bones. Instead, I reproduced a soup I came up with a few weeks earlier when I found myself with two voluptuous melons fast ripening and fast stinking up my kitchen – this is what melons do if you haven’t room in your fridge for them – and had to find a non-wasteful way of using them up. (more…)

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , . Autumn, Festive, Jewish, Passover, Rosh Hashana, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Watercress Soup

So glad to be home! First day back after a lovely two weeks in London on holiday. However much fun was had with family, friends, at restaurants, museums and parks, there’s nothing quite like being where one’s stuff is.
I had hoped to blog on the go, but this isn’t easily done when one’s phone provider is AT&T, who make it impossible for 3G phones to roam anywhere outside of North America without red tape, long-winded permissions and of course, astronomical added fees – all no-nos for busy mums with an eye on post-holiday and recession-trimmed budgets. So, I had no access to email, facebook, twitter or the Internet, and have to admit, felt quite lost.
Having spent the week’s grocery allowance restocking the fridge and larder today, and amid a flood warning as a monsoon stormed outside (not much difference there from this trip to London), I quite fancied a soup. This is a simple watercress and spinach one which I had expected would produce tasty leftovers. Unfortunately not a drop is left – testimony, I hope, to how well it turned out.
  • watercress, 1 bag (4 oz or 115g), washed and large stems removed
  • baby spinach, 3 handfuls, washed and chopped
  • small leek, white part chopped finely
  • shallot, 1 medium, chopped
  • butter, 1 1/2 tbsp
  • potatoes, 2 small ones, washed, skinned and cubed
  • milk, as needed (about 2 cups)
  • stock, veg or chicken (about 1-2 cups)
  • bay leaf
  • ground coriander, 3/4 tsp
  • lemon juice, about 1/2 tbsp
  1. First, saute the leek and shallot in butter on low to medium heat, till softened
  2. Add the cubed potatoes and some stock, stir till potato is cooked
  3. Add ground coriander and bay leaf
  4. Add 1 cup milk and 1 cup stock, bring to simmer
  5. Add spinach, cook 1 minute, add watercress
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning, cook no longer than another minute or two
  7. Add lemon juice if some tang is required
  8. Add more milk and/or stock as needed
  9. Pour soup into a blender and whizz till creamy
  10. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or yoghurt

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August 2, 2009. Tags: . Soups. 2 comments.

Carrot and Cummin Soup


The texture and colour of this soup is so appealing that I return to it often, whatever the season. Beef it up with some lentils and leave half the vegetables unpureed for a hearty meal with chunky bread. It’s easy to make and to vary, and I am finally attempting to pin it down in writing before I forget what’s gone into it!

  • carrots, 500g worth, tipped, skinned, sliced
  • tomato paste, 1 small can
  • lemon juice, of 1/2 lemon, plus zest
  • ground cummin, 3/4 tbsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • leeks, 3, sliced
  • celery, 3, chopped
  • veg stock, about 600ml
  • tomatoes, 2, skinned and chopped
  • coriander leaves, handful
  • seasoning

  1. In about 2-3 tbsp of butter or olive or canola oil, saute the leeks and celery till tender
  2. Add the ground spices, stir till fragrant
  3. Add the carrots and tomatoes and a little stock, allow to soften
  4. Add stock and tomato paste
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the veg are cooked
  6. Bung most of the soup’s solids, including half the coriander leaves, into a blender and puree
  7. Return to the pan, keep warm till it’s served
  8. Drizzle with oil or add a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl of soup, and, if you wish, some chopped coriander.

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April 14, 2009. Tags: , . Autumn, Passover, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian, winter. 3 comments.

How to Make Thai Green Curry


That was a long wait for Part II, wasn’t it? Any Thai curry, pungent in aroma and a cacophony of flavours, is usually worth it. Besides, that recipe for the curry paste was hanging about with no closure and I need to get it out of the way before the holiday items make their appearance. Accept my apologies please and don’t be shy about licking that pan clean. That sounds ludicrous but it’s exactly what one of our friends did during an infamous dinner party some years ago 🙂

  • Garlic, 6 cloves, sliced
  • Lime leaves, about 6
  • Lemon grass, 2 sticks each cut in half (no ends)
  • Thai holy basil, several stalks of
  • Galangal, four or five thick slices of
  • Fish sauce, 2 tbsp
  • Brown sugar, 1-2 tsp
  • Coconut cream, 1/2 cup
  • Canola oil, 2 tbsp
  • Chicken, fish or beef, diced, about 200g (2 fillets)
  • Green curry paste (click on the title for details) – 1 tbsp
  • Stock or water, 1/2 cup
  • Green aubergines, small ones – three of them, cubed
  • Lemon juice of about 1/3 lemon
  • Optional – for added heat, add 2 chopped chillies
  1. In a pan, saute the garlic till fragrant and add the curry paste
  2. In a separate pan, warm up the coconut cream. Do not boil
  3. Add the coconut cream to the curry paste mixture, stir till it thickens
  4. Add fish sauce, galangal, lemon grass, sugar and allow to simmer
  5. Throw in the diced chicken, fish or beef
  6. Add lime leaves, basil, stock and aubergines
  7. Take off the heat when the meat is cooked. If you’re using fish, this will take just a few minutes.
  8. For added richness, add a few tablespoons of cream!
  9. Remove solid bits of lemon grass, galangal and unwieldy bits of herbs if necessary before serving
  10. Further vegetables may be added when the meat goes in – try courgette/zucchinni, peas, pea aubergines, red or green peppers, sweet potatoes
  11. This amount will feed 2-4 people

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December 19, 2008. Tags: . Asian, Dinners, Fish, Herbs, Mains, One-dish meals, Soups, Thai, Vegetables. Leave a comment.

Gazpacho


There is no soup as divine on a blazing hot summer’s day as a chilled, tangy and flavoursome gazpacho, a melange of chopped vegetables and herbs which hails from southern Spain’s Andalusia region. What I adore about this soup, aside from its addictive aroma and flavour, is the fact that no cooking and stock are required, and that gazpacho is, in effect, a part-liquidised salad. For anyone in a rush, it could be a quick meal, served with crusty, buttered bread.

The only trouble with making gazpacho is that however much I produce in the hopes of returning to it often as a snack, the refrigerated bowl rapidly empties because, well, the soup is so darned yummy.

  • Tomatoes, 5 or 6, ripe, and large
  • Green pepper, 1, large
  • Red pepper, 1, large
  • Spanish onion, 1, medium, chopped
  • Garlic, 1 tsp, minced
  • English cucumber, 1, large, chopped
  • Celery stick, 1, chopped
  • Green or red chilli or jalapeno, 1, remove seeds and chop
  • Coriander or cilantro, 1 large bunch, chopped finely
  • Tomato juice, about 3 cups
  • Tomato paste, 1 small can
  • Balsamic vinegar, about 2 tbsp (to taste)
  • Red wine vinegar, 1-2 tbsp (to taste)
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • Olive oil, extra virgin, about 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread, day old, a few slices chopped into squares
  1. Blanch the tomatoes in freshly boiled water for 1 minute and remove skin
  2. Chop tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumber, celery and chilli
  3. As you cut up the above, reserve a quarter of each, cubed attractively, in a separate bowl to use as a garnish
  4. In a blender, add the chopped vegetables and cilantro (ignoring the 1/4s of each put aside) with about a cup of tomato juice and all the paste. Whizz till smooth, adding more juice as needed – I used about 3 cups in this recipe
  5. As you blend, watch the colour if you prefer it to be a red gazpacho (it could quite easily be a green one easy with so many green ingredients)
  6. Add the vinegars and olive oil , tablespoon by tablespoon, tasting after each one. It’s easy to add vinegar and lime juice but hard to remove them if the dish is overzealously zested
  7. If the soup needs sweetening, you could add some honey or a teaspoon of brown sugar
  8. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon or lime juice as required
  9. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours to allow the flavours to meld
  10. To make the croutons, spread the bread squares on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a bit of sea salt over them. Bake in a preheated 200C overn for about 6-10 minutes, watching them closely so they only go golden brown and don’t burn
  11. To serve, scoop into bowls, sprinkle the croutons and reserved chopped veg and cilantro over the soup. It’s also delicious with a couple of splashes of smoky tabasco sauce. Enjoy!



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July 27, 2008. Tags: , . Salads, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

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