Category Archives: Soup

Yellow Pepper Soup with grilled Polenta Triangles


Yellow Pepper Soup with grilled Polenta Triangles
 
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A hint of turmeric lifts the colour even more in this delicious and creamy bowl of sunshine!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large yellow peppers (capsicums)
  • 2 onion 1 red 1 brown
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp ginger fresh or semi-dried (see Gourmet Garden)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 medium white potatoes
  • 1 Litre vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 T cashew butter
  • ½ cup soy milk or other plant milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Polenta triangles:
  • 1.3 cups polenta
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon mixed semi dried herbs (Garden Gourmet) or use any herbs you like.
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the peppers, onions and garlic (use a food processor to save time if you like) and put them in a large heavy bottom casserole dish along with the ginger over a medium heat and stir, adding a little dash of water or stock to lubricate and get going. Keep an eye on it so the garlic doesn't catch and burn. As it heats up natural oils from the peppers and onions will be released.
  2. Once they are steaming hot, reduce the heat to lo and place on the lid whilst you prep the other ingredients. Check at intervals that no more liquid is needed to prevent sticking or burning. If lid is left on and on a low heat it should be OK but all cook tops and pans differ so check every so often.
  3. Peel (optional) and chop the potatoes into cubes and measure out the other ingredients.
  4. After 30 minutes check the peppers and onions and garlic are completely soft and collapsed.
  5. Add the stock, bay leaves, turmeric and stir, replace lid and set timer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Add the cashew butter, soy milk and lemon juice and using a stick blender blend until super smooth and creamy.
  7. Serve! Great topped with crispy croutons if you have time to make those (stale bread, cubed, baked in oven until crispy).
Notes
To make polenta triangles:
Boil 1.3 cups polenta in 4 cups stock, whisking consistently as you pour it in.
Add lemon zest and mixed herbs.
Simmer for 10 mins then pour into a lined shallow baking tray and smooth out.
Allow to cool then slice into triangles and cook on a hot griddle pan.

 

Italian Cabbage & Beans

This recipe has been a surprising favourite for many years, having been adapted from a recipe in BBC Vegetarian Good Food magazine circa 1999! It’s a rustic Italian inspired dish.  More vegetables have been included, oil eliminated and wholewheat sourdough toast substituted.  Interestingly it features cumin which I thought was very unusual for in Italian cuisine, however after researching I find it used to be more popular and was even called Roman Caraway! 🙂

Even my kids love this dish; it’s both simple in terms of ingredients and yet complex in flavour. You WILL go back for a second bowl!

Italian Cabbage & Beans
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Casserole / Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or try fennel or caraway for interesting variations)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, roughy shredded / and / or kale, shredded
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • wholewheat sourdough bread, toasted
  • flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large deep casserole pot, saute the leek, onion, cumin seeds & crushed garlic for 3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally and adding a small splash of the stock to stop it sticking
  2. Add all of the stock, and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the bay leaves, cabbage beans potatoes and return to the boil.
  4. Turn down to a simmer and put on the lid.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes whilst you toast the bread and rub them with the cut garlic cloves.
  7. Serve the cabbage and beans scattered with the parsley alongside the garlic toast

 

 

Sweet Potato, Capsicum & Chickpea Soup with Spinach

This is really a meal in a bowl and yet another easy way of getting fantastic nutrition into children – you can puree this soup if you want to hide the awesome but yet suspicious ingredients!  Along with a hunk of wholegrain bread this is dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

Sweet Potato, Capsicum & Chickpea Soup with Spinach
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium / large brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chllies
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 500g sweet potato - diced
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 small glass white wine
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat large soup pot over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and capsicum until softened a little, be careful not to burn the garlic
  2. Add the spices, chickpeas, sweet potato, wine and stock and bring to the boil.
  3. Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the baby spinach and stir until wilted.
  4. Use a potato masher or stick blender if liked to make a little smoother, or serve chunky.

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup

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One of the easiest soups for a winter’s night.  It’s all about the curry paste, so find a good one.  We used Ayam Thai Red Curry Paste.

Thai Pumpkin Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 medium Japanese or butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces.
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste - or to taste (1 is mild, 2 is hot!)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • ½ cup split red lentils
  • 1 cup soy milk, mixed with 1 tsp coconut essence
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • freshly chopped coriander, yogurt to serve - optional
Instructions
  1. Saute the pumpkin / squash and carrot with a splash of stock or water in a large heavy bottomed saucepan or casserole until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the curry paste, stir in thoroughly then quickly add the stock and lentils.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the red lentils have broken down, around 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the soy and coconut mixture, lime juice and heat through gently. Adjust seasoning, and serve, topped with coriander and / or yogurt if liked.

 

Spicy Mexican Capsicum & Bean Soup with Potatoes

Here’s real winter warmer!  Perfect for a weeknight dinner with some crusty bread.  This is kid friendly with only a teaspoon of chillies, but you can ramp that up for more adult palates.

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Spicy Mexican Capsicum & Bean Soup with Potatoes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 yellow capsicum, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 cups (750ml) good-quality vegetable stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (35g) semi sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chillies in oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • Frozen corn, 1 cup
Instructions
  1. Sauté the capsicum in a large casserole dish with the garlic and a splash of the stock until softening, then add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, all the spices, herbs, chillies etc, tomato paste and cook on medium whilst stirring for a minute or so. Add beans, potatoes and corn and the rest of the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

 

Mushroom Soup

 

 

mushroom soupNothing says Autumn quite so beautifully as Mushroom Soup.  We ate this so fast I forgot to take a photo so I’ve borrowed one off the net that looked pretty close to mine!  This is rich and creamy with notes of rosemary and thyme.

Mushroom Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup soy milk (Vitasoy Soy Milky Lite)
  • half glass dry white wine
  • scant tsp dried rosemary
  • scant tsp dried thyme
  • 2 leeks, sliced quite finely
  • 1 large fat / 2 regular cloves garlic
  • Salt & paprika to taste
  • 5-600 grams brown cap / portobello / chestnut mushrooms, sliced
Instructions
  1. Put the cashews to soak in the vegetable stock, soy milk and wine.
  2. Place a large heavy bottomed soup pot over a low light.
  3. Drop your leeks into a sink of water, rub between your hands to remove any grit and dirt. Skim off the leeks from the top of the water using a spider or slotted spoon and toss into your pot.
  4. Saute the leeks and garlic, with a splash of stock / water, stir and make sure they don't burn. Add the dried herbs and stir well.
  5. When the leeks are aromatic and a nice, bright green, add a little salt and a sprinkle of paprika.
  6. Add the mushrooms and let them cook until they've given off much of their water
  7. Add the cashews, stock, wine and milk mixture and slowly bring to the boil.
  8. Gently simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes
  9. Blend with stick blender
  10. Season with pepper, and more salt and paprika if desired.

 

Freezer Green Soup

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This is a super simple and quick soup using items from the freezer – apart from the fresh mint (you can even get that in some places too, I think  Aldi do it, or prep and freeze your own).

It’s so sweet from the peas, but with added goodies from the other veggies.  A great way to get stacks of veggies into children and yet sophisticated enough for grown ups.  Wouldn’t be out of place at a dinner party either.

Frozen veggies are an amazing way to speed up your dinner preparation.  If you haven’t discovered ready chopped frozen onions (or make your own!) yet, give them a go, it’s a godsend on a busy school/work night.

We try to eat mostly organic vegetables and it’s great to see you can now get organic frozen vegetables in many places. Woolworths do the mix I use this in this soup in a big 1kg bag – cauliflower, carrots, green beans and broccoli.  Some frozen vegetables I feel don’t recover well from the freezing process, particularly carrots, so using frozen veg in a soup is a great solution.

Green Freezer Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 500g frozen mixed vegetables (cauliflower, green beans, broccoli and carrot)
  • 500g frozen peas
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 800ml water
  • large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup cashews (optional but makes it creamier)
Instructions
  1. Put the frozen veggies into a large saucepan and cover with water, but only just - about 1-2 cm above. I estimated I used about 800ml but it's best to add more later if needed than too much to begin with.
  2. Add the vegetable stock powder and the cashews if using.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes
  4. Blend with a stick blender, adding the mint and blend until very smooth.

 

Sissy’s Soup

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To call this soup thick is a slight understatement.  You could literally stand your spoon up in it, if your bowl or mug is deep enough.  But we like it that way.  It really is a meal in a bowl, all you need is some good bread and maybe a salad.  My daughter gave her name to this soup when we made it together several years ago when she was around 10.  It’s a beautiful way to get plenty of vegetables into small children and the addition of the tomato ketchup is a clever trick to get fussy kids to try it – they love squeezing that in if they’re your kitchen “helpers” when you make this.

Sissy's Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Quick spray oil / water / stock
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large stick celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced,
  • 2 large broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 can peeled tomatoes, put through the blender
  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 heaped tsp vegetable stock powder
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
Instructions
  1. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot in a large heavy based pan, cover and sweat for 5 minutes
  2. Add the sweet potato, broccoli, cover and cook again for a further 5 minutes
  3. Add tomatoes, lentils, herbs, stock powder and a litre of water, apple juice and tomato ketchup
  4. Stir well and bring to boil. Replace lid, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom
  5. Check vegetables are very tender, blend with stick blender.
  6. Nice garnished with fresh coriander or parsley if liked, and hot toast fingers.

 

Minestrone

This is traditionally a hearty ‘tomato-ey’ Italian soup which generally contains pasta, beans, potato and pesto plus whatever other left over veggies are to hand.  “Peasant food” at its best!  This is a great way to use up odds and ends in the fridge, kids generally love it as it’s got pasta in it and it’s good and filling.  Served with some good wholemeal bread this is a wonderfully substantial meal that requires little preparation and not much involvement once it’s on the hob.

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Minestrone
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6+
Ingredients
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans / similar
  • 1.5 L vegetable stock
  • 375 g potatoes, diced
  • 140 g small pasta shapes, preferably wholegrain
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 180 g French beans, cut into small lengths (or other veg)
  • 1 small red capsicum (or other veg)
  • 150g broccoli florets (or other veg)
  • Handful baby spinach.
  • 2-3 tablespoons homemade basil pesto *
  • Fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat a large saucepan or stovetop casserole with a tight fitting lid and sauté the onions and garlic until softened.
  2. Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, tomatoes, cannellini beans, vegetable stock, potatoes, and pasta, bring to boil, place on the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add peas, green beans, broccoli, capsicum or other chosen veg and simmer, covered for a further 10 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
  4. Adjust liquid if necessary, add more water if necessary. Stir in the baby spinach, pesto, and serve sprinkled with the freshly chopped parsley.
  5. Like most soups / stews, this is even nicer the next day, or prepared early in the day and allowed to sit out unrefrigerated all day.
  6. * I do use a little olive oil when I make my own cheese-free pesto (but nowhere near as much as I used to!) and this pesto just an ingredient in a large pot of soup which feeds 6 people easily. So probably only adds 10-20 g of oil to the whole pot, which when divided is less than 5g per serving. If you want to make with no added oil whatsoever, just finely chop a large handful of basil and stir in at the end.

Tomato Soup and Kale Stuffed Potatoes

I’ve decided to post most days now and share not just my own recipes but things I find online, from books etc and musings on our food in general.  🙂

I’m making a concerted effort now to simplify weeknight meals.  I have a tendency to get all excited when I’m making my weekly meal plan and then after a day at my desk stumble into the kitchen, when at 6:30 pm that list of delicious dishes is looking rather overwhelming.  SO, I have decided to keep anything very unfamiliar or challenging to the weekend (well, Fri, Sat and Sun) and keep Mon-Thurs of the easy or “done it a million times” variety.

My kids love Heinz tomato soup so I’ve been trying to find a substitute that doesn’t send you into a diabetic coma or sculling a litre of water along with it due to all that sugar and salt.  I found this one online but can I find it now?  Typing in the exact title only takes me to MyFitnessPal where it’s listed as a caloric total someone once added, but no recipe.   Anyway it was called Not Your Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup.  I amended it a fair bit anyway, but if you find it, that’s the original source. And thank you whoever you are, it was delicious.
Rather than just having it with bread, I decided to serve it with baked potatoes, this time stuffed with steamed kale.  We love something we call “Stuffily Brocked Potatoes” (due to saying it wrong one day – should have been “Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes”!) so thought I’d ring the changes, and find another way to get the awesome kale into the offspring and the result was perhaps even better.  We also had some good wholemeal sourdough (this is our favourite) and a simple cos lettuce salad on the side.

Potato recipe to follow in next post… 🙂

Tomato Soup
 
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A knock off of that tinned soup, but so much better for you .
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: British
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (no need to peel)
  • 1 very small onion (e.g. golf ball), diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 150g tomato paste
  • 1 tblspn nutritional yeas
  • 1 tblspn agave syrup
  • 1 tsp salt - or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Put water, sweet potato, tomatoes, onion, thyme, coriander, garlic powder, salt and cashew nuts into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender - about 15 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste, yeast, and syrup and blend with immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Leave to simmer for longer if nuts need a little more time to soften completely and then blend again.

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