Displaying items by tag: soups


Mushrooms and squash have a real affinity and this soup proves it. I like to use oyster mushrooms, but chanterelles, which I found at the supermarket this week, provide the best flavour.

Servings: 6

Ready In: 1 hour 10 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 butternut squash cut in half, about 2 pounds (1 kilogram)

1 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Pinch cayenne

5 cups chicken stock

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper



1 tablespoon olive oil

2 ounces (60 grams) pancetta or regular bacon, about 2 slices

4 ounces (115 grams) chanterelles, torn into pieces

8 sage leaves, fried in a little oil until crispy


Preheat oven to 450 F. Oil a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place squash, cut-side down. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until squash is soft and caramelized at the edges. Scrape flesh out and reserve (you should have about 2 cups).

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to soup pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add thyme, sage, cayenne, chicken stock and squash.

Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Purée soup until smooth in food processor. Return to pot, stir in cream and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Reheat when needed.

Heat oil in skillet and fry bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble bacon. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon oil. Add mushrooms to skillet over medium high heat and sauté until browned and juice has evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Serve soup garnished with bacon, mushrooms and fried sage leaves.

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With sweet potato and maple syrup, this soup represents both fall and sweetness.



Servings: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 45 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups onion, diced

2 cups leeks, white and light green part only, diced

2 cups turnips, diced

2 cups sweet potatoes, diced

2 cups carrots, diced

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

8 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons thyme, chopped

1 cup orecchiette

4 cups baby spinach

1 teaspoon sriracha or other Asian hot sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and leeks and sauté until coated with oil, about 2 minutes. Add turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until beginning to soften.

Add stock, maple syrup and thyme and bring to boil. Add pasta and hot sauce, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender.

Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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This pure white cold soup is rich but not calorie-laden. It would look beautiful topped with caviar. To keep it affordable, I have used smoked salmon instead.



Servings: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: 3 hours including chilling time


1 tablespoon butter

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green part only

4 cups chicken stock

4 cups cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice


¼ cup smoked salmon, chopped

2 tablespoons chives, chopped


Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until limp, about 3 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil. Add cauliflower and simmer for 10 minutes or until the florets are soft.

Purée soup with a food processor or blender until very smooth (if the soup is too thick, add a little extra stock). Add cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice. Chill.

Top with smoked salmon and chives before serving.

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I adapted this recipe from the fine cookbook Moro, from the restaurant of the same name in London's East End, where the food reverberates with the passionate flavours of Spain and the Eastern Mediterranean. The quality of the olive oil, vinegar and bread will make a big difference to the flavour of this classic Spanish soup. If you can find marcona almonds, they will give added substance. For the more sophisticated version you should peel the grapes.



Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour, 10 minutes, including chilling


3 ounces (90 grams) stale white bread

3 cups ice water

1½ cups Spanish or regular whole blanched almonds

2 teaspoons garlic, grated (use a microplane)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1½ cups seedless green grapes, halved or quartered

Extra virgin olive oil


Place bread in a bowl and cover with just enough ice water to soak it through. Set aside.

Place almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add ½ cup of ice water and continue to grind together until it forms a paste. Add garlic and soaked bread with 1 cup ice water and process until fully combined. Add olive oil and sherry vinegar and process again. Add remaining ice water through feeder tube and season well with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Divide soup among 4-6 bowls and garnish with grapes and a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serves 4 to 6

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Serve with hot sauce and pebre (recipe below), along with a lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad with a peppery vinaigrette. Traditionally you would serve it with mmilcao, a potato pancake. This can also be cooked on the stove. After cooking, drain the juice and serve separately like a soup.


Servings: 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ready In: one hour


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ pounds (750 grams) boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 ½ pounds (750 grams) mini Yukon Gold potatoes

1 red pepper, sliced

1 medium Spanish onion, sliced (about 3 cups)

1 banana pepper or several small jalapenos, thickly sliced

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 large Savoy cabbage, leaves torn off

4 Spanish chorizo sausages, cut in thirds (about 14 ounces/400 grams)

2 pounds (1 kilogram) smoked pork spare ribs or pork chops

3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) clams

2 pounds (1 kilogram) mussels

1 cup white wine


Heat oil in a large grill-proof wide pot over high heat on the barbecue. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until lightly brown. Add potatoes, red peppers, onions, banana peppers and half of garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Cover tightly with cabbage leaves. Add sausage and spare ribs and cover with more cabbage leaves. Add clams, mussels and remaining garlic, pour wine over top and cover with a final layer of cabbage leaves. Cover pot tightly with a lid.

Keep barbecue heat at about 325 F and cook for about 40 minutes or until everything is cooked and steaming hot.

Remove pot from barbecue and separate clams, mussels, sausage, chicken and pork on a platter. Serve cabbage as well. Everyone helps themselves.



Pebre is a fresh-tasting Chilean herbal hot sauce. Heat it up with more chilies, if desired. It is excellent with simple meats, chicken or fish. Combined with some sour cream, it is a great dip for vegetable chips.

Servings: 1 cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 12 minutes


¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 cup chopped green onions

1 cup loosely packed coriander

1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves

2 tablespoons seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper

Salt to taste


Place all ingredients in a food processor or mini chop and process until combined but still has a bit of texture. Season with salt to taste.

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The green curry sauce gives a spicy lift to the soup, and the arugula balances the sweetness of the peas with its subtle flavour. The blender works best because it breaks down the pea skins, making a smooth purée. The food mill is another good option. If you use the food processor make sure that you keep processing until it is as smooth as possible. Serve in chilled mugs.



Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup onions, chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

1/2 cup Yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup arugula

1/3 cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mint for garnish


Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add ginger and potatoes and sauté another 2 minutes or until potatoes are coated with oil. Add green curry paste and stir together.

Add chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are softened. Add peas and arugula and cook until peas are softened, about 3 minutes. Add cream and bring to boil. Remove from heat, purée in batches in the blender and season salt and pepper to taste. Chill. Serve garnished with mint.

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If asparagus is available, the tips are a delightful addition. You can use vegetable stock if you want to keep this menu vegetarian.Servings: Serves 4.



Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes


½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon flour

1 egg

¼ cup chives, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups baby spinach, sliced

1 cup sorrel, sliced (optional)

½ cup fava beans, peeled


Whisk together Parmesan, flour, egg and 2 tablespoons of the chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

Heat chicken stock in a pot over medium heat. Add spinach, sorrel and fava beans and simmer for 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Turn heat to high and whisk in cheese mixture. Bring to boil. The mixture will break up and make little flakes in the soup. Season to taste and garnish with remaining chives.

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This soup is a little spicy with minty and citrus flavours – a perfect beginning to any meal. You can use other herbs, such as basil or cilantro, if you prefer.


Servings: 4


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon chopped green chili

4 cups chicken stock

½ cup coconut milk

4 cups shredded fresh spinach (not baby spinach)

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Heat vegetable oil in soup over medium heat. Add onions, ginger and chili and sauté for 2 minutes. Pour in chicken stock and coconut milk. Bring to boil and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Add spinach, mint and lime juice. Cook 10 minutes more or until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

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Wonderfully fragrant lemongrass stalks and lime leaves add plenty of flavour to this soup, but be sure to remove them before serving. Coriander stems with roots attached give a better flavour (wash them well), but lots of coriander is sold without roots – so just add a couple more stems. Bird's-eye chilies are available in many stores, but use 1 or more teaspoons of sambal oelek if unavailable. The dish pairs well with a tofu scramble with some Thai seasonings.



6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock

2 stalks lemongrass, top 4 inches removed

3 whole kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food stores)

4 coriander stems with roots attached

1-2 red bird's eye chilies, seeded and sliced

2 teaspoons slivered garlic

1 tablespoon slivered galangal or ginger

1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

2 cups soft tofu, diced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

6 baby bok choy heads, leaves separated

1/4 cup Thai basil, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped


Combine stock, lemongrass, lime leaves, coriander stems, chili chilies, garlic, and galangal or ginger in a soup pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes or until broth is very fragrant.

Add mushrooms and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tofu, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, and simmer for 3 minutes or until soup is well flavoured. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add bok choy and simmer 2 minutes or until limp. Add basil and coriander. Serves 4.

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Serve in mugs with a breadstick stirrer. If Korean chili paste is unavailable, 2 teaspoons miso and 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce works well; otherwise, just use hot sauce.



6 cups cauliflower florets

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup peeled and diced potatoes

2 teaspoons Korean chili paste

2 cups milk

2 cups chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped coriander


Combine cauliflower, onions, potatoes, chili paste, milk and stock in a pot over high heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until cauliflower and potatoes are soft. Purée with a stick blender until smooth. If too thick, add a little more milk. Season well with salt and pepper and reheat when needed. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serves 6

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