My good friend Stefan introduced me to this one, it’s a great recipe from Food52, and perfect for a starter on a hot summer day. It’s so light and fluffy and fresh.
- 8-10 ripe tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ loaf white bread
- Quarter the tomatoes and blend with a hand blender until tomatoes are smooth.
- Cut the bread into small chunks, add it to the blended tomatoes and stir, so that bread is completely saturated. Let it sit to soak up the tomatoes for a few minutes. Chop garlic and add to the bowl.
- Blend again and slowly pour in extra virgin olive. Add salt and vinegar, and continue blending. Taste and finish off with more salt or olive oil until you like the taste and consistency.
- Chill until you are ready to eat, and serve with toppings of your choice (a bit of jamon, a bit of chopped boiled egg, or like us, just olive oil!).
Shrimp Curry Noodle Bowl
This is a comforting slurpy noodle bowl that you can tailor to your spicy tolerance.
Take care not to under salt, it needs to be just the right amount salty and spicy.
- 8 ounces uncooked rice noodles
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (or any mild-flavored cooking oil)
- 1 small white onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable or seafood stock
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- optional: 1-2 red Thai chiles, thinly-sliced
- toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, thinly-sliced red onions
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, lay out the raw shrimp on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the shrimp generously on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are pink and opaque and cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add sliced onion, bell pepper and carrot, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
- Add in the coconut milk, stock and ginger (and chiles, if using), and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and continue simmering for 5-10 more minutes.
- Stir in the noodles. Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper and curry paste to taste. (Add a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, especially if the stock you use is not very salty.
- Serve warm, topped with a few pieces of the cooked shrimp, and your desired toppings.
Three Bean & Egg Noodle Soup
I remember making this soup about 6 years ago, and it completely blew me away.
The broth is hearty, and the contrast with the the tangy sour cream is too good to be true.
The combination of textures between the lentils, chickpeas, borlotti beans, and egg noodles is also so special.
I will confess that I forgot to add the noodles this time *sigh*. So they are not featured in the photo. If you want to refer to the original recipe visit 101cookbooks.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 long red chili OR green serrano, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ½ cups / 2 liters good-tasting vegetable stock/broth
- 100g / 3.5 oz yellow split peas or brown lentils
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if using canned
- 2 cups / 350g cooked borlotti beans
- fine grain sea salt
- 120 g thin egg noodles, fresh or dried
- 3 ½ oz / 100g fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
- ½ cup finely shredded cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 100 ml sour cream or creme fraiche
- Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the chile and cook until they soften, a few minutes. Add the spices and cook for another thirty seconds, just long enough for them to toast a bit, then stir in the stock. Bring to a boil and add the split peas/lentils to the pot. Cook until they are just tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and borlotti beans. Once the beans have heated throughout, season with salt to taste.
- In the meantime, you can prepare the toppings. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat along with a couple big pinches of salt. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, 8 - 10+ minutes. Set aside.
- Just before you're ready to eat, add the noodles to the simmering soup and cook until al dente. Stir in the spinach, and cilantro and dill. Add a big squeeze of lime to the pot or serve wedges along with each bowl of soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Serve right away, each bowl topped with a big spoonful of caramelized onions and some creme fraiche.
Heidi Swanson’s Spicy Green Soup
I’m not going to lie… this is spicy.
But it’s perfect when you are starting to get sick.
Have a box of tissues close by, and get ready to blow your nose!
Packed with fresh herbs, chile, garlic and ginger-it’s the punch of health to make you really feel alive (or breathe fire).
If you are sensitive to heat, just cut back on the ginger/garlic and/or chile, it’s easily adaptable.
- 1 liter of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ¾ cup firmly packed basil leaves
- 1 ¼ cup firmly packed cilantro leaves and stems
- ¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves
- 1 thick 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small serrano chiles (stemmed and deseeded
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon runny honey
- Any of the following as to add on top: poached eggs, hot white beans, soba noodles, brown rice
- As final garnish any of the following: chopped black olives, lemon wedges, or toasted almond slices.
- In a saucepan, bring water just to a simmer.
- As the water heats, combine the garlic, basil, cilantro, mint, ginger, olive oil, chiles, almonds, salt, lemon zest, and honey in a food processor. Blend until smooth, thinning with a couple of tablespoons of cold water and scraping down the sides along the way, until the mixture becomes as smooth as possible.
- Taste and adjust to your liking; the paste should be strong and spicy.
- Just before serving, add the paste to the simmering water and stir well. Dial back the heat at this point; you don't want it to return to a simmer, but you do want it very hot.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning—a bit more salt or a squeeze of lemon juice. (Editors' note: Don't skimp on the lemon!)
- Ladle into bowls with your chosen accompaniment and enjoy on its own or topped with any of the suggested toppings.
Slurpy Ginger Turmeric Noodle Bowl
This is my new ‘go-to’ pantry meal. You can easily stock up on all of the ingredients in advance, and you’ll be happy for it when you’re hungry.
It’s also extremely comforting. The broth is spiced and warm, and it’s packed with spinach and pumpkin so it is actually incredibly healthy as well.
The higher quality chicken broth you use the better. If you have homemade broth- use it. Otherwise the highest quality bouillon will do.
- 1 Onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Light oil such as rapeseed or peanut
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 1-inch cube of ginger, peeled and grated (or more if you can handle it)
- 4 cups high quality chicken broth (make it yourself it’s worth it)
- 1-2 stalks of lemongrass, crush the bulbous end with a knife
- A small handful of frozen spinach
- A small handful of frozen cubed pumpkin or squash
- Shredded cooked chicken (if you want, without is also great)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A handful of vietnamese or thai rice noodles (the kind you would use for Pho or Pad Thai work perfectly.
- Fry the onion and garlic in a glug of oil, until softened.
- Add the ginger and turmeric, and stir around to coat.
- Add the chicken broth and the lemongrass, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the spinach and pumpkin, and let simmer until everything is warmed through and soft.
- Throw in the rice noodles, and stir until they are cooked through (a few minutes). If you are using shredded chicken, add it now.
- Once it's heated through, add salt and pepper to taste, and eat!
Andalusian Cabbage Stew
I love cabbage. And I love tomatoes. This soup is an excellent one to have on hand over the holidays, when you have people visiting, getting hungry at different times, and you need to have a healthy snack on hand at all times.
This soup is vegan, and packed with flavour. What makes it so unique is the splash of vinegar that gives it some punch.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and shredded or diced (about 6 cups)
- 1 small dried red chili pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the pepper has softened slightly and the pan is fragrant, about three minutes. Add the cabbage. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage has softened slightly and lost some of its volume, about five minutes. Add the chili pepper, sugar, tomatoes, salt and paprika. Raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and the mixture smells fragrant, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the vinegar and pepper, and taste and adjust salt. Simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with thick slices of country bread or with rice. This will taste even better if you refrigerate it overnight and serve it the next day.
Lake Como Soup
This is one of my ‘go-to’ meals for a dinner party. It takes about an hour to cook, but it’s relatively low maintenance, and it’s surprising how much flavor there can be with so few ingredients. The reason is that the beans are first cooked a bit directly in red wine, so that gives the dish this earthy delicious flavor.
A word to the wise: do not oversalt, and do not use a broth which is too salty. I have made this many times, and on my last rendition I was heavy handed on the salt- regrets! Taste as you go, and add little by little.
I should mention as well, that this is less of a soup, and more of a risotto type texture, which is exactly how I like it.
The cookbook that this comes from is absolutely delicious, it was a gift from my mother and there are so many simple yet flavor-packed recipes for Italian soups inside, it’s difficult to choose.
- 1 cup dried borlotti beans
- A large glug of olive oil
- ¼ cup diced lardons (thick cut bacon)
- 2 medium onions, cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 cup Italian red wine such as Chianti
- 8 cups broth (your choice)
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- 6-8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Pick over the beans, and soak them overnight in water. Drain and set aside.
- When you are ready to cook, heat the oil and lardons in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until softened, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the beans and the red wine. Cook, uncovered, until most of the wine evaporates, about 7 minutes.
- Add the broth, and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow but steady simmer and cook, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- About 10 minutes before the beans are done, stir in the orzo. Taste and season carefully with salt & pepper (remembering that you will garnish with Parmesan which is also salty).
- To serve, ladle the ‘soup’ into warmed bowls. Top with a tablespoon of grated cheese, and a drizzle of high quality olive oil.
Korean Bulgogi Beef Stew
This changed my life. I’m not being overdramatic here- it changed my life. The original stew should be cooked in an earthenware pot (ttukbaegi). The day that I went to cook this, I actually FOUND such an earthenware pot. On top of the world, I hauled it home- only to realize that it doesn’t really work with an electric stove.
Crushed, I made the stew in a regular tiny pot and ate it directly from there.
I was so in love, I made it for myself on a Saturday night in, and again for breakfast on Sunday morning. I have craved it every day since.
It’s from Maangchi- and I highly recommend you go directly to her website and watch the video because it’s great and it really makes your mouth water.
There is also a vegetarian version with oyster mushrooms, which is equally as delicious and easy.
- 8 ounces beef skirt steak (or tenderloin, any tender cuts of beef), sliced thinly (For those living in Brussels, I go to Marks & Spencers and buy the pre-cut beef slices they keep in the stir fry department.)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 ounce starch noodles (dangmyeon), soaked in cold water 30 minutes to 1 hour
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ounce (¼ cup) onion, sliced
- 1 ounce (¼ cup) carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 2 ounces large green onion (or 2 green onions), sliced diagonally.
- 1 ounce (about 1/3 cup) Enoki mushrooms
- 1 ounce (about ½ cup) spinach or basil leaves.
- ¼ cup worth radish sprouts
- Spicy mixture (optional, for a spicy version): 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes mixed with ½ teaspoon sesame oil in a small bowl.
- Combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar, honey, ground black pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix it well until the sugar is dissolved. Add the beef and mix well to marinate. Cover and refrigerate.
- 30 minutes before you are ready to cook, soak your starch noodles in water.
- When you are ready to cook, place a small pot on the stove with 2 cups of water or chicken broth, salt, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.
- When it starts boiling, add the beef, onion, carrot, and the large green onion. Let it cook without the lid for about 10 to 12 minutes over high heat. Stir it a few times and remove any foam from the surface with a spoon.
- Add the noodles, stirring a few times, and cook for 1 minute. Add Enoki mushrooms and radish sprouts and cook for a few minutes. Crack an egg and put it in the center of the bubbling stew. Garnish with the chrysanthemum greens and the red chili pepper.
- Remove from the heat and serve with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes. If you want the spicy version, put some of the spicy mixture into the stew and mix it in.
- If you want to make this vegetarian, you can use oyster mushrooms instead of the beef. Follow the same recipe, except leave out he fish sauce and increase the salt to 1 teaspoon (from ½ teaspoon).
Quick, Comforting, Friday-night-in, Chinese inspired soup
Sure, I’ll come clean: It’s Friday night, I’m super tired, and all I want to do is eat something that tastes kind of like Pho in my bed and then fall asleep immediately after.
So that’s what’s going to happen.
This soup is a little all over the place, but it’s really yummy. I highly recommend going to Marks & Spencer and getting a pre-cut bag of noodle soup veggie mix (ginger, coriander, chile, grated carrots, snap peas, and spring onion). You can of course buy all of these ingredients separately but… It’s Friday night and you’re tired and that’s not what you have in mind.
Second is to say this soup would be pretty easily adapted, if you want to add chicken or shrimp for example, don’t let me stop you.
- 1 package of chinese egg noodles (or soba, or rice noodles, or vermicelli)
- 1 liter high quality chicken broth (or vegetable)
- 2 Star anise
- A sprinkle of powdered ginger
- Carrots, grated
- Spring onions, chopped finely
- Sugar snap peas
- Ginger, grated
- Chiles (just a few slices, or to taste, as you wish)
- To serve, a splash of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, nori sprinkle or sriracha (pick your poison, or combine!)
- Get your broth on the stove, with the star anise, chile, and ginger in there and bring it to a light simmer.
- Add in the vegetables that take longer to cook (snap peas and carrots) and let simmer for a few minutes.
- Add in the noodles and the spring onions.
- Pull off the heat after one minute (if you are using egg noodles they cook in 2 minutes total, be sure that if you change the type of noodles you adapt the cooking time.)
- Season to taste using the fresh coriander, salt, a splash of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, nori sprinkle or sriracha.
Lentil & Chestnut Soup
This was developed because I inherited some vacuum packed chestnuts. I confess, about 2 years ago. But I was confident that they were still good, and dying to get them out of the fridge.
A quick Google revealed some online remnants of a Nigella recipe, so I took the baton and ran with it- this is what came out!
It’s very hearty, a little sweet, and perfect for dinner on a cold night.
- 1 cup brown/blonde lentils
- 1 package vacuum packed chestnuts (or a can if you can find that)
- Sprinkle of dried thyme
- 1 small onion
- 1 leek
- 1 carrot
- A large glug of olive oil
- 2 1/2 liters stock (your choice what kind
- A splash of cream (optional)
- Chop the onion, leek, carrot and celery. Soften in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan with a large glug of olive oil.
- Add the lentils (rinsed and picked through) and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes until the lentils are very soft.
- In a separate bowl, add the chestnuts, and a few ladlefuls of hot broth. Puree with a hand blender until it's mostly creamy (there can be some chunks, that's fine too!)
- Add the chestnut mixture into the soup and simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
- You can add a splash of cream and a bit of chopped parsley as garnish at the table.