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Mushroom soup

mushroom soup

To be honest I was always a big sceptic when it came to mushroom soup. I never ordered it in a restaurant and I never bought it in the supermarket.  So I decided it was time to change that.

For a chicken penne recipe I bought a lot of mushrooms which I did not use entirely. I had a mix of brown and white champignons left but I am sure that either or would be fine as well. The rest of the ingredients are a simple soup vegetable mix of celery, leek and carrot cooked in chicken stock and finished with fresh cream. I added a little bit of fresh thyme for extra flavor.

Served with homemade bread, that Martin had baked the day before, the soup was absolutely lovely. It has surely changed my mind about mushroom soup.

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 2-3

Ingredients

300 g of mushrooms (mix of white and brown champignons), cut into pieces

1 knob of butter

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 small leek, washed and cut into small rings

500 mls chicken stock

100 mls of fresh cream or mascarpone

Salt and Pepper

2 TS of fresh Thyme

Preparation

  1. Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot and fry the celery, leek, garlic and carrot for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the mushrooms and allow them to reduce in size before adding the stock.
  3. Cook the soup for 10-15 minutes. Then take the soup off the heat and blend until smooth.
  4. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Serve the soup in a warm bowl with a dollop of cream or mascarpone and nice white bread.

pumpkin soup

Continue Reading »

I bought a nice piece of smoked haddock at the farmers market on Sunday, and I was really excited to use it in a soup.

I read recipes for smoked haddock soup and have to admit that I was a bit sceptic. I could not really imagine how milk and bay leaved and fish would go together. But I have to tell you the result was amazing! The smoky flavor of the haddock combined with leek and potatoes in a mild stock-milk broth … Yumm!

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 2-4

smoked haddock soup ingredients


Ingredients

Knob of butter

500 ml of milk

500 ml of vegetable stock

Bay leaves (2-3)

Black peppercorns (10)

Nutmeg

3 leeks, washed and cut into rings

2 large potatoes cut into small pieces

Smoked haddock (300 grams piece)

Dill

Salt and Pepper

smoked haddock soup preparation

Preparation

  1. Add the bay leave, peppercorn, milk and stock into a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Make sure the pot is big enough for the piece of haddock you are using.
  2. Melt a knob of butter in a shallow pan and slowly fry the leeks until soft. Add the potatoes and the poaching liquid to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat, covered.
  3. Flake the haddock into the soup. Make sure you catch any bones and take the skin off.
  4. Check the seasoning; add nutmeg and dill and salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkling of dill!

smoked haddock soup

smoked haddock soup

rustic pasta and meat ball soup

I had a really relaxed morning, strolling along the farmers market in Howth, a sea side area in Dublin. The market is small but offers a mix of stands from fresh pastries, vegetables, fish and meats to antipasti snacks. It really has a bit of everything which makes it a great starting point for my weekend shopping.

After I filled my bags with olives, herbs and other goodies, I enjoyed a walk along the port with a warming caramel latte in my hands. The sky was grey and the wind blowing strong creating a great set for the squawking seagulls and the musicians, playing soft Jazz tunes at the quay.

When I got home at lunchtime, I decided to cook a nice soup with meat balls, pasta and tomatoes to warm me up.

The soup was great and comforting and the rustic sourdough bread I bought at the market went really well with it. Just the kind of food you want after a long walk.

I spend the afternoon on the couch reading the paper and listening to some nice music. What a fantastic day! Continue Reading »

Spicy chicken noodle soup

I am a big fan of Asian food. It is one of my dreams to spend time in Asia and learn how to cook all those great dishes. The flavours are so amazing and when I shop for ingredients I am like a kid in a toy store. All those exotic spices, herbs and vegetables, the super intense colours and all those things I have never seen before … I absolutely love it!

But I have not cooked many Asian dishes so far. I guess the variety of ingredients has intimidated me as much as it has fascinated me. That’s why I went to the store, bought a few and decided to tackle the Asian flavours starting with a simple soup.

The soup is easy and quick to cook and full of fantastic flavours. I am sure you will enjoy it. I was surprised how easy it was to prepare it and how flexible the sauces and spices can be used. You can play around, adding more lime juice, chilli, soy sauce and chopped leaves until it’s just perfect.

spicy chicken noodle soup

spicy chicken noodle soup

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 2-4


Ingredients

The ingredient list looks quiet long but I am sure that you will find a few things on your kitchen shelves.

100 grams of rice noodles

1-2 chicken breasts cut into pieces

2 carrots cut into pieces (it looks nicer when they are cut at an angle)

Spring onions – separate the green and white parts

Soy sprouts

1 red chilli and chilli flakes

1 litre of chicken stock

Freshly grated ginger (about 1 inch piece)

1 clove of garlic, grated

2 stalks of lemon grass – Remove outer leaves of the lemon grass and finely slice the tender white part at the base of the stalks. Bruise them in a pestle and mortar before use.

Soy sauce

Fish sauce

Fresh mint leaves

Fresh coriander leaves

Fresh lime

Preparation

  1. Prepare all the ingredients before you start. Grate the ginger and garlic, cut the veggies and the chicken, mix the mint, coriander leaves and the finely sliced green part of the spring onions in a separate bowl and get all the other ingredients ready.
  2. Bring one litre of chicken stock to the boil. Add the garlic, ginger, half of the fresh chilli, the lemon grass, soy and fish sauce (start with 2 TS) and the chilli flakes.
  3. Heat water in a separate pot and cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.
  4. Add the carrots and the chicken pieces to the stock and cook for 4-5 minutes. They will not take much time to be cooked.
  5. Take the pot off the heat. Add the juice of half a lime and check the seasoning. If the taste is a little weak add more soy or fish sauce or lime juice.
  6. Add the soy sprouts and cover the pot for a few minutes before serving the soup. This will allow the sprouts to get soft and all the flavours to mix together.
  7. To serve: Place the noodles in the middle of the bowl, ladle the soup on top of it and cover with a good amount of chopped spring onion green, mint and coriander leaves.
  8. If you want to prepare the soup meat-free, just substitute the chicken with tofu or fish/prawns and use vegetable stock.

I am a big fan of Asian food. It is one of my dreams to spend time in Asia and learn how to cook all those great dishes. The flavours are so amazing and when I shop for ingredients I am like a kid in a toy store. All those exotic spices, herbs and vegetables, the super intense colours and all those things I have never seen before … I absolutely love it!

But I have not cooked many Asian dishes so far. I guess the variety of ingredients has intimidated me as much as it has fascinated me. That’s why I went to the store, bought a few and decided to tackle the Asian flavours starting with a simple soup.

The soup is easy and quick to cook and full of fantastic flavours. I am sure you will enjoy it. I was surprised how easy it was to prepare it and how flexible the sauces and spices can be used. You can play around, adding more lime juice, chilli, soy sauce and chopped leaves until it’s just perfect.

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 2-4

Ingredients

The ingredient list looks quiet long but I am sure that you will find a few things on your kitchen shelves.

100 grams of rice noodles

1-2 chicken breasts cut into pieces

2 carrots cut into pieces (it looks nicer when they are cut at an angle)

Spring onions – separate the green and white parts

Soy sprouts

1 red chilli and chilli flakes

1 litre of chicken stock

Freshly grated ginger (about 1 inch piece)

1 clove of garlic, grated

2 stalks of lemon grass – Remove outer leaves of the lemon grass and finely slice the tender white part at the base of the stalks. Bruise them in a pestle and mortar before use.

Soy sauce

Fish sauce

Fresh mint leaves

Fresh coriander leaves

Fresh lime

Preparation

1. Prepare all the ingredients before you start. Grate the ginger and garlic, cut the veggies and the chicken, mix the mint, coriander leaves and the finely sliced green part of the spring onions in a separate bowl and get all the other ingredients ready.

2. Bring one litre of chicken stock to the boil. Add the garlic, ginger, half of the fresh chilli, the lemon grass, soy and fish sauce (start with 2 TS) and the chilli flakes.

3. Heat water in a separate pot and cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.

4. Add the carrots and the chicken pieces to the stock and cook for 4-5 minutes. They will not take much time to be cooked.

5. Take the pot off the heat. Add the juice of half a lime and check the seasoning. If the taste is a little weak add more soy or fish sauce or lime juice.

6. Add the soy sprouts and cover the pot for a few minutes before serving the soup. This will allow the sprouts to get soft and all the flavours to mix together.

7. To serve: Place the noodles in the middle of the bowl, ladle the soup on top of it and cover with a good amount of chopped spring onion green, mint and coriander leaves.

8. If you want to prepare the soup meat-free, just substitute the chicken with tofu or fish/prawns and use vegetable stock.

Lentil soup with sausages

Lentil soup with sausages

This is a family classic. My mum usually prepares the soup a day before we eat it. It is a fantastic hearty and packed with vegetables and lentils healthy on top. If you are a vegetarian or still trying to loose the some xmas pounds, just use lean ham (cooked ham) instead of bacon and sausages.

Level: Easy | Time: 60 minutes | serves 6

Ingredients

1 knob of butter

2 stalks of celery, chopped

3 rashes of smoked, streaky bacon

6 sausages (Frankfurter) cut into pieces

1 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

2 small leeks, washed and cut into rings

2 carrot peeled and cut into small pieces

1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

Parsley

Preparation

  1. Heat a little butter in a big pot on a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bacon and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Now, add all the vegetables and the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep cooking the soup on a low heat.
  3. After 20 minutes add the sausages and turn the heat off.
  4. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. If the soup could use a little more taste, try adding a little bit of tomato paste (2 TS) or a splash of vinegar and a little sugar. That helps to bring out the different tastes even more.
  6. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of parsley.

Red lentil and carrot soup

I rediscovered lentils for me. God, I forgot how lovely they are, especially in soups. My mum used to cook lentil soups quiet often in winter with lots of hearty veggies and meat, and I loved it.

This is an exotic lentil soup version. With cumin, chilli and coriander I added an oriental touch.

شاهية طيبة (Enjoy your meal!)

Level: Easy | Time: 30 minutes | serves 4-6

red lentil and carrot soup

red lentil and carrot soup


Ingredients

1 knob of butter

200 grams of red lentil

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic

Grated ginger (1 inch piece)

500 grams of peeled carrots

750 mls of vegetable or chicken stock

Chilli flakes

Cumin seeds

Salt and Pepper

Chopped coriander leaves

Preparation

  1. Heat a knob of butter on medium heat and add the onions, garlic and the ginger. Stir in a table spoon of ground cumin and the chilli flakes.
  2. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft. Then add the carrots, the lentils and the chicken stock.
  3. Reduce the heat and cook covered for 15 minutes until the carrots and lentils are soft.
  4. Take the soup of the heat and transfer to a blender. Blend the soup until smooth and return to the pot.
  5. If you like the soup a little less thick, add more stock and reheat.
  6. Stir in the coriander leaves and serve with Nann bread.
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