Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Prawn and Ginger Dumplings in Miso Broth

Smack bang in the middle of a NZ winter, with a cold, and I'm craving broths and soups. With my addiction to dumplings this recipe is being whipped up frequently. You can substitute the miso paste with your own vegetable stock or a good quality store brand if you don't have time.

serves 4
takes 45 mins

For the filling:
  • 12-16 raw prawns, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped into 5cm bites
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • large knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • packet fresh wonton or dumpling wrappers
For the Miso broth:
  • 2 tbsp miso paste (I use Urban Hippy)
  • large knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of chilli flakes or 1 fresh chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Asian greens ie bok choy, sliced (optional) 
Method - to make Dumplings
  1. Combine prawns, spring onions, ginger, soy sauce & sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Put dumpling wrappers on a large board & place a good sized teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the wrapper. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrapper, then fold in half. Press around the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
Method - to make Broth
  1. Place miso paste, ginger, soy sauce, salt and sesame oil
    in a large pot, add 2 litres of water and bring to boil.
  2. Drop the dumplings in gently and cook for 2 minutes or until the wrappers are transparent and dumplings float to the surface.
  3. Remove dumplings and divide among bowls.
  4. Add in asian greens and simmer for 1-2 minutes until they are just cooked. Distribute among serving bowls.
  5. Ladle in some broth and garnish with chili. Enjoy!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Smokey Pumpkin, Carrot and Kumura Soup

The flavours in this quick soup just sing! So easy to throw together and contains lots of goodness to help keep those winter bugs away!


  • 1 large onion, peeled & quartered
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, chop top off so you squeeze roasted garlic out easily
  • 1/2 pumpkin, peeled & diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & diced
  • 2 large kumura, peeled & diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups stock - I use vegetable or 3 tbsp of miso paste and 3 cups water
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • To serve: Greek yoghurt, roasted pumpkin seeds and freshly cracked pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Place all the vegetables in a roasting tray with garlic at the centre. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to caramelise or turn golden brown.
  3. Place in a large pot with the stock and smoked paprika and using a stick blender puree until you have a nice thick consistency. 
  4. Warm the soup up by simmering for around 5 minutes then add yoghurt, roasted pumpkin seeds, season & serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Annabel Langbein’s Chicken & Ginger Dumpling Bowl

Chicken sausages or mince make super quick dumplings in this tasty dish

Serves 4
Takes 40 minutes


  • 300g dried egg noodles or soba noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 spring onions, white parts trimmed and kept whole, greens thinly sliced, to garnish
  • 6 cups chicken stock or use 2 tbsp of miso paste mixed in 6 cups of hot water
  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 good-quality chicken sausages or chicken mince
  • 4 heads bok choy or ¼ cabbage,thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime and 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds, to garnish

  1. Place star anise, spring onion whites, stock and ginger in a large pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Squeeze small balls of sausage meat out of the skins and drop them into the simmering soup. 
  2. Cook over a gentle heat for 2 minutes then lift out the spring onion and star anise and discard. Add bok choy or cabbage and bring back to a simmer. Mix in coriander, chilli, lime zest, oyster sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. Divide cooked, drained noodles between 4 heated bowls. Top with hot soup, lime juice, sesame seeds and reserved spring onion greens to serve.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Creamy Apple & Celeriac Soup

Such a comforting soup on a wet & windy Tuesday. This is from Anna Jones, A Modern Way to Eat. Apples add sweetness while butter beans add creaminess. Just try it :)

serves 2-4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 celeriac, washed, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock or 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 × 400g tin of butter beans, drained
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
to serve
  • a handful of hazelnuts
  • 50g butter
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage, leaves picked

  1. Heat a splash of oil in a large pan, then add the leek and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the celeriac, apples and thyme and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the stock (or miso paste and 1.5 litres of water) and butter beans and season well. 
  2. Simmer over a low heat for 20–30 minutes, until the celeriac is tender, then remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan until golden brown then remove from the pan and put to one side. 
  4. Lower heat, add the butter to the pan and once it is hot add the sage and fry until it is crispy and the butter is light brown. Keep the heat low for this last bit and take the pan off as soon as you see the butter turn brown, as it can burn really quickly.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with the sage and hazelnut brown butter. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Yotam Ottolenghi's Parsnip Dumplings in Broth

I learnt a valuable lesson when I made this for my sister (ex-chef) and that's not to add water to vegetable stock after its been soaking up delicious flavours for hours, hence watering down the flavour and making it taste...well, like water. I don't know why I did it, clearly all logic had left the kitchen. Ottolenghi adds prunes so here I was expecting gasps of 'what's your secret ingredient' - not hmmm the broth is a bit bland [insert very sad face]. So while my ex-chef sister kindly explained stock making #101 I was already planning when I was going to make it next, which I did and it was divine [insert very happy face]. Another tip for stock is to add the hard rind from cheese, haven't tried prunes and rind together though so guess what Trevor, we're having this third time in a row :)


serves 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 5 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • ½ celeriac, peeled and cut roughly (I left this out second time around & didn't notice)
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 small bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 prunes

For the dumplings
  • 200g floury potato (1 small), peeled and diced
  • 200g parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 30g butter
  • 60g self-raising flour 
  • 50g semolina
  • 1 free range egg
  • Salt and white pepper

  1. To make the broth, sauté the vegetables until lightly coloured. Add the herbs, spices and prunes, cover with cold water and simmer for up to two hours, skimming and adding water as needed
  2. Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a clean pan and set aside for reheating.
  3. For the dumplings,  boil the potato, parsnip and garlic in salted water until soft. Drain, and sauté in butter to remove moisture. Mash, whisk in the flour, semolina, egg and a little seasoning, cover and refrigerate for 30-60mins.
  4. Reheat the broth to a simmer and taste for seasoning.
  5. In another pan, bring some salted water to a rolling simmer and using a hot teaspoon, drop in small dumplings. Cook until they rise to the top, leave for 30 seconds, then transfer to the hot broth, garnish with parsley and serve. Enjoy!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pumpkin, Apple and Fennel Soup

This is a smooth, creamy soup with a sweet, perfumy, anise-like flavour imparted from the fennel. Roasting the vegetables helps to bring out all the flavours. 

serves 4
takes 1 hour to roast, 10 minutes to prepare
  • 1kg pumpkin, peeled & cut into 5cm cubes
  • 2 apples, quartered & cored
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 garlic bulb, peel away the outer layers of the bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Place pumpkin, apples, fennel & onion in a large roasting pan with the garlic bulb in the centre. Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with fennel seeds. Season well with sea salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Roast for one hour, turning half way through.
  4. Let vegetables cool slightly then transfer to a large pot and add stock.
  5. Using a hand blender, whiz until smooth.
  6. Add 1 cup of yoghurt. Cover and reheat slowly on the stove top.
  7. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Seared Tuna Steaks with Green Tea Noodles & Ginger Broth

Love the taste of fresh ginger and seared tuna. Pour some broth over and you have a super quick & easy weekday winner adapted from Mindfood's Winter.

serves 2
takes 30 minutes
  • 2 tuna steaks
  • Olive oil
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2 cups vegetable stock - I added about 2 cups of water as well, depends how thick/thin you like your broth
  • 1/2 pack dried noodles - I use Hakubaku Cha Soba - Green Tea - noodles, but any type will be fine, just adjust cooking time
  • handful garlic chives or spring onions, sliced thinly, to serve
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (white/black), to serve
  1. Heat about 2 tsps of olive oil in a large pot over a low-medium
    heat. Add freshly grated ginger and cook until aromatic. Add stock; bring to the boil then add noodles. Reduce heat & simmer for 4-6 minutes depending on type of noodle.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray tuna with olive oil & season with salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Add steaks & sear 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other then transfer to a plate. Let is rest for a couple of minutes before cutting into thin slices. 
  4. Place some noodles in a soup bowl, ladle some broth over finishing with the tuna.
  5. Serve sprinkled with chives & sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Chilli Jam and Tomato Soup with Pan-Fried Snapper

A sweet chilli soup adapted from donna hay with some short cuts to make it an easy after work dinner. I reckon you could try this with salmon fillets too.

takes 30 minutes
serves 2
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chilli jam
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised (trim off the spiky top and the base, remove and discard the first few outer layers, and then bruise the lemongrass stalk by lightly crushing it with a pestle, a meat mallet, or the side of a large knife or cleaver)
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled & minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (approx. 2 limes)
  • 2 tsp superfine sugar (I used granulated)
  • 2 x snapper fillets, skin on if you can get it, without works too
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • handful of dried rice noodles, cooked
  • fresh coriander leaves to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over a high heat. Add the chilli jam, bruised lemongrass, ginger & garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring.
  2. Add the can of tomatoes & cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, fish sauce, lime juice & sugar, bring to the boil, turn heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes. While the soup is cooking, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.
  4. Brush the fish with oil, season and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and take pan off the heat and leave fish to finish cooking.
  5. Divide the noodles between bowls; break fish into big chunks and place on top of noodles; spoon soup mixture over the top and throw some fresh coriander leaves over the top. Enjoy!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Smokey Butternut Soup

Beautiful smokey pumpkin soup good on a winter night and doesn't take long to make. 

takes about 30 minutes
serves 4
  • Large butternut pumpkin (1kg), peeled & chopped into 2 cm pieces (you are going to roast then puree so you don't need to be fussy, just easier if they are a similar size so they cook at the same time)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8-10 good size garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 8 fresh sage leaves (or you could use thyme or basil)
  • 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup single (pouring) cream or thick greek yoghurt
  • finely grated fresh nutmeg to serve
This recipe freezes well so you can double the ingredients and freeze some for lunch during the week.
    1. Preheat oven to 220oC.
    2. Place pumpkin, onion, garlic cloves on a baking dish & drizzle with oil, season with salt & pepper, paprika & cinnamon then toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes.
    3. Add the sage and roast for a further 10 minutes.
    4. Remove sage.
    5. Place the pumpkin & onion in a large soup pot and add half the hot stock. 
    6. Squeeze the garlic from their skins and add to veges in the pot.
    7. Use a hand blender and blend until mixture is smooth.
    8. Place pot on a medium heat and add remaining stock, cream (or yoghurt), salt and pepper and cook until the soup has just heated through - don't boil as you will curdle the cream.
    9. Divide soup between bowls and top with sage leaves.
    10. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg and pepper. Bon appétit!

    adapted from donna hay

    Sunday, 19 May 2013

    Roasted Tomato, Fennel, Kumara, Cannellini Beans Soup

    What a beautiful rich soup, packed with vegetables and some roasted garlic & kumara to lend it some sweetness. One of my favourite soups to date.

    serves 2-4
    40 minutes to bake vegetables, 10 minutes to finish 
    • 2-3 large tomatoes, halved crossways
    • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cut into 8 wedges
    • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    • 1 garlic bulb, peel away the outer layers of the bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic
    • 2 medium size kumara, peeled & chopped into 2cm pieces
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 cups vegetable stock
    • 400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
    1. Preheat oven to 200°C
    2. Arrange tomatoes (cut side up), fennel, onion, kumara & the garlic bulb in a large heavy-based roasting pan. Pour a dash of olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
    3. Gently toss vegetables to coat in oil. Roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender & caramelised around the edges.
    4. Transfer vegetables and pan juices to a large saucepan. Add stock and half the cannellini beans. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    5. Using a hand blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth.
    6. Return to low heat, stir in remaining cannellini beans. Season to taste. Heat soup until hot.
    7. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with fresh french bread. Enjoy!

    Saturday, 18 May 2013

    Hot and Sour Chicken Meatball Soup

    This is adapted from Donna Hay, a very quick weekday meal with chilli...of course. Have I mentioned that my chilli plant is going crazy? So not sure why I ended up buying the chilli jam for this recipe...

    • 250g thin dried rice noodles
    • 400g free range chicken mince
    • 5cm piece ginger, peeled & grated
    • 1 1/2 tbsp chilli jam
    • 1 free range egg white
    • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
    • 2 tsp vegetable oil
    • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
    • bunch of baby bok choy, trimmed & roughly chopped
    • handful of beans or sugar snap peas, trimmed & halved
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • garnish with freshly chopped chives (I used garlic chives from my garden) or spring onions & freshly chopped chilli
    1. Place the noodles in a glass bowl & cover with hot water for 6 minutes. Drain then set aside.
    2. In a bowl mix together chicken, minced ginger, 1 tbsp of the chilli jam, egg white, salt & pepper.
    3. Heat oil in large pot over a medium heat and cook ginger stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 tbsp of chilli jam, stirring for a further 2 minutes.
    4. Add the stock, increase heat to high & bring to the boil.
    5. Roll chicken mix into small balls (about 1/2 tbsp) & add to the stock & cook for 3 minutes.
    6. Add the bok choy & beans (or peas) and cook 2 minutes.
    7. Remove from the heat & add fresh lime juice. Serve with garnish on the side & enjoy!

    Wednesday, 8 May 2013

    Roasted Cauliflower Soup

    Cleaning out the freezer I came across some cauliflower I had frozen and forgotten about. If in doubt make can throw whatever you like into it, blend it and viola!

    serves 2
    takes about 40mins

    • about 2-3 cups of chopped cauliflower, I didn't even bother defrosting, just threw it straight into the oven
    • 1 garlic bulb, peel away the outer layers of the bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic
    • olive oil
    • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, soak in water while roasting cauli
    • 1 tbsp miso paste OR sea salt
    • leaves from fresh thyme (I have plenty in the garden if you are local & want some!)
    • 3 cups of water OR vegetable stock
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika OR plain paprika
    • 1/2 large lemon
    • pinch chilli flakes
    1. Preheat oven to 200oC. Spread cauliflower & garlic on a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper.
    2. Bake 30 minutes until golden, rotating cauli half way through.
    3. Add cauli to a blender along with drained cashews, thyme leaves, miso, lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups of water or stock.
    4. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without
      burning yourself. Use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and add to blender.
    5. Blend until pureed then add 1 tbsp olive oil, paprika and rest of the water/stock. Blend again. At this stage I transferred into a saucepan and finished off with a stick blender as I had over filled my food processor!
    6. Pour into a saucepan (if you haven't already) and check seasoning. Add more salt & pepper if you wish.
    7. Reheat on a very low heat until just warm. You might have to pop a lid on the saucepan to prevent the soup hitting the walls.
    8. Serve with toast on the side & enjoy!

    Saturday, 20 April 2013

    Spicy Pumpkin Soup

    Its been a very rough time of late so I was looking for some comfit food and what's better than good ole pumpkin soup as we head through autumn. So many variations on this classic but tonight the flavour focus was on fresh coriander and fresh chilli served with a thick greek yoghurt. Take out the chilli and use less coriander if you want something a lot more mild.

    serves 3-4
    takes about 35mins

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced 
    • 1 large red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
    • bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped including stems
    • 2 bay leaf
    • 1 kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded & diced (tip - if you have time bake the whole pumpkin in a oven preheated to 180oC for 1 hour and it makes it easier to peel & chop & adds a lovely flavour)
    • 600ml vegetable stock
    • salt & freshly ground pepper
    • thick plain greek yoghurt
    1. Heat the oil in large pot over a medium heat and add the onion & garlic, cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
    2. Add the ginger, chilli, coriander, bay leaves & pumpkin & cook for another 3 minutes.
    3. Pour in the stock & bring to the boil then reduce the heat & simmer for 20-25 minutes, stir occasionally until pumpkin is tender.
    4. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves & leave to cool for 5 minutes.
    5. Using a stick blender (or transfer to food processor) process until smooth.
    6. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
    7. Reheat gently over a low heat, stirring.
    8. Remove from heat and pour into soup bowls.
    9. Garnish each one with yoghurt (or if you are feeling decadent, some cream) and enjoy! I served this with Vogels toast spread with a touch of butter.

    Saturday, 16 March 2013

    Hot and Sour Prawn Noodle Soup

    Takes 20 minutes
    serves 2
    • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
    • 4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed but not chopped up
    • 1 stalk lemongrass, crushed & halved
    • 3 red chillies, whole
    • 24 prawns, shelled & deveined
    • 5 tbsp fish sauce
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 16 mushrooms, chopped so they are a similar size to the prawns
    • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 200 grams rice noodles or vermicelli
    • fresh coriander, to garnish
    1. Cook noodles according to packet instructions. Divide between
    2. In a saucepan, heat the stock, add the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and chillies. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Strain leaves, lemongrass & chillies.
    3. Add the prawns, fish sauce, sugar & mushrooms and simmer for a further 3 minutes, stirring well.
    4. Add the lemon juice, stir then pour over the noodles. Garnish with fresh coriander. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, 19 December 2012

    Chicken Miso Soup

    (serves 2)
    Takes 20 minutes
    • 1/3 cup miso paste (I buy mine from Urban Hippie in Nelson). *Update, you can now buy this at Farro Fresh in Grey Lynn.
    • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    • 6 cups water
    • 4 free range chicken thighs, sliced
    • bunch of asparagus, tough ends snapped off
    • bunch of green beans, trimmed & halved lengthwise
    • 2 spring onions, sliced


    1. Place miso paste, fish sauce & water in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
    2. Cover & bring to a boil, add chicken, asparagus & beans & stir.
    3. Lower heat & simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is tender & cooked.
    4. Ladle into soup bowls & sprinkle with spring onions. Enjoy!

    Monday, 3 December 2012

    Tuna Chowder

    Serves 4
    Takes 15 minutes

    Healthy and quick to make. What more could you ask for after a hard day at work...perhaps a cold beer to match?

    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, peeled & finely diced
    • 2 large celery sticks, trimmed & finely diced
    • 1 tbsp wholemeal flour
    • 500ml skim milk
    • large can of tuna in water
    • 2 cups corn kernels (can used canned or frozen)
    • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
    • Salt & freshly cracked pepper
    • pinch cayenne pepper
    • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (to serve)
    1. Heat the oil in large saucepan over a medium-low heat & add the onion & celery. Cook until both are soft, about 5-10 minutes.
    2. Stir in the flour & cook for another minute.
    3. Turn temperature down low and slowly add in the milk, mixing it in.
    4. Add the tuna & its liquid, sweetcorn & thyme. Mix then bring to the boil. Cover & simmer for 5 minutes.
    5. Remove pan from heat & season to taste. Sprinkle chowder with a pinch or two of cayenne pepper depending on how hot you like it & chopped parsley.
    6. Serve immediately & enjoy!

    Sunday, 14 October 2012

    French Onion Soup

    Nothing like a hearty French Onion Soup in the middle of a very cold July, plus onions are cheap at the moment. If you have time, cook the onions slowly for a good hour or so, just remember to keep an eye on them or they will catch and burn - yes, I learnt the hard way! The more the onions caramelize the sweeter they taste however you can cook the onions within 10 - 15 minutes if you are in a hurry. When I do this method I sometimes turn the heat up high so the onions start to catch (i.e just start to turn brown) then remove from the heat and give them a good stir.

    Serves 2
    Depending on how long you have to caramelize the onions can take 15 minutes to 1 hour
    • big knob of butter and 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 6-8 large brown onions, sliced
    • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 cup red wine or dry white wine (or use extra stock with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar)
    • 3 cups beef or vegetable stock
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped - if you don't have fresh use 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
    • salt & pepper
    • toasted french bread or bread of choice
    • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese) or your favourite cheese to melt on top of the bread
    1. Peel & chop onions. The chop blade on a food processor makes quick work of this (& less tears).
    2. Melt butter and olive oil in large saucepan over a low heat.
    3. Add onions & cook slowly for 1 hour until brown & caramelized. Don't forget to check the onions don't catch and give it a good stir every 15 minutes or so. If the onions haven't coloured within the hour turn heat up a tad.  If you don't have an hour cook the onions & garlic over a low heat for 10 minutes then add stock, thyme, bay leaves and increase heat to high & cook for a further 10 minutes. Season. Grill the bread as below and viola.
    4. Sprinkle over flour & stir in.
    5. Add wine and deglaze pan i.e stir in all the good bits that get stuck to the bottom of the pan
    6. Add stock, garlic, thyme & bay leaves, salt & pepper & bring to boil at medium heat.
    7. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for a further 30 minutes.
    8. Preheat oven grill and toast bread on one side, turn over and sprinkle with grated cheese and grill until melted.
    9. Don't forget to remove bay leaves before spooning soup into bowls and top with the bread. Enjoy!

    Friday, 12 October 2012

    Chicken, Green Bean & Broccoli Soup

    This is a wonderfully warming soup by Donna Hay which has now become Trevor's signature dish ;)

    Serves 4
    Takes around 30 mins

    • glug olive oil
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes or fresh red chilli, finely sliced
    • 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
    • 1 red onion, sliced
    • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 3 cups miso (mix 2 tbsp miso with hot water) - or just use stock
    • 2 chicken breasts or 4-6 thighs, sliced into bite size pieces
    • bag of green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
    • head of broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
    • 3/4 cup of pearl couscous
    • fresh coriander, roughly chopped
    1. In a large suacepan, warm oil over medium-high heat.
    2. Add garlic, chilli, lemon & onion & cook until onion is soft.
    3. Add stock & bring to a simmer.
    4. Add couscous and cook for around 2 minutes or until couscous starts to get soft.
    5. Add beans, spring onions, broccoli & cook for another 2 minutes
    6. Add chicken & cook until chicken is just done and couscous is soft in the middle.
    7. Spoon into bowls, top with fresh coriander leaves & enjoy! 

    (Adapted from donna hay, simple dinners)