1. All kind of Soup recipes
Hot & sour soup
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 fresh red chillies
freshly ground white pepper
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
250 g shitake mushrooms, cleaned
225 g bamboo shoots, drained
groundnut oil, or vegetable oil
low-salt soy sauce
rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon runny honey
1.5 litres hot organic vegetable stock
150 g firm tofu
2 spring onions
½ bunch of chives
1 large free-range egg
Peel the garlic and deseed the chillies, then roughly chop and place into a pestle and mortar. Bash with a pinch of salt to a rough paste. Peel, finely chop and add the ginger, then bash until broken down and combined.
Finely slice the mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Heat a lug of oil in a large wok or heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the chilli paste and bamboo shoots and fry for a further minute.
Meanwhile, mix together 3 tablespoons of soy, 4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, the honey and a good pinch of white pepper. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute, then pour in the hot stock and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Meanwhile, chop the tofu into 1cm cubes, finely slice the spring onions and chives and whisk the egg well.
Once reduced, remove the soup from the heat. Using a chopstick, stir the soup in a clockwise direction until you get a little whirlpool, then slowly add the beaten egg, stirring continuously to form thin ribbons. Stir in the tofu and return to the heat for 1 minute to warm through. Season to taste with soy and vinegar, then serve immediately with the spring onions and chives scattered on top.
Zucchini ,potato & cheddar soup
500g potatoes, unpeeled and roughly chopped
2 vegetable stock cubes
1kg Zucchini, roughly chopped
bunch spring onion, sliced - save 1 for serving, if eating straight away
100g extra-mature cheddar or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus a little extra to serve
good grating fresh nutmeg, plus extra to serve
Put the potatoes in a large pan with just enough water to cover them and crumble in the stock cubes. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook for 5 mins. Add the courgettes, put the lid back on and cook for 5 mins more. Throw in the spring onions, cover and cook for a final 5 mins.
Take off the heat, then stir in the cheese and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whizz to a thick soup, adding more hot water until you get the consistency you like. Serve scattered with extra grated cheddar, spring onions and nutmeg or pepper. Or cool and freeze in freezer bags or containers with good lids for up to 3 months.
Zucchini , pea & pesto soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
500g Zucchini, quartered lengthways and chopped
200g frozen peas
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1l hot vegetable stock
2 tbsp basil pesto, or vegetarian alternative
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the garlic for a few seconds, then add the Zucchini and cook for 3 mins until they start to soften. Stir in the peas and cannellini beans, pour on the hot stock and cook for a further 3 mins.
Stir the pesto through the soup with some seasoning, then ladle into bowls and serve with crusty brown bread, if you like. Or pop in a flask to take to work.
Chicken, sweetcorn & noodle soup
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
2 corn on the cobs, corn kernels cut off
200g vermicelli noodles
small bunch parsley, finely chopped
For the stock
2 onions, quartered
1 leek, cut into chunks
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 tbsp vegetable bouillon or 1 vegetable stock cube
Put all the stock ingredients and the chicken in a very large saucepan, then cover everything with about 3 litres cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 1 hr-1½ hrs, until the chicken is cooked through. Skim off any froth every 20 mins or so. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve, skimming off as much fat as you can.
Rinse out the pan and put the stock back in, then simmer on a high heat until reduced a little – you need about 2 litres in total. Add the carrots and leeks, then simmer for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, shred the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add to the pan with the sweetcorn. Add the vermicelli noodles, unless you want to freeze the soup, and simmer for about 7 mins more, until the corn and pasta is cooked. Ladle into bowls, sprinkled with the parsley. To freeze, allow the soup to cool completely before freezing (see tip), and when you’re ready to eat, allow the soup to defrost before bringing it back to a gentle simmer in a pan. Add the noodles and simmer until cooked.
Mexican chicken & tomato soup
1½ kg ripe tomatoes, halved vertically
2 onions, cut into wedges
1 medium chicken, jointed into pieces
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shallow frying
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp coriander seed, crushed
400g can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
zest and juice 1 lime
4 tbsp chipotle paste
3 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
large handful coriander, chopped
2 avocados, stoned, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
200ml soured cream (optional)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, in a large roasting tin with the onions and top with the chicken pieces. Season generously and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Roast for 45 mins until the chicken is crisp and tender, and the tomatoes start to caramelise. When the chicken is ready, remove from the oven to a plate and cover with foil. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomato and onions to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Reserve the cooking juices from the roasting tin.
Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan and fry the garlic, chillies and coriander seeds for a few mins until just brown. Pull the meat from the chicken bones, tear into chunks and mix with the beans, lime zest and chipotle paste. Add this chicken mix to the pan but reserve one-third of it. Pour the soup into the pan and add enough of the cooking juices until you get a nice consistency. Heat a few inches of oil in a small saucepan, then carefully shallow-fry the tortilla pieces in batches until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, gently reheat the soup, season to taste and stir through the coriander. Top with the reserved chicken mix, avocados and lime juice. Serve with the tortilla chips and soured cream, if you like.
Poached chicken & vegetable soup
1.6 kg whole higher-welfare chicken
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 heart celery, sliced, yellow leaves reserved
12 new potatoes, peeled
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 large handfuls peas
1 leek, washed and shredded
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
A filling, delicious dish that's super healthy too.
Wash your chicken in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place the chicken, carrots, celery, potatoes and thyme into a large, deep pan and pour in 3 litres of water or enough to cover the chicken.
Simmer on a medium heat for 1½ hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan and strain the broth. Save the veg for later. Put the broth back on a high heat and allow to reduce for 15 minutes until there's about 2 litres left.
Meanwhile, tear the cooked chicken into long chunks. Once the broth has reduced, throw the vegetables back in the pan with the peas, leeks and chicken. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then remove the sprigs of thyme.
Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with chopped parsley and the celery leaves.
Tip: The chicken is the star ingredient so use the best you can get your hands on.
Roasted sweet garlic, bread & almond soup
3 large bulbs fresh garlic, broken up and skins left on
1 medium white onion, peeled and finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
285 ml single cream
1 litre organic chicken or vegetable stock
1 large loaf ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar
150 g whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted in the oven
freshly ground black pepper
3 oranges, peeled and segmented
1 handful fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
Roast the garlic cloves in a preheated oven at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 for around half an hour until soft to the touch. Meanwhile, take a large pot and slowly fry the white onion in 4 tablespoons of olive oil for about 10 minutes until really soft and translucent. Add the cream and the stock, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, awaiting your garlic. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool slightly before squeezing out all the sweet, golden paste. Whisk this into the soup. Discard the garlic skins.
Remove the crusts from your ciabatta, rip up the bread into small pieces and throw into the soup. Add the sherry vinegar, then allow the soup to simmer for 5 more minutes. Whiz it until smooth in your food processor with your toasted almonds. Season nicely to taste and serve in big bowls sprinkled with some orange segments, torn up coriander and mint, and drizzled with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil.
Try this: You can eat this cold in the summer – it's obviously going to be thick, which I think is a nice thing, but you can thin it with a little milk or stock if you want to.
And this: You may want to big up the sherry vinegar to give it that twang you get with a Spanish gazpacho soup.
Or this: There's a similar recipe from Spain where sliced white grapes are added to the soup – this contrasts really well with the garlic, so give it a go. A handful will do. Nice when eaten both hot and cold.
Leek & potato soup
2 sticks celery
2 medium onions
400 g leeks
2 cloves garlic
400 g potatoes
2 organic chicken or vegetable stock cubes
freshly ground black pepper
What a classic soup! Usually eaten hot, it's also surprisingly delicious eaten fridge-cold on a summer's day with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of natural yoghurt.
Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Cut the ends off the leeks, quarter them lengthways, wash them under running water and cut them into 1cm slices. Peel and slice the garlic.
Place a large pan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened, but are still holding their shape, and the onion and leeks are lightly golden.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm dice. Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.8 litres of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the vegetables. Add your potatoes. Give the soup a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on
Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve like this or pulse until smooth using a hand blender or liquidizer. Divide between your serving bowls.
English onion soup with sage & Cheddar
1 good knob butter
1 good handful fresh sage leaves, 8 leaves reserved for serving
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5 red onions, peeled and sliced
3 large white onions, peeled and sliced
3 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
300 g leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
freshly ground black pepper
2 litres organic beef, vegetable or chicken stock, hot
8 slices good-quality stale bread, 2cm thick
200 g Cheddar cheese, freshly grated
There's something so incredibly humble about onion soup. It's absolutely one of my favourites but unfortunately I only ever get to make it in the restaurant or for myself as the missus thinks she's allergic to onions. (She's not, because I whiz them up into loads of dishes without her knowing!) If you have the opportunity, get hold of as many different types of onion for this soup as you can – you need about 1kg in total. Sweat them gently and you'll be amazed at all the flavours going on.
Put the butter, 2 lugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions, shallots and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook slowly for 50 minutes, without colouring the vegetables too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes – your onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. Having the patience to cook the onions slowly, slowly, gives you an incredible sweetness and an awesome flavour, so don't be tempted to speed this bit up.
When your onions and leeks are lovely and silky, add the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can skim any fat off the surface if you like, but I prefer to leave it because it adds good flavour.
Preheat the oven or grill to maximum. Toast your bread on both sides. Correct the seasoning of the soup. When it's perfect, ladle it into individual heatproof serving bowls and place them on a baking tray. Tear toasted bread over each bowl to fit it like a lid. Feel free to push and dunk the bread into the soup a bit. Sprinkle with some grated Cheddar and drizzle over a little Worcestershire sauce.
Dress your reserved sage leaves with some olive oil and place one on top of each slice of bread. Put the baking tray into the preheated oven or under the grill to melt the cheese until bubbling and golden. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't burn! When the cheese is bubbling, very carefully lift out the tray and carry it to the table. Enjoy.
Bread & tomato soup (Pappa al pomodoro)
500 g ripe cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil, the best you can find
freshly ground black pepper
2 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
500 g stale good-quality bread
This Tuscan soup is delicious – it's a soup everyone should try. Just thinking of it makes me salivate! It's a family-friendly soup – babies and grandparents (both without teeth!) can eat it with gusto. I've added roasted cherry tomatoes to my recipe but it also works really well just with tinned. The great thing is that it only takes 20 minutes to cook, so go for it! PS Use a stale white cottage-style loaf – not cheap sliced white factory bread.
Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and a quarter of the basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting tray and cook in the oven at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 for about 20 minutes. The reason for doing this is so that their flavour becomes intense and concentrated.
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pot and add the remaining garlic and the basil stalks. Stir around and gently fry for a minute until softened. Add your tinned tomatoes, then fill the tin with water and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Tear the bread up into thumb-sized pieces and add them to the pan. Mix well and season to taste. Tear in the basil leaves and let the soup sit on a low heat for 10 minutes. By this time your roasted tomatoes will be done, with juice bursting out of their skins, so remove them from the tray, remembering to scrape all the lovely sticky bits from the bottom. Pour them into the soup with all the juices, basil and oil from the tray.
Give the soup a good stir – you're looking to achieve a thick, silky, porridgey texture, so feel free to adjust it with a little water. Then remove it from the heat and add 6 or 7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Divide between your bowls and serve with a little extra basil torn over the top if you like. The most important thing with this soup is that you have a wonderfully intense sweet tomato basil flavour.