Black Bean and Chorizo Soup

 

Serves 4

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed. The cans I used were 439g each
  • 2 chorizo. One, skin off and chopped roughly, the other, skin off, halved lengthways and cut into slices
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5tbsps organic coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Piece of ginger, size of a walnut, minced
  • 2tsp cumin
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes
  • Sea salt flakes, and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • Shredded lime leaves
  • Red chillies, seeded and sliced
  • Natural Greek yoghurt
  • Fresh limes, halved

In a large saucepan over a low heat, sauté onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until soft. Add chopped chorizo, cumin and paprika and chilli flakes. Cook until lovely and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, then add black beans, tomatoes and two cups of the chicken stock. Simmer for about ½ hour, and then blend the mix so it still retains a little texture. Return to saucepan, add remaining stock, sliced chorizo, season with salt and pepper, and add a good slurp of olive oil. Gently cook for another 10-15 minutes and then serve in heated bowls with a dollop of yoghurt, and sprinkled with coriander sprigs, spring onions, lime leaves and red chillies. Add a good squeeze of lime juice to each bowl and serve.


Magic Chicken Soup

 

For the broth

  • 4 chicken marylands (chicken leg and thigh)
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 fresh lime leaves
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • A walnut sized piece of both ginger and turmeric, chopped finely. Skin on is fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, skin on, cut in half
  • Half a bunch parsley
  • 2 litres water or chicken broth

In a large pot over a low heat melt the coconut oil and slowly brown the chicken pieces on all sides. This is important, and results in caramelisation, which then imbues the broth with a deep umani flavour. Add turmeric, ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add the rest of the ingredients, water or chicken broth and bring to barely a simmer. Cook gently for two hours, take out the chicken, and pull meat from the bones. Set aside. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

For the soup

Serves 6-8

  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp turmeric, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ½ Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 2 litres fragrant chicken broth
  • Poached chicken from broth
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  • 6 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • Leaves from one bunch mint
  • 6-8 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • ½ bunch spring onions finely sliced
  • Sliced red hot chillies
  • Fresh limes or lemons, cut in half to serve
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Steamed brown or basmati rice, optional

In a large pot over a low heat warm the sunflower oil. Add ginger, turmeric and garlic, and cook gently for a minute or two until fragrant. Don’t let burn! Add leek, celery, onion and cabbage, season with salt and pepper, put the lid on and let sweat for about 5 minutes. Take the lid off, pour in the broth and turn up the heat. Gently simmer until the cabbage is just cooked. I like the cabbage to have a little crunch, so don’t overcook it! Add the chicken meat, chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper, and then pop in the spinach leaves. Give the soup a good stir and serve in warm bowls, with several spoons of rice in the bottom of each bowl, and topped with mint leaves, shredded lime leaves, chillies and spring onions. Squeeze half a lime or lemon over each bowl before eating.


Borsch

 

Serves 8-10

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 1 small cabbage, shredded, after removing outer leaves
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium beetroot, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 litres good chicken broth, or 1 litre lamb broth and 1 litre water
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
  • Natural yoghurt, fresh dill and horseradish to serve

In a large saucepan put 3tbsp olive oil and heat gently on a medium heat. When hot, add onion, cook gently until opaque. Add cabbage, celery and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Now add carrots, beetroot, potatoes and bay leaves, turn to coat with olive oil, and add a little more if necessary. Put lid on saucepan, turn heat down to low, and sweat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove lid, add tomatoes, salt, pepper and broth. Use a little water to cover if necessary and bring to a simmer. Gently cook for about 1 hour, or until all vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning, and serve in heated bowls with yoghurt, horseradish and lots of chopped dill. If you would like to puree this and serve it in pretty tea cups, or small glasses, do so whilst it is warm, adding a little more broth or water if it seems too thick to drink from the cup.


Chestnut Soup

 
  • 1 leek (white part only) thinly sliced
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small sticks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 500 gm. blanched chestnuts (see method below)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1.5 litres good chicken stock (I like to make my own)
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup (125 ml) pouring cream

To prepare chestnuts first slit the shell, with a small sharp paring knife, and peel it away. Bring the chestnuts to the boil in a small saucepan of cold water. They are ready as soon as the water boils. Left any longer they’ll go grey. Not very appetising. Remove the pan from the heat, then take out one chestnut at a time and slip off the papery skin. Now you can start on the soup.

Sauté the onion, celery, leek, chestnuts and bay leaves in the olive oil in a stock pot over a medium heat until the vegetables are soft and golden. Do not let them burn. Season with salt and add 1 litre of the stock, then simmer until chestnuts are very soft, about 25-30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and then puree the mixture in a food processor.

Season with pepper, check to see if more salt is needed and return to the stock pot. If the mixture seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining (500 ml.) chicken stock.

Then add the cream and reheat gently. Now you’re ready to serve; however to create an extra visual and textural delight I like to drizzle some very fine, extra virgin olive oil over the soup and scatter some deep-fried flat parsley leaves on top for a bit of crunch.


Sorrel, Pea and Potato Soup

 
  • 50g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced
  • 2 – 3 potatoes, peeled and diced (about 400g )
  • 1 litre good chicken stock, and a little more if needed when reheating
  • sea salt flakes, freshly ground pepper, grated nutmeg, a pinch of sugar
  • 200g peas, cooked. (frozen is fine)
  • 2 handfuls sorrel, washed and cut into ribbons
  • About 4tbsp thick cream
  • 4tbsp cooked peas, a few small sorrel and tarragon leaves

Melt the butter and cook the onion and leek in it until soft but not brown. Add the potatoes and stock and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Transfer the soup to a blender with the peas and sorrel and purée until smooth and bright green. Return it to the saucepan, season with sea salt, pepper, a little grated nutmeg and a pinch of sugar. Add the cream and reheat without boiling. (if you boil the soup when reheating the soup will loose its colour) Ladle into 4 bowls and put a spoonful each of the peas and a few small sorrel and tarragon leaves on top. Serves 4.