Soupe au Pistou


Serves 6

  •  300g dried white beans

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

  • 300g small green beans, cut into 1cm pieces

  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, halved, seeded and diced

  • 3 zucchini, diced

  • 2 brown onions, peeled and diced

  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1.5litres water, or chicken stock

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • Half bunch of parsley, chopped

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 bunches fresh basil, leaves only, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 60g freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ripe tomato, peeled, halved, seeded and diced

The day before you want to serve the soup, rinse the dried beans and soak them overnight in cold water.

Drain the beans and put them into a large saucepan. Add 1 bay leaf and enough water to cover the beans by 10cm, bring to a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender, about 1.5 hours. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add onions, carrots, leek and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the water or chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes. Now add the white beans, green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes, cook for about 2 minutes, taste, season, add the chopped parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with the Pistou.

For the Pistou, combine the basil and garlic in a mortar, and pound to a paste. Gradually add olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomato, and serve with the soup.

La Garbure

La Garbure.jpg
  • 1 large ham hock

  • 1 brown onion cut in half

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 stick celery, cut in half

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 4 large sprigs thyme

  • ½ bunch parsley stalks

  •  2tbsp olive oil

  • 2 chorizo

  • 1 brown onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 large carrots, sliced

  • 2 sticks celery, sliced

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped

  • Several handfuls spinach leaves, washed, stems removed

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

 Firstly make your stock by placing ham hock, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, thyme and parsley stalks into a large pot. Add 4-5 litres water (to just cover), bring to a simmer, and cook very gently for 2 hours. Turn off heat, and let cool. When cool, remove ham hock, take off skin, discard, and shred into in largish pieces. Cover and set aside.

Strain ham stock, discarding vegetables and herbs, you should have approximately 3 litres, refrigerate stock for a couple of hours, or overnight, remove fat and discard.

 In the same pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic over a medium heat. Add bay leaves, thyme, chorizo and potatoes, add 2 litres stock, bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are just tender. Turn off heat, remove chorizo, take off skin and cut into thick slices. Put back into pot with shredded ham hock, bring back to a low simmer (adding more stock if necessary for a more soupier consistency), season with salt and pepper, add parsley and spinach, and serve hot.

Tuscan Bean Soup


Serves 6

  • 2-3tbsp olive oil

  • 1 brown onion chopped

  • 6 rashes streaky bacon, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

  • 2 large sticks celery, peeled and thickly sliced

  • ½ bunch kale, centre stem removed, chopped

  • 2-3 medium courgettes, sliced

  • 2 cans Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 bunch parsley, stalks removed, and chopped

  • 2litres chicken stock

  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

  • Grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry onion until soft, add bacon and fry 2-3 minutes, then add garlic, carrots, celery, kale, bay leaves and thyme.

Add remaining olive oil, season well, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add stock, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes until vegetables are just tender, add beans, courgettes and parsley. Stir to combine, cook for 3 minutes, check seasoning, and serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Three Pea and Ham Soup


Serves 4-6

This is the simplest of recipes, as long as you have an extremely good stock.

I use a ham stock, made from the bones of my Christmas ham. A flavoursome stock made from chicken carcasses and wings, works very well too.

Also, try to find moghrabieh (Israeli couscous), or substitute small elbow macaroni.

  • 1.5litres jellied ham stock

  • 2 cups coarsely shredded ham

  • 1 cup moghrabieh, cooked (or small elbow macaroni)

  • 1 cup fresh peas, podded

  • 1 cup shredded snow peas

  • 1.5 cups honey snap peas, cut into 3 pieces

  • A large handful of fresh mint leaves

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Crème fraîche to serve

Bring ham stock to a simmer in a large saucepan.

Add ham, moghrabieh, peas, snow peas, and honey snap peas.

Cook until peas are bright green, but still have some crunch to them.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Throw in mint leaves, and serve with crème fraîche.

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.



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.