Hot or Cold Beet-Fennel Soup – Serves 6
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed,
- cored and cut into chunks
- 1 large red or sweet onion, cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or oregano (optional)
- Fine sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
- 6 cups (about 1 ½ litres) chicken or vegetable broth
- 5 medium red beetroot, trimmed, peeled and cut into chunks
For serving (optional)
- Plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche with strawberries, hulled and cut into small pieces
- Cucumber, preferably mini (Persian), peeled (or not) and cut into rounds or small dice
- Minced fresh herbs, for sprinkling
- Cracked ice cubes
1. Pour one tablespoon of the oil into a large saucepan and warm over a low heat. Add the fennel, onion, garlic and herb, if you’re using it, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften (about 15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Add the broth and beetroot, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes. Don’t be impatient — the beetroot must be easily pierced with a knife.
2. To purée the soup, use a blender, either upright or handheld, or a food processor. Discard the spent herb sprigs when you come to them and blend the soup for a minute more than you might normally to ensure a silky texture.
3. You can serve the soup hot or let it cool a bit and then refrigerate until it’s thoroughly chilled. If you’ve refrigerated the soup, stir it before serving. Hot or cold, the soup is good with any of the suggested toppings; the strawberries are especially good when the soup is chilled. For the cold version, I like to put a couple of ice cubes in the bowls (or glasses) before I pour in the soup.
Make-ahead tip: The soup can be made up to three days ahead and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator. If you want to reheat it, do so gently.
Gingery Healing Broth With Mushrooms, Carrots, Leeks & Kale Serves 6-8
- 1 tbsp neutral oil (canola, avocado or rice bran)
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp grated fresh garlic
- 2 cups (460g) thinly sliced mushrooms (including portobello, oyster, white button, baby bella, shiitake)
- 4 leeks, trimmed and sliced crosswise into thin rounds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups (2l) vegetable or chicken stock (if you don’t have stock handy, you may also use water)
- ⅓ cup (75ml) soy sauce
- 2 cups (360g) shredded cooked chicken (you may use leftover roast chicken or grilled chicken)
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
- Half of a 7oz (220g) package udon noodles
- 1 handful of washed & stored kale, torn into small pieces
- Drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional)
- Fresh red chilli, stemmed and very thinly sliced (also optional)
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, vegetable and mushrooms.
2. Use a wooden spoon to keep the ingredients moving in the hot oil. Sauté for three minutes, then add the leeks. Cover and cook until the leeks have softened – about four minutes longer. Taste and season generously with salt and black pepper.
3. Add the stock and soy sauce and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the soup is rapidly boiling, reduce the heat level to medium and add the chicken, carrots, and udon. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the broth from the heat and stir in the kale. Season once more with salt and pepper. Before serving, I suggest drizzling each individual serving with a tiny (⅛ of a teaspoon) drizzle of sesame oil and topping with a few chilli slices.
Make-ahead tip: Gingery healing broth can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Pumpkin Soup Serves 4-6
- 750g pumpkin
- 1 sweet potato
- Salt and pepper
- ½ red pepper, grilled
- and peeled
- 1 litre homemade
- vegetable stock
- 3 carrots
- 2 apples, peeled
- 2 cloves of garlic
1. First peel the pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potato, and cut them all into large cubes.
2. Place them in a pot and cover with vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper and then add the garlic. Bring the contents to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile cut the apples into quarters and remove the pips and cores. Add the apple and grilled pepper to the pot and cook for another
4. When cooked, blend the soup with a stick or regular blender, then put back
on a low heat and stir well.
TIPS: If suitable for your particular condition, oats can be added to a soup about 15 minutes before it is cooked (about 45g per litre of liquid). This works very well as a substitute for creamed soups, to give them richness and added sweetness.