Minestrone Soup

Recipe published in Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2021) and taken from The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds.

An Italian-inspired soup full of comforting goodness that can be made with whichever pasta you fancy. Broken-up spaghetti works a treat, with a generous glug of olive oil, Parmesan and garlic-rubbed toasts.

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
100g smoked bacon, lardons or pancetta cubes
2 carrots
1 onion, peeled
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
400g tin good-quality chopped tomatoes
1 tblsp red or white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
100g kale, chopped
75g orzo pasta or small soup pasta
75g Parmesan or Cheddar, finely grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Heat the olive oil and the bacon or lardons together in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Holding a box grater over the top of the pan, use the coarse side to grate in the carrots, onion and celery, then turn the grater and finely grate in the garlic. Increase the heat to high and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are soft.
  • Throw in the bay leaves, oregano and tinned tomatoes. Use the tomato tin to measure out 2 1/2 tinfuls of water and add to the soup, along with the vinegar. Stir in the kale and orzo, pushing them down with a spatula to submerge them in the liquid.
  • Bring to a simmer, then partially cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add a quarter of the grated Parmesan and stir in until melted – the soup should turn a creamy red colour and thicken slightly.
  • Season well with salt and pepper and leave to stand for a few minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve drizzled with olive oil and plenty of the remaining Parmesan.

Make ahead : You can cook this up to the point of stirring in the cheese and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

The shortcut : Grating instead of dicing will save you time. Stirring in the Parmesan thickens, and adds a slow-cooked taste and feel without the time deficit.


Philippine Beef Sinigang

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2016).

Serves : 4

Beef SinigangIngredients :
700g rib-eye steak
1.2 litres water or bone broth
2 medium onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
5cm piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic), thinly sliced
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons tamarind paste (or to taste)
A big pinch of black or white pepper
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
400g green beans, tops trimmed
400g pak choi, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
2 whole, fresh red chillies
400g spinach

Method :

Bullet logo Cut the meat into 3 cm cubes, retaining the fat, to flavour the stew.  Place in a large saucepan and add the water or broth.  Bring to the boil, cover, quickly reduce the heat and cook at a medium-to-low simmer for 20 minutes.

Bullet logo Add the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes with the tamarind paste, pepper and fish sauce.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, adding more paste if desired.

Bullet logo Tip in the beans, pak choi and chillies, then bring back up to a simmer and cook, covered, for 5 more minutes.

Bullet logo Add the spinach and remove the pan from the heat, leaving the lid on to allow the spinach to wilt in the residual heat.  Remove the whole chillies and serve immediately.

Cream of Tomato Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (August 2016)

Serves : 4

Tomato SoupIngredients :
1 tblsp ghee or coconut oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 tblsp tomato puree
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes or 800g fresh tomatoes chopped
1 x 400g tin of cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
400ml bone broth or water
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper

To serve (optional) :
1 large handful fresh basil leaves, chopped, or pesto
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Method :

Bullet logo Melt the ghee in a large saucepan, add the onion and fry on a medium heat for 8 minutes, until softened.

Bullet logo Add garlic, carrots, tomato puree and a big pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for a further minutes.

Bullet logo Tip in the tomatoes and the drained beans, followed by the broth or water.  Turn up the heat, cover with a lid and cook at a medium simmer for 10 minutes until the carrots are tender.

Bullet logo Puree the soup until smooth in the pan using a hand-held stick blender, or in batches in a food processor, and then taste for seasoning, adding maple syrup (if using).  You can also add more broth to get the consistency you want.

Bullet logo Ladle into bowls.  Stir through the basil and drizzle the oil.

Cauliflower Soup with Curry-fried Apple

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (November 2018) and taken from 30-Minute Vegetarian: 100 Green Recipes to Prep in 30 Minutes or Less by Ylva Bergqvist

Cauliflower soupServes : 4

Ingredients :
Olive oil, for frying and to serve
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
800g cauliflower
200g cooked butter beans
500ml cashew or almond milk, unsweetened
300ml water
1 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the Curry-fried apple
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
Olive oil, for frying
2 tsp curry powder
100g pumpkin seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step One : Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat for around 5 minutes, until soft.

Step Two : Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower, cut them into smaller pieces and reserve them.  Cut the rest of the cauliflower into small pieces.

Step Three : Place the cauliflower, beans and nut milk in the saucepan.  Add water to cover the contents, put on the lid and cook for around 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely soft.

Step Four : To cook the apple, put the apple and reserved cauliflower leaves in a frying pan with a little olive oil, sprinkle over the curry powder and fry until soft.  Add the pumpkin seeds and ensure everything is warmed through.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step Five : Drain a little of the milk from the saucepan into a bowl.  Blend the soup until it is smooth.  Reintroduce the milk and/or water and dilute to your preferred consistency.  Season with the lemon juice and salt.

Step Six : Top the cauliflower soup with the fried apple and a drizzle of olive oil, to serve.

Thai-style Chicken Noodle Soup


Recipe courtesy of Easy Living.

Serves : 4

Preparation time : 10 mins

Cooking time : 20 mins

Chicken noodle soup

Ingredients :
175ml (24 fl oz) chicken stock
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, thinly sliced
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
1 tblsp fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Grated zest of 1/2 a lime
3 skinless chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
400g tin of coconut milk
2 tblsp Thai fish sauce
2 tblsp lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
120g (4oz) fresh rice noodles
Coriander leaves, to serve

Step One : Combine the chicken stock, shallots, lemon grass, chillies, ginger, garlic and lime zest in a large saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Step Two : Add the chicken, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step Three : Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step Four : Place the noodles in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Separate the noodles, then drain.  Divide them between four deep bowls.

Step Five : Ladle soup over noodles and top with the coriander.  Serve with quartered limes, if desired.

Tip :  Add extra lime juice, sugar, Thai fish sauce or chilli according to your taste; it should have a good balance of sweet, sour and spice.









Comforting Tomato Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini.

soupsServes : 4-6

Ingredients :
190g butter
1 medium white onion, diced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres tomato juice
2 tblsp sugar, to taste
2 chicken stock cubes
freshly ground black pepper
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 handful fresh basil, chopped

Step One : Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium heat.  Once melted, add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato juice and sugar.  Stir to combine.

Step Two : Add the chicken stock cubes and some freshly ground black pepper and stir well.  Allow the soup to boil for 20-30 minutes.

Step Three : Turn off the heat and using a stick blender, blend the soup until it is completely smooth.  Stir in fresh herbs and serve.

Ginger Miso Sunshine Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2018) and taken from “Eat Happy” by Melissa Hemsley.

This bright soup spiked with ginger, turmeric, miso and lemon came about because Melissa had some carrots and half a squash to hand, but feel free to use one or the other.  Serve chunky or blended smooth.  The chive topping is also delicious on grilled fish or chicken and roasted veg.

Ginger Miso soupServes : 6

Ingredients :
1 tblsp coconut oil or ghee
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5cm piece of ginger, chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
4 large carrots, chopped into 1.5cm cubes
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 2cm cubes
1.5 litres stock or water
2 tblsp miso (or to taste)
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and black pepper

Chive Topping :
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 tblsp chives, chopped
4 tblsp sunflower seeds
4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of sea salt

Step One : Melt the oil in a large, wide saucepan, add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for a further minute.

Step Two : Add the carrots and squash, followed by the stock.  Bring to a medium simmer, cover with lid and cook for 15-18 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Step Three : Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl.  Add the miso and lemon juice to another bowl with a few tablespoons of the hot liquid from the pan, and stir or whisk into a smooth paste.

Step Four : Remove the soup from the heat and stir through the miso paste.  Using a blender, or hand-held blender, blend the soup in batches, or leave chunky, if you prefer, and taste for seasoning – you can always add a little more miso, salt, pepper or lemon juice, if necessary.  Serve with the chive topping.

Hearty Italian Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini.

soupsServes : 4-6

Ingredients :
75g pancetta, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 bay leaves
200g each fresh shiitake and chestnut mushrooms
small handful of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250ml hot water
200g puy lentils
1 tblsp tomato puree
1 large glass (175ml) red wine
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes, plus 1 can of water
2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 1 litre of water
100g cavolo nero, shredded

Step One : Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, brown the pancetta, remove and set aside.  Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves, then cook over a low heat until the onion is soft and glassy, but not coloured.  Add the fresh mushrooms and stir well until they begin to soften.

Step Two : Remove the porcini and chop, reserving the soaking juice.  Return porcini to the pan with lentils; stir.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add pancetta, tomato puree, wine and soy sauce.

Step Three : Turn up the heat and, once the red wine has almost evaporated, pour in the reserved porcini mushroom liquid, taking care not to let the gritty bits fall into the pot.  Add the stock.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but not too soft.  Stir in the cavolo nero, five minutes before the end of cooking.  Stir well, ladle into bowls and scatter over parsley and grated Pecorino cheese.

Broccoli Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2016) and taken from “Good & Simple” by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley.

Brocolli soupMakes about 4 litres, 9 servings

Ingredients :
4 large onions, roughly chopped
2 tblsp ghee or coconut oil
4 heads of broccoli (about 350g each)
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bunch of celery (about 6 sticks), roughly chopped
2 litres bone broth or water
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
Sea salt and black pepper

Step One : In a 4-litre saucepan, fry the onions in ghee or coconut oil over a medium heat for 8 mins until soft. Cut the broccoli into florets and roughly chop the stalks (after removing the tough outer layer).  Add the garlic, celery and broccoli stalks to the pan and cook for 2 mins, then add the broth or water, cover the pan with a lid and bring to a medium simmer.

Step Two : Add the broccoli florets and a big pinch of salt and pepper, then allow to simmer until the broccoli is just tender – about 5 mins.

(The broccoli must not be overcooked: test it by piercing with a knife.)

Step Three : Once the soup is ready, blend using a hand-held stick blender or whizz in batches in a food processor –  add a little hot water if your soup is too thick.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice.

Step Four : To serve, divide between bowls, then swirl in a topping of your choice such as crumbled cheese.

Classic Fish Bisque

Serves : 6
Prep : 1 hour 20 min
Cook : 30 mins

8oz/225g shrimps or prawns with shells on
2 bay leaves
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
6 peppercorns
2oz/50g butter
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1oz/25g plain flour
2 tblsp/30ml tomato puree
3 tblsp/45ml dry sherry
8oz / 225g cod fillet, skinned
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tblsp/15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tblsp/45ml double cream
Salt and pepper

4 slices white bread
3 tblsp/45ml olive
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tblsp/30ml chopped fresh parsley
4 tblsp/90ml single cream

Step One : Peel the shrimps or prawns, reserving the shells and set aside. Place the shells in a large pan with the bay leaves, leek, celery, carrot and peppercorns. Pour over 1pt/600ml cold water and bring to boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Step Two : Strain the stock through a sieve lined with muslin and set aside. Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the chopped onion very gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Step Three : Gradually pour the stock over the onion, stirring until thickened slightly. Stir in the tomato puree and dry sherry. Add the peeled shrimps or prawns. Cut the cod fillet into bite-sized cubes and add to the pan. cover and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.

Step Four : Stir in the cayenne and lemon juice. Allow to cool a little then liquidise in a food processor, in batches, until very smooth. Return to a rinsed out pan and stir in the cream and seasoning to taste. Heat through until almost boiling.

Step Five : To make the croutons, remove the crusts from the bread and cut into small squares. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the cubes of bread and cook gently on both sides until just golden. Drain croutons on absorbent kitchen paper then toss in the chopped parsley.

Step Six : Spoon the fish bisque into warmed serving dishes, top with a few croutons and add a swirl of cream to serve.