Tag Archives: Soup

Orange-scented Winter Vegetable Soup

10 Jan

What’s better than a warm nourishing soup to warm up your cold body from inside out? Soups somehow taste better in cold, winter weather.

I didn’t make very many soups the whole summer long – not even in autumn – but now I’m starting to crave them. I had my first opportunity last week to cook soup when I ended up with a lot of root vegetables in the fridge after using parts of them for other purposes. This soup is a result of what I had but I think you could substitute other root vegetables equally well eg. use turnips or kohlrabi. The orange juice lent a citric note to an otherwise bland collection of root vegetables. The result – an elegant soup,  which you could enjoy with guests.

Orange-scented Winter Vegetable Soup (serves 4)


1 medium onion

1 medium carrot

1 medium parsnip

stems of two broccolis (the trunks)

¼ of a small celery root

juice of half an orange

zest of a quarter orange

2 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth


salt, pepper

Chop the onions. Peel and cut the vegetables into slices or small pieces.

Sauté the onions in some olive oil till glazed. Put in the root vegetables and let cook for a few minutes. Add the broth ensuring that all the vegetables are covered with liquid. If not, add a bit more broth or water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low heat till the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Once done, puree the soup. Add the orange juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is still too thick for your liking, thin with more orange juice, broth or water. Stir in the orange zest and add a dollop of cream. Stir and taste again.

Serve garnished with strips of orange peel or orange filets.

Print this recipe – Orange-scented Winter Vegetable Soup

Saffron Fish Soup with Julienned Vegetables

17 Nov

I love eating soup on a cold evening – it’s so heart-warming. Having gotten sick of pureed soups, I looked through my soup recipe collection and pulled out one which featured fish pieces in a light broth. At the same time, I had a vision of a saffron-infused fish soup I had in a restaurant a few months ago. I wondered if I could transform my recipe into the restaurant soup without going through too much bother. So a little experimenting was about to begin and I must say, the result is a very easy soup which can be whipped up in minutes – voilà!


I actually made this recipe twice. The first time I followed a recipe I found on the internet which claimed to be a saffron fish soup but which didn’t turn out, color-wise, how I wanted it to be. The recipe also used garlic which I felt, came on too strong although only one clove garlic was used. The next time around, I used ginger instead which turned out to be a much better choice. I didn’t salt the fish and I thought it was fine.

Saffron Fish Soup with Julienned Vegetables (serves 2)

300 gr firm white fish fillets or a mixture, cut into big pieces

1 carrot, julienned

60 gr leek, julienned

2 big mushrooms, sliced

1 shallot, sliced

1-2 slices ginger, julienned

½ medium tomato, seeds removed and diced

2 cups vegetable broth (if you have fish broth made from fish bones, all the better)

pinch saffron


olive oil

Heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions. When glazed, add the carrots and sauté a few minutes before adding the ginger, leeks and then the mushrooms. When done, set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. If you are not averse to using broth granules, you can quickly make up some broth this way. Your broth should be tasty at this point as you won’t be adding any other seasoning after this. If it isn’t, season it with salt and pepper or broth granules. Then add a pinch of saffron to the broth. You won’t really see the yellow color yet.

Add the fish pieces and tomatoes and let cook on a low fire for a few minutes (not more than 5 min) till the fish is lightly done. Put in the cooked veggies and stir gently to mix. To bring out the yellow color, add some cream. You can add as much as you want. The cream serves to bring out the yellowness of the saffron and it’s really up to you. I put in about 1-2 Tbsp.

Light and lovely! If you have enough fish in your soup, you can do away with the crusty bread! 🙂

Print this recipe – Saffron Fish Soup with Julienned Vegetables

Stock up on Meatballs

18 Jun

After a long haitus, I’ve found some time for a post albeit with only one photo. I’d started this some time ago and thought I’d just finish it without the rest of the photos.

Every country seems to have its own meatball recipe. Just change the type of meat used, even combine them or add different spices and you suddenly have turkish meatballs, chinese meatballs, indian meatballs, armenian meatballs, italian meatballs – the list goes on and on. When I’m making meatballs for a dish, I usually make more and freeze the balance. Then I have meatballs on hand for a quick supper. Continue reading

Roswitha’s Pumpkin Soup

1 Dec

Ok, I didn’t think I would do another post on pumpkins so soon after my post on Ginny’s Pumpkin Chili but … I went out into the garden yesterday and saw all the little pumpkins I had strewn all over, here and there, as Halloween decorations and thought … other people have already put their Christmas decorations out and I’m still at Halloween! No go – so I quickly cleared them all away. And here they are now sitting in the living room. They still look nice and I don’t want to throw them away.

Among these little cuties was a Hokkaido pumpkin – starting to get a bit soft. I had totally forgotten about it. It was supposed to be part of the decoration till I felt like having pumpkin soup. Trouble was we still had the pulp of the other gigantic pumpkin to eat and I thought the Hokkaido would last a bit longer out in the cold. So now, it was time to make pumpkin soup. Now that I’ve had pumpkin soup made from the big pumpkin, I think the Hokkaido has a much better flavour. I’ve only ever made anything with pumpkin using Hokkaido pumpkins – primarily because you can cook the pumpkin with the skin. And what I’ve  made has always been pumpkin soup – in different variations. The one I like the best so far is a pumpkin soup I had in a little pension in the Bavarian Forest owned by a lady named Roswitha. She could cook really well. One afternoon, as an activity offered to guests, she showed us how to make pumpkin soup. This soup is so easy. Continue reading

Velouté de Champignons Sauvages

15 Oct

If I were to go into a restaurant and see Velouté de Champignons Sauvages on the menu, I think I would be more tempted to order it than if it were called Mushroom Soup. For non-Francophiles, velouté means velvety in French and champignons sauvages means wild mushrooms, although when you look at the proportion of wild mushrooms to champignons, there isn’t a whole lot in it! Nevertheless, this combination of french words makes the soup sound delicious just by looking at the title! Well, it’s also delicious when you eat it.

I didn’t create this recipe. It’s from my french cookbook, La Cuisine Française, which has a number of great recipes. This mushroom soup is one of my favourites and I’d like to share it here. The two ingredients which make the soup are the wild mushrooms and the port wine which go into it. In the photo above, I overdid the cream but had no more soup for another photo! Actually, the soup is just as delicious without the cream but presentation-wise, the white contrasts nicely with the brown and green (chives). The only thing I’ve done differently is to omit the flour used to thicken the soup since this is a low carb recipe and honestly, you don’t need that little bit of flour!

Now that the temperatures are slowing dropping and the days are getting shorter, it’s time to savour some good, warm soup! Mmmm …

Velouté de Champignons Sauvages (Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup)

(serves 6-8 persons)

Adapted from a recipe from La Cuisine Française 

15 gr dehydrated wild mushrooms eg. boletes (porcini) or morels

1.5 litres chicken broth, freshly made if possible

30 gr butter

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

900 gr fresh champignons (brown or white), cleaned and sliced

1/2 tsp dried thyme

pinch of nutmeg

125 ml port wine or madeira

salt, pepper

crème fraîche or heavy cream to garnish

chives to garnish

Put the dehydrated wild mushrooms in a bowl and pour in enough hot chicken broth to cover the mushrooms. Leave the mushrooms to rehydrate for about 20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and sauté the onions till tender and lightly browned. Add the garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cook for about 4-5 minutes till the mushrooms render their juice. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg.

Next, add the port wine or madeira and the balance of the chicken broth. Take the rehydrated wild mushrooms out of the bowl of broth, chop them if necessary and add them to the soup. Strain the remaining broth into the saucepan too (to remove any grit that may have come from the mushrooms). Cook the soup covered, on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.

Purée the soup, adjust the seasoning, ladle out into bowls, top with cream and chives and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serve if 8 servings, without crème fraîche

Total calories – 78.2 kcal; Fat – 3.9 gr; Carbohydrates – 8 gr (Net carbs – 5.7 gr) ; Protein – 5.2 gr

Print this recipe – Velouté de Champignons Sauvages

Soupe au Pistou

16 Jul

I had intended to post two more recipes quite soon after my last post but things got in the way and I am behind again. Half the month is gone and before I know it, we’ll be going away again so I am forcing myself to write this and the next post quickly.

On the trail of southern French food after our recent visit, I decided one day to make a soupe au pistou. Usually, at the end of the week, I look into my refrigerator to see what’s left and throw everything that looks like its life is about to end, into a pot. This time, it looked like I had about everything to make an Italian minestrone. This soup appears quite often on the table, through lack of inspiration on my part to search for something else, and it’s also something I can do with my eyes closed. While flipping through my French cookbook La Cuisine Francaise for another recipe, I noticed the soupe au pistou. I’ve looked at this  a couple of times and written it off as ‘minestrone with pesto sauce on top’, which it actually is but this time around, I remembered the pot of fresh basil sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting to be plucked. I didn’t have the celery, lima beans and potatoes the recipe called for but lima beans and potatoes are carbs anyway and just like a minestrone, one can substitute veggies without substantially altering the outcome. To my surprise, it came out really nice and actually tasted different from minestrone. The pesto made the difference. So here is my version and of course, you can be flexible with the veggies. It’s the pesto that’s important.

Please excuse the poor photos. They don’t do justice to the soup!

Soupe au Pistou

(serves 4)


For the soup

1 small leek, sliced into rings

1 carrot, cut into little cubes

1 small zucchini, cut into little cubes

60gr green beans cut into 2 cm lengths

60 gr green peas

100gr broccoli or cauliflower, cut into small florets and cut the stems into cubes like the carrots and zucchini

a handful of spinach leaves

1 large tomato, cut into cubes

4 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

1 Tbsp herbes de Provence (or just mix rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic. finely chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt, pepper

For the pistou

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/2 bunch fresh basil

2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

First make the pistou – the pesto. Beforehand, pluck the basil leaves, rinse them and pat dry with a paper kitchen towel. Put them together with all the other ingredients in a mixer and purée till it becomes a paste. If the paste is too dry, add a bit more olive oil and if it is the liquid, add more basil leaves and parmesan. The pesto shouldn’t be runny.

Now on to the soup.

Heat the olive oil in a pot. Add the onions and brown. Next add the carrots and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes. Then add all the other veggies, herbes de provence and broth. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 10 min or till the veggies are cooked. Adjust the seasoning, dish out into bowls, top with a dollop of pistou, garnish with a basil leaf and serve.

Nutritional Facts – I haven’t calculated this because quantities and type of veggies can be varied.

Print this recipe – Soupe au Pistou

Armenian Meatballs in Lemon Broth

15 Jul

I printed out this recipe some time ago from the Travellers Lunchbox blog – way before I decided to go on my low carb diet. I came across it again the other day and decided to check if this would meet my low carb diet restrictions or not. It did and I tried this recipe out today. It is absolutely fabulous! Melissa adapted this recipe from a cookbook called The Silk Road Gourmet by Laura Kelley and I in turn adapted it because I was lazy! I made it into a meatball soup (Melissa called hers ‘Lemon Sauce’) and I’m glad I did because the soup makes the dish. You have just got to try it. It would be great on a cold day served with a small side salad or a piece of low carb bread or even some cauliflower rice. The original recipe serves 4 but my family of 3 devoured it up.

Armenian Meatballs in Lemon Broth

serves 3

Armenian Meatballs in Lemon Broth

500gr minced beef or lamb

1 medium onion, finely chopped

zest from 2 organic lemons

1 medium egg

2 Tbsp tomato paste

4 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper


make about 1 litre either vegetable or chicken broth. I made a chicken broth. (Tip: make the broth one day earlier, put it in the fridge overnight and the next day, skim off the fat)

20gr unsalted butter

2 egg yolks

1 Tbsp lemon juice

chilli flakes and parsley for garnishing

Put all the meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with your hands. Form into meat balls about 50gr in weight. I got 13 meat balls.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the butter. Put in the meatballs, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and let cook on low fire for 30 minutes. After the time is up, take out the meatballs. Stir the egg yolks with the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add a few spoons of broth and mix well, then pour the whole thing into the soup, stirring as you pour it in. Put the meatballs back in for a while to heat up. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with chili flakes (optional) and garnish with parsley!

I didn’t know soup could be so heavenly! I would imagine this recipe would work well with ground turkey or chicken for less calories.

Nutrition Facts: Total Calories – 602.9 kcal; Total Fat – 44.4 gr; Total Carb – 10.8 gr; Net Carb – 9.5 gr; Protein – 34.3 gr

Print this recipeArmenian Meatballs in Lemon Broth

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