Category Archives: Soups

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Seafood Chowder

sf-chowderServes 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ diced bacon (optional)

600ml milk

400ml fish stock

1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme

2 medium potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced

1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

450g (1lb) smoked fish, skinned

225g (1/2lb) raw peeled prawns

1 cup whole corn kernels

Lemon juice, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy pan. Add the onion, garlic, bacon and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the milk and stock and bring to a simmer.

Add the potatoes or sweet potatoes, thyme, chilli flakes and cook on a light simmer for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Keep the heat gentle as you do this.

Cut the smoked fish into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan with the corn kernels. Cook very gently for 2 minutes, then add the prawns, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, taste and season, stir in the parsley and serve.

Optional: You can add 2 cups of smoked, chopped mussels when adding the prawns for added, smoky flavour.

Spiced Chicken and Capsaicin (Bell Pepper) Soup

Chicken-Pepper-Soup-webItaly is well known for its light and fresh soups and this recipe is inspired by my love of the food from the south of Italy. 

Serves 4 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 each of orange and red capsaicin’s (bell peppers), thinly sliced

1 small onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp dried basil

2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp dried crushed red chilli pepper (more or less to your taste)

5 cups chicken stock (broth)

1 can Italian style (Roma) diced tomatoes

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

200g (8 ounces) button mushrooms, quartered

2 tsp capers

1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (leftover from a roast is great or rotisserie chicken from market)

Grated Parmesan cheese 

Method 

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. 

Add capsaicin’s (bell peppers), onion, garlic, basil, fennel seeds and crushed red chilli  and sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add carrots, canned tomatoes and stock (broth). Simmer until the carrots are tender, another 10-15 minutes.  Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil.  Add chicken and capers and cook just until heated through, about 2 minutes. 

Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle soup into warm bowls. Serve, with a light sprinkle of the cheese. Don’t add too much cheese and this can make it taste too salty.

Light Chicken Broth Style Stew

Light-Chicken-Stew-webI love this light and tasty chicken stew. The herbs impart a fresh taste to the meat and it 

Ingredients 

8 cups water

1 medium to large whole chicken, neck and giblets removed from the cavity if they are in there

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 medium celery stalks, sliced

1 large onion, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of a small lemon

1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from stalk

½ tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine

1 bay leaf 

Directions 

Place the whole chicken in a large slow cooker, add the water and cook on low until the chicken is falling off the bone. (About 8 hours on low). Once cooked remove the chicken out of the cooker and rest on a large plate. 

Place the carrots, celery, onion, herbs, zest and bay leaf in the slow cooker fluids and cook on high until tender, about 3 hours. 

When the chicken is cool enough to handle but still warm shred the meat into bite-sized pieces (discard the skin, cartilage, and bones), refrigerate until needed. 

Return the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and cook on high till its all warmed through, about 30 minutes. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed, remove the bay leaf and serve in warmed bowls.

Fast and Easy Monk Fish Stew

fish-stew-webAny firm fish will do for the warming, light stew. I use Monk fish as its keeps its firmness and shape when cooked. 

This recipe is also quick to plate and great when you are time limited. 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

400g (12oz) tin chopped Italian tomatoes

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

450g (1lb) Monk or other firm white fish fillets, cut into chunks

1/3 cup coriander, roughly chopped

lemon or lime wedges 

Method 

Heat the oil in medium-sized saucepan and add the garlic, cumin, paprika and cook for 1 minute. 

Add ½ cup water and the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. 

Add the pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the fish. Simmer for a further 5-8. Don’t be tempted to stir it too much or you’ll break up your fish chunks. 

Season well and serve with the coriander and lemon or lime slices.

Easy Light Seafood Chowder

seafood-chowder-light-webGreat as a warming starter or as a hearty tummy warmer for the cold winter nights. This recipe is quick, simple and great to get the kids helping with. Don’t be shy in adding or replacing ingredients to cater to your desired tastes. 

Ingredients

150ml dry white wine (fish stock or water if preferred)
500g (1.1lb) fresh mussels, cleaned and  de-beard (optional)
1tbsp Olive or coconut Oil
115g (4oz) rindless, streaky bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
600ml vegetable stock
500g (1.1lb) potatoes, peeled and cubed
350g (12oz) boneless, skinless firm white fish fillets, cut into small chunks
175ml (6 fl oz) double cream or coconut cream
150g (5 ½ oz) frozen baby peas or corn.

350g (12oz) cooked shrimps, pealed
115g (4oz) aged Gouda cheese, cut into small cubes
3tbsp freshly chopped chives 

Method

Place the mussels in a large pan, pour over the wine (stock or water if preferred), cover and cook for approximately 4 minutes until all the mussels are open. Drain and reserve the liquid. When cool enough to handle remove the mussels from their shells.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the bacon for 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Pour in the stock and reserved mussel liquid and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir in the cubed fish and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Pour in the cream, peas/corn, mussels, prawns and warm through. (I sometimes add 150g (6oz) of shredded smoked fish for additional flavour at this stage)

Stir in the cheese and chives and season to taste. Pour into warm serving bowls and serve.

Porcini Soup

Porcini Soup-webI love mushrooms and eggs and this soup  recipe is a great winter warmer

Ingredients

4 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grass fed butter

Sprig of mint or oregano

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (broth)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

2 free range eggs 

Method 

In a pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Throw in a sprig of mint or oregano. Add the fresh porcini to the pot and let them cook for a minute so that the mushrooms absorb all the flavors. 

Add a ladle of vegetable stock (broth) and allow the porcini to cook for another minute, or until the broth has been absorbed. Season with salt and black pepper, and pour in the remaining broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 

Before plating, add the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs. Stir very well for a minute and serve hot. 

Porcini Soup

Porcini-Soup-webI love mushrooms and eggs and this soup  recipe is a great winter warmer

Ingredients

4 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grass fed butter

Sprig of mint or oregano

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (broth)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

2 free range eggs 

Method 

In a pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Throw in a sprig of mint or oregano. Add the fresh porcini to the pot and let them cook for a minute so that the mushrooms absorb all the flavors. 

Add a ladle of vegetable stock (broth) and allow the porcini to cook for another minute, or until the broth has been absorbed. Season with salt and black pepper, and pour in the remaining broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 

Before plating, add the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs. Stir very well for a minute and serve hot.

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Roasted Pumpkin Garlic Soup

Its chilly, raining and I am in the kitchen cooking. Have some chicken stock on the simmer. Just about to roast 1/2 pumpkin, about 1kg, 1 whole head of garlic and will make Roasted Pumpkin with Garlic soup.
 
The mix of spices in this recipe gives it a mellow Indian taste
 
1kg (2.2 lb) pumpkin I use crown
1 head garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
1/2 tsp each ground cumin and cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon fresh chilli, crushed (optional) or ¼ ground chilli powder.

First thing to do is cut the pumpkin into medium wedges, skin on. I don’t cut them to small as I am roasting them without pealing to get a bit of extra flavour in to the pumpkin while it roasts. Toss in olive oil, season with salt and pepper in a roasting tin.

Cut the top off a head of garlic and drizzle a little oil over the cloves and wrap the garlic in tin foil and add to the pumpkin. Roast at 200C for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
About 5-10 minutes before the pumpkin is cooked coarsely chop the onion, celery and carrot and fry over a medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the ground cumin, cardamom and turmeric and fry briefly. Add the stock, salt and pepper to season and chili (if you like a bit of heat in your soup). Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
 
Once this is simmering remove the pumpkin and garlic from the oven and let cool till its cooled enough to handle. Remove the skin from the cooked pumpkin and then squeeze out the roasted garlic and add to the soup along with the pumpkin. You may need to add some water at this stage to just cover the vegetables. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
 
Once cooked blend in batches and adjust the seasoning to taste if needed.
I serve with some sour cream and chopped chives or parsley.
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