Please, Sir, can I have some more?

As September moves to October so does the weather move from our lovely Indian Summer to Autumn in all its golden gloriousness. The nights draw in (I know some people don’t like this (including The Husband) but I love closing the curtains, lighting the fire, candlelight – but mostly being able to read my book early without my conscious nagging I should be doing something outside!) and, inevitably, hours become colder. As I write this, the day is filled with wonderful sunshine but I know as evening comes there will be a nip in the air and I will need something warming to come to – and, thus, we are back in the land of Soup which you can make ahead and freeze for another time. Hopefully, you will like this new set – and definitely be asking “for more”.

Vegetable Pho

Pho is a Vietnamese favourite. It is a complex, flavoursome soup that is traditionally served at breakfast as a hearty start to the day but will work best as a delicious dinner. Traditionally made with beef or chicken, this vegetarian version is just as delicious. The stock is best made a day in advance to allow the flavours to fully develop. Although the ingredients list may seem long, the soup is very easy to make.

  • 1L vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp. caster sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom seeds, cracked
  •  rice noodles (use however much you want for each serving)
  • 100 g beansprouts
  • Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 75 g mushrooms, cut into strips
  • 1 small red or green pepper, cut in half, deseeded and finely shredded
  • 4 spring onions, thinly shredded
  • 1 red chilli, cut into thin rings
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

 The day before it is needed, prepare the broth. Put the stock, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and cardamom in a large pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool then refrigerate overnight.The next day, move the broth from the fridge, strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan and bring to the boil. Add the beansprouts, cabbage, coriander, oyster mushrooms, and the pepper, spring onions and chilli. Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes. To serve, cook the noodles by covering with boiling water, leave to stand for 15 minutes, drain and put in the bottom of serving bowl. Ladle over vegetables and broth.

Indian lentil and cauliflower soup

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or other oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced and peeled
  • curry powder, to taste
  • ground coriander1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 litre vegetable broth (from a cube)
  • 190 g uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • salt and black pepper
  • chopped fresh coriander for serving (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, until translucent.Stir in the ginger, 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, coriander, and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more, until fragrant.Stir in the ginger, 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, coriander, and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Stir in the cauliflower and sweet potato. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender. Season with the salt and pepper, and add more curry powder, if desired. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.Ladle the soup into bowls and top with coriander, if desired.

Carrot, ginger and coconut Soup

  • 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 800 g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp. peeled and finely chopped root ginger
  • 800ml chicken or vegetable stock (from a cube)
  • 400 ml tin of coconut milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander, to serve

Pour the sunflower oil into a large saucepan on a medium heat and, when hot, add the onions and garlic. Cover with a lid and sweat for six to eight minutes or until softened but not browned. Stir in the grated carrots with the ginger, then cover again with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for eight to 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Pour in the stock and coconut milk, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for two to three minutes. Remove from the heat and liquidise the soup in a blender, or use a hand-held blender, then place back on the hob and heat through again. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

carrot, ginger and coconut soup recipe

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