Five Superb Soups

Easy to prepare in advance, delicious to eat and a great way of using up all the odds and ends in your fridge - the humble soup is a superb end-of-the-month lunch or waiting-for-pay-day dinner!

All equally scrumptious and hearty (yet not too heavy), these vibrant bowls of goodness are ideal for a vegetable boost or curing a cold.

Here's a round up of some of our favourite spring soup recipes...

Thai Coconut Soup

Serves 2


For the Tofu:
100 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp red curry paste
250g organic firm tofu
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the Soup:
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
2 tsp red curry paste
850 ml vegetable stock
1 stalk lemon grass
2 kaffir lime leaves
250 ml coconut milk
125 g rice noodles
100 g shiitake
1/2 organic lime
Sea salt
1 scallion
1 handful mungbean sprouts
1 handful young spinach leaves
Roasted peanuts
Fresh herbs (coriander, mint, Thai basil, celery green or shiso)

M E T H O D 
To give the usually rather tasteless tofu the much needed bang, prepare it already the day before and let it marinate overnight. For that, dissolve the curry paste in the stock. Half the tofu, put it into a lockable jar and douse it with the stock. From time to time, shake the jar so the tofu is marinated from all sides.

The next day, heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a big pot and sweat the curry paste for the soup for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and let it boil. Batter the lemon grass with the back of a knife so that the fibres open and emit the flavour. Add the lemon grass and the lime to the stock.

Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles and rinse with cold water. Heat the plant oil in a small pot to 160°C. Take the tofu out of the marinade, dry it with a kitchen towel, and fry until golden. Afterwards, let it drain well and slice it. Slice the shiitake as well and with the tofu add it to the soup, pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Afterwards, season the soup with salt and lime juice. Thinly slice the scallion and chop the peanuts. Arrange the rice noodles in two bowls, pour the soup and decorate with spinach, mungbean sprouts, scallion, herbs, and peanuts as you wish.

Recipe & photography by Kraut-Kopt 

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Feta Creme

Serves 4


Olive oil for baking
500g broccoli, washed, and cut to pieces
1 celery stalk, sliced
4 shallots sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 litre bouillon
Salt and pepper
I dl feta cheese
I dl creme fraiche or greek yogurt
Fresh herbs (a handful of chopped mint and basil)
1 dl your choice of nuts (hazelnuts and walnuts), roughly crushed into rough smaller pieces

M E T H O D 

Start with your toppings, place the chopped herbs and crushed nuts in small bowls for serving. Mix the feta cheese with creme fraiche and set aside in a bowl for serving.

For the soup, heat up your pan with olive oil suitable for baking and sauté your chopped broccoli, onion and celery in medium heat while stirring for 2 minutes. Then, add your bouillon, and garlic, leave to softly boil under a lid for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix the soup to a smooth creamy consistency. Pepper and salt to taste. Serve in cups or bowls with the toppings.

Styling tip, sprinkle a tiny bit of chili flakes or paprika powder on top of it all, just for color the effect!

Recipe & photography by Nourish Atelier

Spicy Shrimp Corn Chowder

Serves 2


2 ears of corn, kernels removed
8 jumbo shrimps, skin and tail removed
1 leek, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 medium potato, cut in cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1-1/4 teaspoon Korean chilli powder
Salt and pepper

M E T H O D 

In a deep pan, melt the butter along with 1 tablespoon of oil in medium heat. Add the garlic along with the chopped leek, add a pinch of salt and give it a stir. Allow it cook at medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the chopped leek is softened.

In the same pan, add corn, potatoes and half of the chopped green onion. Season with salt, add all the spices (cumin, fennel and 1 teaspoon Korean chilli powder), give it a stir and allow it to cook for about a minute. Now, add water and milk, bring the heat to medium low and allow the potatoes to soften.

In the mean time, rub some oil, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of Korean chilli powder to the jumbo shrimp and pan fry it for about 3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp curls up. Keep it aside to be used later.

Check the pan and if the potatoes are softened enough, ladle half of the soup in a blender and blend it to smooth consistency. Return it to the saucepan and give it a stir. (This would thicken the chowder. Alternatively, you can blend the whole soup to creamy). Check for salt and add any, if required.

Ladle soup in serving bowl, top it with the pan-fried shrimp and garnish with the remaining green onions.

Recipe & photography by Playful Cooking

Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Garlic Toast

Serves 6-8

I N G R E D I E N T S 

50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800 gm cauliflower, cut into florets
1.25 litres (5 cups) chicken stock
150 ml milk
50 gm Gruyère, coarsely grated
2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Garlic toast:
150 gm butter, softened
40 gm parmesan, finely grated
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, chives and thyme
12 thin slices of baguette
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, leek and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (7-10 minutes). Add cauliflower, stir to coat in butter, add stock and simmer until very tender (40-45 minutes). Add milk, bring to the simmer, then purée in a blender until very smooth. Stir in Gruyère, crème fraîche and mustard, season to taste and keep warm.

Meanwhile, for garlic toast, preheat grill to high. Process butter, parmesan, garlic and herbs in a food processor until smooth and season to taste. Place baguette slices on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, season to taste and grill, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes). Spread with garlic butter and serve hot with cauliflower soup.

Recipe from Gourmet Traveller, photography by Chris Chen

Fragrant Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup 

Serves 6 

I N G R E D I E N T S 

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Rice Bran (or other neutral) oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 onion, medium /finely chopped
1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped (leave seeds in if you prefer more heat)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp tomato paste
Finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon
1 big tsp honey
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cups pumpkin, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 medium kumara or sweet potato, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 large waxy potato, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces
1 1/3 cups red lentils
1 1/2 litres vegetable stock or water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup natural yoghurt (optional / or coconut cream)
Handful fresh mint or coriander leaves
1/2 green chilli, sliced
1 tbsp dry-fried cumin seeds
1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges, optional

M E T H O D 

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy bottomed pot and fry spices for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add onion, chilli, ginger, tomato paste, zest and honey and fry over a medium gentle heat for 10 minutes, adding garlic in the last minute. Add vegetables and fry a further 2-3 minutes so that they are well coated in the spices.

Add lentils and stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an hour and fifteen minutes until the lentils and vegetables are soft. Season well with sea salt and ground black pepper. Add coconut cream and cook a further 5 minutes. If you prefer a smooth soup you can whizz the whole lot, I prefer to take out half then give the remainder a bit of a whizz with the stick blender, then return the chunky bits to the pot.

Serve garnished with a spoonful of coconut cream or yoghurt (optional), mint or coriander, chilli and cumin seeds. Pass lemon or lime wedges for guests to squeeze a little over, and naan or roti to dunk.

Recipe & photography by From The Kitchen