Barley and Lentil Soup

I am sorry I haven’t been around to visit your blogs and read your posts yet – things have gone a touch haywire here and I am hoping to be back to normal by next week. ¬†Please be patient with me while I get there. See you soon. ūüôā xo

Even though Spring is officially here, we are still having some blustery cold days.  A pot of soup simmering on the stove is always a warm and welcoming smell on days like this.

Barley and lentil soup

Not the prettiest but oh so tasty

Barley and Lentil Soup


1 large onion chopped
2 inch piece of ginger grated
6 garlic cloves crushed
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
500g packet soup mix – barley, brown and red lentils and split peas
¬Ī 4 litres chicken or vegetable salt
Celery salt and cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic and herbs and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the soup mix and stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour until cooked.  You may need to add additional stock if the soup is too thick.
  5. Season with celery salt and pepper.

Split Pea Minestrone

I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide and modified Greg’s recipe slightly, purely because I never had all of the ingredients on hand. ¬†This is a lovely healthy and flavourful soup which made for a very enjoyable lunch. ¬†I used chicken stock which you can swap out with vegetable stock for a full vegetarian version and add more stock if you prefer a thinner minestrone.

Split pea minestrone

Split Pea Minestrone


1 tbsp olive oil
¬ľ tsp cumin seeds
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
1 brown onion sliced
2 carrots peeled and diced
125g button mushrooms sliced
1 cup split peas
¬Ĺ cup dry white wine
420g tin chopped tomatoes
3tbsp coriander chopped
4 cups chicken stock
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  1. In a pot over a medium heat, toast the cumin seeds in the olive oil.
  2. Add the ginger and sauté for one minute.
  3. Add the onion and fry until lightly browned.
  4. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook until the carrots start to soften.
  5. Add the split peas and wine and cook until the wine has mostly evaporated.
  6. Add the tomatoes, coriander, chicken stock and black pepper and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer until the split peas are cooked through.

Beef and Carrot Soup

Some days you just need a hearty and healthy bowl of comfort and this did just the trick.¬† Not the prettiest of meals to photograph but the flavour definitely makes up for it!¬† This recipe makes enough for at least 10 healthy portions and freezes very well too and couldn’t be easier to make.

Beef and Carrot Soup


1kg beef shin cubed
2 onions sliced
2¬Ĺ litres good quality beef stock
500g packet soup mix (barley, split peas, brown and red lentils)
6 carrots grated
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brown the meat in a pot in a little oil.
  2. Add the onions and fry until tender.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 1¬Ĺ hours until the meat and soup mix are tender.
  5. If the soup is a little thick, add more stock.

Creamed Spinach Soup

No sure how I managed to miss sharing this recipe with you a month ago when I was sharing all my other soup recipes.  Spinach soup reminds me of when I was a young girl when we staying in a hotel for a while after my Dad was relocated with business and we had not yet found a new home Р I still have a vivid memory of the soup bowls being brought on big trays to the guests.  Back to today and my version of Creamed Spinach Soup.

Creamed Spinach Soup


45ml butter
45ml flour
2 cups milk
2 cups vegetable stock
5ml salt
Dash cayenne pepper to taste
5ml grated onion
2 cups finely chopped spinach
Squeeze of lemon juice


  1. In a pot melt the butter over a medium heat and add the flour and stir until smooth.
  2. Whisk in the milk then stir in the stock, salt and as much cayenne pepper as you like.
  3. Continue stirring while the liquid warms, but do not allow to boil.
  4. Stir in the grated onion and the shredded spinach and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and stir through.

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 6

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 6

With the low temperatures in the southern hemisphere at the moment I thought it apt to share a portion of the Soups chapter.

The chapter starts:

“The Mock Turtle sang for Alice a song that makes sense, as well as famous nonsense:

‘Beautiful soup, so rich and green!
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the Evenin, beautiful Soup!’

Beautiful soup indeed, whether it’s romantic consomm√©, transparent and sparkling, or a bisque swimming with cream and the riches of the sea. ¬†We might extend the praise to include not only soup of the evening, but soup at noon, although few Americans will follow the lead of the French premier who liked onion soup for breakfast.

Soup is a cosmopolitan dish with a long history. ¬†Many centuries ago European peasants were living on one-dish meals of meat and vegetables cooked together; resourceful fishermen’s wives made chowder and bouillabaisse from that share of the catch spared for home consumption and gypsy cooks threw into the soup pot whatever the passing countryside had to offer. ¬†These hearty soups of peasant origin – minestrone, oxtail, petite marmite are, like stews, a meal in themselves.

Thin clear soups, so light and savoury that they give edge to appetite, were devised to precede elaborate formal meals.  They have come into common use only with the wider extension of luxuries in modern times.  Jellied consommé, since it requires refrigeration, is an even more recent addition to the popular menu.  Cold fruit soups are, so far, foreign novelties not yet at home in all sections of this country.

Since their purpose is different, thin soups can never replace chowders, stew and other soups of substance. ¬†Thick or thin, each in its own time and place is a beautiful soup.”

The chapter has 26 pages of recipes for all kinds of soup including rhubarb and fruit juice soup.

No soup should be served naked so there was a comprehensive list of garnishes.

The thin clear soups take to dressing up better than the thick hearty ones, but a dash of paprika or some finely chopped parsley will improve almost any soup.

Clear Soup Garnishes:  A thin slice of lemon sprinkled with parsley; a few slices of stuffed olive or slivers of cucumber pickle; cooked vegetables such as thinly sliced mushrooms, tiny slivers of carrots, asparagus tips; shredded salted almonds; macaroni or noodles in fancy shapes.

Jellied Soup Garnishes:  Chopped olives; slivers of pickle or relish; sieved hard-cooked egg; chopped water cress, mint or parsley; slices of lemon.

Cream Soup Garnishes:  Croutons; cereal croutons; egg dumplings; diced cooked vegetables; pimiento strips; shredded salted almonds; crisp cooked diced bacon; grated cheese; butteed popcorn; salted whipped cream or rosy cream.

Hearty Soups: ¬†Buttered popcorn; slices of smoked sausage or frankfurters; crisp cooked diced bacon.”

There are also recipes for Clear Soup Garnishes – choux puffs, cracker-crumb dumplings, egg dumplings, forcemeat balls, marrow balls, royal custard, threaded egg as well as whipped cream and rosy cream.

Mussel Soup

I remember my mom wowing dinner guests with this tasty soup Рif they only knew how easy it is to make.  It makes for a great starter to a cold winters evening dinner and adds a great punch of colour to the table.

Mussel Soup


370g tin cream tomato soup concentrate
370g tin pea soup concentrate
370g milk (using soup tin)
125ml sherry
Brine water from mussels plus extra water to make up 370g
370g mussels in brine (reserve brine)


  1. In a pot over a medium heat, combine the tomato and pea soup plus the milk and water.
  2. Heat until just before boiling and add the sherry.
  3. Just before serving, stir through the mussels to heat through ‚Äď do not stir too much as this will break up the meat of the mussels.

Creamed Mushroom Soup

I usually use a punnet of white mushrooms and a punnet of brown mushrooms for this soup, but with all the different varieties available on the market today, I bet it would be a hit with any combination of mushrooms. ¬†The brown mushrooms do tend to make this soup quite dark though so if you prefer a lighter looking soup, rather opt for portabella’s. ¬†The last time I made it, I used only white mushrooms and was equally as tasty.

Creamed Mushroom Soup


125ml butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 punnet mushrooms finely chopped
1 punnet mushrooms roughly chopped
60ml flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups of light cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley and basil to taste
125ml cup sherry


  1. Melt the butter in a pot over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the flour a little at a time stirring it in as you do to help prevent lumps.
  5. Add the stock a bit at a time stirring as you do to prevent lumps. After enough stock has been added to make everything liquid, add the remaining stock.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 5 minutes. This will allow the flour to thicken the soup.
  7. Add the cream, salt, pepper, parsley and basil. Gently simmer the soup without boiling for a further five minutes to allow the flavours to mix completely.
  8. Add the sherry and stir through just before serving.

Chicken and Corn Soup

With the cold weather that seems to be setting in all everywhere, I thought it would be nice to share some comforting soup recipes. Chicken and Corn Soup is a family favourite and this recipe is super easy to whip up.

Chicken and Corn Soup


30ml butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
5ml garlic crushed
5ml ginger crushed
4 chicken breasts finely sliced
2.5 litres chicken stock
7ml salt
2 (410g) tins sweetcorn
30ml cornflour
30ml fresh coriander chopped


  1. Heat the butter in a large pot and add the onion and cook until lightly browned.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and chicken breasts and fry for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the Sweetcorn and bring the soup back to the boil.
  5. Mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the soup, stirring until slightly thickened.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

Veggie Soup for a sick husband

Sadly my husband has been battling with the flu for the past 2 weeks and feeling really grim! ¬†He has for the most part, lost his appetite which is usually very healthy. ¬†He is always more than willing to be my¬†guinea¬†pig¬†to sample my spur of the moment new ideas and last night I decided to throw together a healthy “what I have in the fridge” soup, which I served with hot buttered toast soldiers. ¬†It was a hit and really super yummy!

Veggie Soup for a sick husband


15ml oil
2 medium red onions peeled and sliced
3 medium potatoes peeled and diced
5 carrots scraped and grated
2 large tomatoes roughly chopped
1¬Ĺ¬†¬†litres chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken)
2ml crushed ginger
5ml crushed garlic
1 tin butter beans drained
10ml fresh parsley finely chopped


  1. In a pot, glaze the onion, potatoes and carrots in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Add the butter beans and stir through.
  6. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius

Creamed Asparagus Soup

I remember tasting asparagus soup for the first time as a young girl while we were staying in a hotel (we had changed towns and were waiting to move into our new home).  I cannot remember how or why I was presented with such a strange bowl of soup but remember the distinct flavour and thinking how odd that I enjoyed the flavour of asparagus.  I have no idea if this recipe is anything like the one of years ago but it is super yummy.

Creamed Asparagus Soup



700g fresh asparagus
250g onion chopped
100ml butter
100ml flour
500ml vegetable stock
4 cups hot milk
5ml dried dill
5ml salt
2ml white pepper
30ml light soy sauce


  1. Break off and discard tough asparagus bottoms. Break off the tips and set aside. Coarsely chop the stalks.
  2. In a pot over a medium heat, fry the asparagus, onion and butter for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. When the onions are clear, add the flour a little at a time and continue to stir over a low heat until properly mixed in.
  4. Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly. Stir continually until thickened. Cool slightly.
  5. In a blender, puree the soup a bit at a time with the hot milk until thoroughly smooth.
  6. Return the soup to the pot and add the dill, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Heat gently but do not boil.
  7. As the soup heats, cook the asparagus tips in simmering water until tender, but still very green, (about 2 minutes) and drain. Add the whole tips to soup and gently stir through.


Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius

Beef and Butternut Soup

This hearty soup is so full of flavour and you can replace the wine with beer or even cider.  Not that it needs anything extra but is really yummy with some hot buttered toast.

Beef and Butternut Soup



30ml olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
500g beef shin or chuck cut into chunks
3 carrots scraped and diced
2 celery stalks chopped
1.5 litres beef stock
125ml white wine
5ml sugar
30ml tomato paste
Salt and milled pepper to taste
300g butternut peeled and diced 
2 handfuls Italian parsley chopped 


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beef and cook until slightly brown.
  4. Add the carrots and celery and toss to coat.
  5. Add the stock, wine, sugar, tomato paste and seasoning and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  6. Add the butternut and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Stir through the parsley before serving.


Submitted by:  Pete Frielinghaus, Mauritius

Pea Soup

I have such fond childhood memories of this soup.  I remember adding a dollop of butter on top of my bowl of soup and watching it slowly melt and then stirring it in with a toast soldier.  


Pea Soup


1 packet bacon cut into pieces
3 stalks celery cut into small pieces
2 medium onions peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
1 packet split peas
2 litres chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the bacon, celery, onions and potatoes in a pot and soften for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the split peas are cooked.  Add additional chicken stock if necessary.
  3. Remove from the heat and liquidise until smooth.


Submitted by:  Val Olsen, Johannesburg

Carrot Soup

This was originally my Nana’s recipe, which I inherited from my mom and is still a firm favourite in the family. ¬†I have on many a cold evening done this moreish recipe as a starter for friends and they all seem to ask for the recipe.

Carrot Soup


30ml butter
1 large onion peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
1 packet carrots peeled and chopped
1.5 litres chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried sweet basil


  1. In a pot, melt the butter and glaze the onion and potatoes for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and stock, salt, pepper and basil and simmer until the carrots are tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and liquidise.


The best thing about Minestrone is you can substitute any of the ingredients for what you have in the cupboard.




1 packet bacon chopped
2 leeks sliced
1 large onion peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery chopped
5 carrots peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
2 potatoes peeled and diced
410g tin baked beans
410g tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
100g spaghetti


  1. In a large pot, fry the bacon and then add the leeks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and potatoes, beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.
  2. Break the spaghetti into the pot in small bits and simmer for 45 minutes.

 Serve with croutons.

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius

Cold Tomato Soup

Summer soups simply don’t get any easier than this and you if making it for a dinner, safe yourself some time and make it the day before.

Cold Tomato Soup



1 tin Italian whole tomatoes
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
¬Ĺ tsp mild curry powder
¬Ĺ tsp sugar
1 small onion
¬Ĺ tsp salt


  1. Blend all the ingredients until smooth and place in the fridge.  Overnight is perfect.
  2. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and freshly chopped parsley.

Submitted by:  Roy Bouwer, Port Elizabeth