recipes for healthy living

Tag: soup

Quick Thai Style Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Coconut

OO&L Thai Style Sweet Potato Soup

November and the cold is here so it’s Soup for what ails you, nothing does it like a bowl of soup. I’m chock full of antibiotics, pain killers and what not so was glad for this, when you cant eat there is always soup.

Thai style Sweet Potato and coconut Soup
Serves 6
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 medium onion
4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 very large or 2 medium sweet potato peeled and roughly chopped
20 g Thai yellow curry paste or Thai curry powder mix
(I use Mai Ploy paste and The Spice Shop powder)
1 400ml tin coconut milk
500 ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Toasted grated coconut shards and julienne of red chilli to serve if you have it

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan
Add the garlic ginger paste with 1 tbsp oil and cook out for a few minutes
Add curry paste or powder, stir well and cook out for a few minutes
If it is in danger of getting dry, add a splash of water
Add the carrot & sweet potato, mix well to coat the vegetables with the spice mix and cook for 4-5 minutes
Add the coconut milk and stock, stir and season, bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
Blitz the soup, season to taste and serve garnished with toasted grated coconut and chilli.

Carrot Soup with Star Anise served with Croque Monsieur Toasts


I got given out to recently for having hard to get ingredients in my recipes. Hands up straight away, there is star anise in this one, NOT a show stopper if you don’t have it but it really elevates the carrot soup from a nice everyday flavoured soup to something altogether more delicious. Not that I think it is terribly difficult to get but I do get that you might not just have it handy!. I have always given any recipe a go even when I didn’t have absolutely everything on this list. When I was young, I couldn’t wait for my mum and dad to go out as the kitchen became my domain, I’d take out her recipe book (An old General Electric book which came with the cooker) and decide what delights I was going to make. The upside was being able to offer a plate of delicious biscuits or cake when they arrived home, the downside was often trying to hid the fact that I had used all the eggs in some disaster now hidden at the bottom of the bin. Years later my mum told she she would often be out with my dad wondering (worring) what on earth I would be up to in the kitchen while she was out.

Carrot Soup with Star Anise provides delicious flavour but also immune boosting nutrients, anti viral and anti fungal healing properties.

Carrot Soup with Star Anise
Serves 5
3 tablespoons butter
1 large chopped onion
2 whole star anise,
1 large garlic clove, chopped and mashed
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 heaped tbsp chopped Coriander

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, star anise, bay leaves, and garlic. Sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and broth. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the star anise and blend the soup until very smooth; return to same pot.
Season well to taste and serve with Croque Monsieur Toasts
Perfect brought to work the next day too!

Croque Monsieur Toasts

Easy method – Pile thick slices of country bread high with grated gruyere, season well, sprinkle over a few dashes of worcester sauce and grill under a high heat until bubbly melting and deliciously gooey.

If you have the time and the inclination to make a bechamel based Croque Monsieur then read on!

Serves 4
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcester sauce
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 (¼”-thick) slices country bread, Gluten Free preferably lightly toasted
8oz. Gruyère cheese

Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
Whisk in flour and nutmeg and cook out for about 2 minutes.
Gently heat the milk then whisk in and work until smooth.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add the grated cheese and work until it has incorporated – continue to cook until it has thickened about 6 minutes.
Whisk in mustard,Worcester and season well.
Place 4 slices bread on a baking sheet. Thickly spread the cheese sauce over the bread and toast until the grill until the sauce is brown and bubbly – worth the effort as it is unbelievably yummy.

OO&L Cheese

Read here if you would like my list of store cupboard essentials which I think make the difference to everyday recipes.

Roast Onion Soup with Thai Spices

Roast Onion Soup II

It might be May but there is still a nip in the air which leads me to think of soup when I get in from work. A hectic few weeks lately means I have only really been able to cook and experiment at the weekend, but this is a pefect work night evening filler. Made with onions which have a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients and so offer great health benefits. This soup is really tasty, easy to make and a nice change from the more usual onion soups with a lovely creamy base from the coconut milk. Its also a hassel free lunch option too, some of my sourdough bread toasted with chilli oil makes a tasty desk side lunch option.

Roasted Onion Soup Thai Spices

8 medium onions peeled and quartered
1 head of garlic
1 sprig of lemongrass peeled and finely chopped
Sunflower oil
Zest and juice of a lime
Large piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli chopped – include as many seeds as you like
1 litre vegetable stock
1 large tin coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce

Place the onions on a flat baking tray
Sprinkle over some oil, salt and pepper and roast at 180C for about 40 minutes until soft
After 20 minutes, cut the head of garlic horizontally, drizzle with oil, season and wrap in tin foil and add to the oven and roast until soft.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot, add ginger, chilli, lemongrass and lime zest
Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes to release the flavours, add the toasted onions.
Squeeze the garlic out of the skin and add also, with the stock and fish sauce.
Bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk for the last 5 minutes,
Blend very well and season to taste.
Serve with a slice of crusty bread, toasted and drizzled with chilli oil.

Roast Onion Soup with Thai soups

Coconut and Cauliflower Soup



The great thing about cauliflower apart from its nutritional value is the lovely smooth creamy soup it makes, its my second favourite way to have cauliflower after roasting it in the oven. There is no need for dairy in this soup as the coconut milk helps add to the lovely creamy texture. The topping of almonds and fried cauliflower give it a nice crunch too – maybe leave out if you are just making this for yourself but definitely nice if you are serving for friends.

Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Almonds and Fried Cauliflower
Cauliflower is packed with rich nutrients, which contain numerous health benefits and anti cancer properties. Partnered with Almonds containing lots of good facts, Vitamins and minerals this is a powerhouse of a soup…yummy too which helps!.

Serves 4
1 head of cauliflower
1 small onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled chopped and mashed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ras el hanout spice mix (just omit if you don’t have it handy)
1 ltr stock mixed with 200ml coconut milk
1 handful of almonds toasted
1 tbsp coconut flower to fry the extra cauliflower

Clean and prepare the cauliflower into small florets
Add oil to a medium pot and fry the onion and garlic until softened
Season and add the cauliflower and cook gently for a few minutes
Reserve 2 or 3 florets at this point, if you are preparing fried cauliflower
Add the ras el hanout spice mix and cook for a minute or 2 then
add the stock and coconut milk mix, bring to the boil and turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the cauliflower is softened.

Meanwhile slice the reserved florets into slices about 2mm thick
Toss in coconut or rice flour to cover and season
Fry until golden brown on both sides in some oil on a hot pan
Reserve and keep warm until the soup is ready.

When the soup mix is cooked, blend really well and season to taste – I like to add white pepper to cauliflower as well as plenty of salt to bring out the flavours

Serve with the toasted almonds and the fried cauliflower if using.

Thai sweet potato soup

This isn’t so much a recipe, more a oh I fancy something spicy, hot and sour. Paired with some pickle because there is nothing better with Thai food…..anyway the resulting bowl of soup was so good I had to share. Great texture, lovely flavour and a good bang of heat.

2 tbsp red curry paste (I used mai ploy)
1 tin coconut milk
250ml chicken or veg stock
2 sweet potatoes cut into small dice
1 tbps Palm sugar
1 tbsp Fish sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime

2 tbsp fried peanuts
1 spring onion chopped
1/4 chilli julienned

2 radishes sliced thinly
I spring ontion thinly sliced
30ml each of water and white wine vinegar heated gently to dissolve 1 tbsp sugar
Take off the heat, put in the radish and spring onion and set aside until needed

For the soup
Add the curry paste to a medium pan with some oil and cook out for about 2 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and stock and mix to combine and cook on a medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Add the diced potato,season and continue cooking until the vegetable is tender.
When the soup is ready, season with fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar.
Serve topped with chopped spring onion, chilli and some of the pickled veg

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