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Pear, sweet potato and ginger soup

Another soup recipe? Yes I may be overloading you with soup recipes but they are very popular in our house, and as I have stated before it’s a great way to get Leroy to eat lots of vegetables and he really enjoys dipping his bread into the soup. This soup recipe is deliciously sweet with a punch of ginger, the pear and ginger flavors work great together.


  • 30g butter
  • 1 small white onions, diced
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 3 firm pears, cubed
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 800g orange sweet potato, cubed


  • Melt butter in pan, add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add pear, carrots and sweet potato, stirring for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil, cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  • Blend mixture together using food processor or stickmaster until smooth, blend in batches if needed. Return mixture to pan and gently reheat without boiling.
  • Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy.

Sorry i forgot to take a photo, it basically looks like pumpkin soup.



Winter warmers: Capsicum, spinach, bean and chickpea soup

A nutritious hearty soup to warm you up during the cold winter days.


  • 10 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 400g can butter beans
  • 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 700g tomato passata
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock


  • Heat oil in saucepan and stir in spring onions, cook on reduced heat for 3 minutes, until softened. Remove seeds from capsicums and puree in food processor until you have a smooth consistency. Add to pan along with garlic and cumin, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add passata and stock to pan, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chickpeas, beans, vinegar and sugar to soup, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and remove pan from heat. Season to taste and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top ans crusty bread.

These flavours work great together, you could also add chilli to this dish for some heat. Enjoy


Winter Warmers: Cauliflower & red lentil soup

Another freezing cold day in Melbourne so craving some hot and healthy soup to warm me up and make me feel good. Today its Cauliflower and red lentil soup, deliciously nutritious. Leroy enjoyed the soup, the cauliflower breaks down along with the lentils so he was slurping it all up with the broth, and enjoying dipping his bread into the broth. I find soup is a great way to get veggies into him!


  • 1 lrg head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup of red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 yellow capsicum, chopped
  • 1ltr chicken stock
  • 1ltr boiling water (use more water if you like more broth)
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of saffron


  • Cover lentils completely with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes, drain most of water from bowl after 10 minutes.
  • Saute leek in olive oil for a few minutes then add carrots, capsicum, garlic, ginger, and coriander. Stir to combine all for a few minutes.
  • Pour in stock, boiling water, lentils and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower & bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  • Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

Variation – you can use 1 tsp of ground turmeric instead of saffron. Chill flakes or chilli paste can be added to your bowl separately to add some heat or you can add directly into pot if your kids like chilli.




Minestrone, poached chicken & salsa verde from Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Winter is here and so are the colds. Leroy has been sick again and this time he passed it onto Leila. Now my husband and I need to avoid getting sick. I needed to cook something healthy with heaps of vegetables but that wouldn’t require a lot of my time. I found the below recipe in my book ‘Jamie’s 15 minute meals’, mind you it took me 40 minutes but was worth it. The chicken was the real hit, served on a very tasty salsa verde.

Minestrone, poached chicken & salsa verde from Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver


Chicken & Soup

  • 6 rashers of smoked pancetta, finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, strip leaves
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 a head of broccoli, sliced, separate the stalks
  • 100g basmati rice
  • 100g dried macaroni
  • 2 x 150g skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 handful of frozen broad beans
  • 1 handful of frozen peas
  • 200g baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve

Salsa Verde (you can buy salsa verde from a gourmet deli to save time)

  • 1 bunch of fresh tarragon or flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tbsp cornichons
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar


  • Cook the rosemary and pancetta until crispy in olive oil in a large casserole pan. Then remove it all into a bowl, leaving the oil. Add carrots, celery, onion into the pan, turn to high heat, add salt & pepper and crumble in stock cubes. Add the broccoli stalks and cauliflower to pan along with the rice and macaroni, then cover with 1.5 litres of boiling water and the lid.
  • On a plastic board, bash the fatter end of the chicken with a rolling pin so the thickness is even. Then add into the pan, fully submerged, and cover with lid. Cook chicken for approx 8 minutes the scoop out. Add the broccoli florets to pan, along with broad beans, peas and spinach, cover with the lid.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make your salsa verde. Put the tarragon or parlsey, top leafy part of mint, anchovies, cornichons, capers, crushed garlic and mustard into your food processor and blitz. Scrape into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of soup stock, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and mix together, loosen with extra stock if needed.
  • Spoon salsa verde into a platter, slice chicken and serve on top of salsa, sprinkled with pancetta and rosemary. Add more boiling water to soup if you prefer it brothy. Serve soup with shavings of parmesan.

Delicious.I love Jamie Oliver recipes, he has never let me down.




Winter Warmers: Minestrone Soup

Well my darling Leila is almost 7 weeks old and blossoming beautifully. We aren’t in a routine yet so its hard to plan my day, let alone cook dinner. Lucky I cooked lots of meals before her birth and froze them for this busy time. unfortunately my cooked freezer meals have run out so its time to start cooking again. I am trying to cook as much as possible but its proving to be a hard juggling act with Leila and Leroy. However I am determined to try to get dinner on the table, as fresh, healthy and delicious as I possibly can. Last night i made a yummy minestrone soup, really craving warm vegetables as winter sinks in. It was delicious, I didn’t have any complaints however Leroy didn’t eat all the vegetables but he made a good attempt.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 broccoli bunch, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 150g greens beans, chopped
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 800g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can lentils
  • 100g pasta (your choice)
  • 1 tub tomato paste, use 2/3
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • Parmesan cheese to serve


  • Cook pasta according to pack instructions. Return to pan to keep warm.
  • Heat oil in pan and cook leek and carrot for 4 minutes, then add potato and cook for a further 4 minutes. Then add celery, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, tomato paste, stir for 2 minutes. Add stock, can tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste.
  • Add the can lentils and stir in cooked pasta. Serve with parmesan.




Vegetable spiced soup with lentils and yoghurt

I am still craving soup. I guess I am looking forward to winter as not coping well with the 30 degree weather in Melbourne. It’s not ideal when you are heavily pregnant (36 weeks). This soup recipe is hearty with a little spice, makes you feel great. I usually double the recipe ingredients so I can freeze some for a rainy day. My son enjoyed it, although he didn’t eat his zucchini.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1m cubes
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 200g broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Spices; 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Greek yoghurt


  • Fry leek & garlic in olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  • Add spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  • Add stock, bay leaf, lentils, carrot and pumpkin. Bring to boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Add tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini and 700ml of water, simmer for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
  • Add peas and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Bring your family to the table and ladle soup into bowls. Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt and toasted bread.



Cauliflower, carrot and leek soup

I had a craving for soup this weekend so decided to make this yummy dish. This recipe is originally from my Dad, however I have changed things slightly over the years. I always enjoy eating this soup and the recipe makes a big batch so I can freeze some of it for times when I am too busy to cook.


  • 2 x leek, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1kg of carrots, peeled and chopped roughly into 2cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Fry leek in oil for a few minutes to soften, add crushed garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add carrots and cover with water, bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and simmer until both carrots and cauliflower are soft.
  • Drain liquid from soup into a bowl and set liquid aside. Some will be added back to soup later.
  • Process vegetables to create a puree using a stickmaster or food processor.
  • Return vegetable puree to pot and add approx 800ml of set aside liquid. Bring to boil. (Add more liquid if soup is to think)
  • Once boiling turn down heat and simmer on low. Add milk and stir for 1 minute. Season. Remove from heat.
  • Bring your family to the table, ladle soup into bowls and serve with a teaspoon of greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of nutmeg if you wish.
  • Served with toasted bread.



Chicken and risoni soup

This soup recipe makes you feel good. It’s packed with flavour and very healthy. Flavours such as lemon, chicken, garlic and rosemary just work together so well, the result is delicious. I originally found this recipe in a Murdoch soups cookbook but have modified it to include more ingredients and flavour. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly spiced
  • 1/2 celery, sliced thinly
  • Large handful of button mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 litres of chicken stock
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1 cup risoni
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary (Dill also works as another option)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice


Heat oil in saucepan over low heat and add leek, cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and stir for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat back to low, add the chicken fillets and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from soup and allow to cool. Then shred into small pieces.

Stir in risoni and simmer for 12 minutes or until cooked. Add the chicken back to soup along with rosemary sprig, spinach and lemon juice. Simmer on low for 2 minutes. Season to taste and serve. Serves well with crusty bread for dipping into broth.



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