Souped up for winter


Serves -6

Oxtail soup. Credit: INLSA

30ml olive oil

750g oxtail

1 onion, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 leeks, finely sliced

400g can of chopped tomatoes

1 750ml of beef stock

chopped parsley to serve

Heat the oil in a large pot or pressure cooker and brown the oxtail well. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and leeks to the pot. Cook gently for 15 minutes. Return the oxtail to the pot, and add the tomatoes and stock.

Simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat falls off the bones.

If you use a pressure cooker then cook for an hour. Cool slightly and remove the oxtail.

Shred the meat from the bones and discard the bones.

Return the meat to the soup and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.


Serves 4

700-800g cauliflower, broken

into florets

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1 litre of chicken stock

500ml milk

salt and pepper

100g grated cheddar cheese for serving

croutons for serving

chopped chives for serving

Heat the oil in a pot and gently fry the onion until soft. Add the cauliflower, potato, stock, milk and seasoning.

Simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

Cool slightly and puree with a hand blender until smooth.

Serve piping hot with a handful of grated cheese and croutons and sprinkled with chives.


1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely diced

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

10-15ml harissa paste

30ml tomato paste

1 litre of vegetable stock

400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

15ml brown sugar

60ml couscous

coriander for garnishing

Heat the oil and gently fry the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 minutes until soft. Stir in harissa paste, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and chick peas.

Season with salt, pepper and sugar and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes.

About 10 minutes before serving, add the couscous. Serve garnished with coriander.


Serves 6

6 beetroot, washed and trimmed

45ml olive oil

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1.5 litres of vegetable stock

sour cream to serve

Put the beetroot into a piece of foil. Drizzle with 15ml of the olive oil, wrap to seal and roast at 180°C for an hour until the beetroot is tender. Remove and cool. Peel and dice the beetroot.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot and gently fry the onion, celery and carrots for 15 minutes until tender.

Add the beetroot, potato, stock and seasoning and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 40-50 minutes until the potatoes are very tender. Remove and cool slightly.

Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with a dollop of sour cream.


Serves 4-6

2 carrots, peeled and diced

15ml garam masala

5ml ground coriander

5ml turmeric

15ml tomato paste

250ml red lentils

2 bay leaves

250ml cooked, shredded chicken

250ml basmati rice

45ml lemon juice

60ml Greek yoghurt

coriander to serve

Heat oil in a large pot and gently fry onion and carrot for 10 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook for a few seconds.

Add the tomato paste, lentils, stock and bay leaves. Simmer covered for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft. Discard by leaves and puree until smooth.

Add chicken, rice and seasoning and simmer until the rice is tender.

Stir in the lemon juice and yoghurt and serve sprinkled with coriander.