30-minute fennel and tomato seafood cioppino stew. Picture: Feast Local
30-minute fennel and tomato seafood cioppino stew. Picture: Feast Local

Hearty winter meals you can make in 30 minutes or less

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published May 11, 2021

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During the cold winter months, there is nothing better than a hearty dinner after a long day, especially when it can be made in minutes.

So, whether you are looking to feast on a bowl of stew, or tuck into a delicious meal of meatballs, these speedy midweek meals are just the ticket.

30-minute fennel and tomato seafood cioppino stew

Serves: 6


1 fennel bulb, diced finely

2 green bell peppers, diced finely

1 yellow onion, diced finely

6-8 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how large they are)

4 tbsp fennel seeds

2 tbsp olive oil

2 bottles (240ml) clam juice

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

3 cans diced tomatoes

1 kg frozen shrimp

3-4 cups spinach or kale (optional)

Finely dice the onion, green bell peppers, fennel bulb, and garlic. You can also chop them in the food processor to save time.

Heat olive oil in a large soup or stock pot over medium heat then transfer the vegetables into sauté for 5 minutes. I like to add the fennel first since that vegetable is the sturdiest and takes the longest to cook. Followed by the onion, garlic, then lastly, bell peppers. After the vegetables have been cooking for 3 minutes, add in the fennel seeds and stir.

Once the vegetables have begun to sweat and have softened, add in the liquids so they do not burn. Pour in the clam juice, vegetable or chicken broth, and canned diced tomatoes. Stir together.

Cover the pot and let the soup simmer on medium-low for 20-25 minutes to let all the flavours meld together. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Lastly, add the shrimp for the last 5-7 minutes of cook time. To help the shrimp cook faster, stir them into the soup as opposed to letting them hang on top.

For an extra serving of vegetables, add spinach or kale. Do this for the last 3 minutes of cook time so they do not get too wilted.

Toast a French baguette and serve the soup!

Recipe by Feast Local.

Corn, avocado, and biltong salad

Serves: 4


2 cobs of sweetcorn

1 packet lettuce

1 large avocado pear, sliced

100g cherry tomatoes halved

125g sliced biltong

Balsamic dressing

80ml olive oil

45ml balsamic vinegar

5ml mustard powder

15ml honey

Salt and ground black pepper


Blanch the sweetcorn and remove the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife.

Put a layer of salad leaves on a serving platter or in a bowl.

Add the sweetcorn, avocado pear, tomatoes, and biltong.

Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a bottle and shake well.

Recipe by Angela Day.

Spicy Italian meatballs

Adding beans or other legumes into mince dishes is a great way to save money.


½ bunch coriander

1 brown onion

400g can kidney beans

1 tbs ground cumin

1tbs chilli powder

3 garlic cloves

1.5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 egg

500g lean beef mince


Place all ingredients (except oil, egg, and mince) into the blender, blending until smooth.

Transfer into a bowl and combine with mince and egg.

Roll into small balls and cook until brown in olive oil.

Combine with tomato paste.

Recipe by Ricki-Lee.

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