Soup Season with The Food Fox

Finally, Winter is here! It is the season of soups, cozy blankets and marathon movie nights.


If you're in need of soup recipe inspiration, look no further than Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson's book "Clean Soups". It is a brilliant book stuffed to the brim with delightful soups varying from clear broths to thick purees. They also provide fresh ideas on how to serve their soups, including toppings like kale crumble, herb drizzle, nut cream and a few different salsas.

The nourishing smell of properly made soup permeates right through to your soul. Start with this incredible "magic mineral broth" - a vegetable stock/broth that forms the basis of many of their other soups, yet also to be enjoyed as is. I used this broth to also make their recipe for Moroccan carrot soup as well as minted pea soup. The chermoula works perfectly as a topping for the carrot soup and as a bread dip.

Chase the winter chills away with a fabulous floral watercolour table cloth and tableware - all homeware items pictured available in stores now.

Magic mineral broth (makes about 6 liters)

• 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
• 2 unpeeled brown onions
• 1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
• 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
• 4 unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, quartered
• 2 unpeeled white-fleshed sweet potatoes, quartered
• 1 unpeeled orange sweet potato, quartered
• 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
• 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
• 1 (20 cm) strip kombu*
• 12 black peppercorns
• 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
• 2 bay leaves
• 8 liters cold, filtered water
• 1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed

Rinse all the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12 liter or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek , celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries and bay leaves. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 2 hours, or until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large coarse-mesh sieve (use a heat-resistant container underneath) and discard the solids. Stir in the salt, adding more if desired. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

*Kombu is edible dried kelp/seaweed.

Moroccan carrot soup (makes 6 servings)

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 brown onion, chopped
• sea salt
• 1,5 kg carrots, cut into 2,5cm pieces
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• pinch of chilli flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
• 1,5 litres magic mineral broth (see above)
• 2,5 teaspoons lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or half lemon half tangerine/orange juice)
• 1/4 teaspoon dark maple syrup plus more if needed
• chermoula, for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onions and a pinch of salt and saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chilli flakes, saffron and 1/4 teaspoon salt and saute until well conbined. Pour in 125 ml of the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining broth and another 1.4 teaspoon salt and cook until the carrots and tender, about 20 minutes.

Put the lemon zest in a blender and puree the soup in batches until smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the carrot mixture. If need be, add additional broth to reach the desired thickness. Return the soup to the pot over low heat, stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of salt, and gently reheat. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon, a pinch or two of salt, or a drizzle of maple syrup. Serve with chermoula or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Sweet pea and mint soup (makes 6 servings)

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large leek, white part only, rinsed and chopped
• sea salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 300 g frozen sweet peas, defrosted, or 465 g freshly shelled peas
• 1 small head butter lettuce, torn into pieces
• 1 cup pea sprouts (if available)
• 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
• 1,5 litres magic mineral broth (see above)
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more if needed
• 6 tablespoons full-fat plain yoghurt, for garnish (optional)
• pea shoots, for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the leek, pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and the lettuce and another pinch of salt. Pour in 125 ml of the stock to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from the heat.

Pour one-third of the remaining stock into a blender, add one-third of the vegetable mixture, one-third of the pea sprouts and the mint. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a soup pot over low heat. Divide the remaining stock in half and repeat the process two more times. Stir in the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste, you may want to add an additional squeeze of lemon and a couple of pinches of salt. Serve garnished with the yoghurt, pea shoots and a bit of mint, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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