Chicken and Butter Bean Soup

The weather has started to change… days are getting shorter, colder and darker… and of course… that means that the tendency of my tummy is to crave stodgy comfort food…. and which is more comforting than a bowl of soup???

Normally – I am quite boring when it comes to soup… simple veggie that has been liquidized to be smooth… but when I saw this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine (February 2014 issue) I just knew that this was the perfect soup for using up leftover chicken … and the perfect autumn/winter meal!

soup 1

I didn’t add all the herbs that the recipe called for… and I didn’t have leftover chicken … so all I did was stirfry some chicken breast pieces in soya sauce (~300g) and add this.

Would I make it again? DEFINITELY… HIM raved about it and this is actually the kind of soup that will be a regular on our menu going forward! The butter beans give the soup this really luxurious creamy taste….

soup 2

Chicken & Butter Bean Soup

1 onion
4 potatoes (peeled & chopped)
6 carrots (peeled & chopped)
1 tin (400g) of butter beans (drained)
~300g cooked chicken

  • Fry onion in a little bit of oil in a large pot (approx. 5min)
  • Add carrots & potatoes and cook for a further 5minutes
  • Add stock
  • Bring to the boil & then reduce heat to simmer for 20minutes
  • Add the beans & cooked chicken and cook for a further 10minutes
  • I removed half the solids (veg and all of the chicken) and liquidized the rest of the soup & then re-added the veg, chicken
  • Serve with a good crack of black pepper

soup 3



Green Soup with Blue Cheese

I blame HIM… well, not so much blame… but place credit upon….

As a child, I would only eat tomato soup… and even this had to be the smooth, can variety… I later added chicken noodle soup to my repartee of soups – once again – the packet soup version… a “chicken” flavoured broth with a few floating mini flower shaped noodles.

It was only in my early teens that I started to eat a few more variations… pumpkin, pumpkin and errr… and once again the picky child would only eat the soups if they were smooth… no floaters!!

And finally – as an adult, I adore a good soup… chunky, smooth, you name it… (even if a smooth soup is my first choice) And of course, HIM adores soup… so there is normally a pot a week in our household.

With this in mind – I recently decided to lose myself in the kitchen with baking, cooking, etc… because there is something very therapeutic with chopping, peeling and stirring… a rhythmic motion that is has a calming effect… right?!?

Anyway – I glanced into our half empty fridge and pulled out everything that I could use – celery, broccoli, leeks, blue cheese and decided to make a soup! Plus, soup is comforting in itself….

Green Veg Soup with Blue cheese

green soup 4

1 head of broccoli

1 leek

6 sticks of celery

1 onion

600ml stock (I use chicken stock)

blob of butter

blue cheese (as little or as much as you like – I used the whole block)

green soup 1

  • cut the broccoli into florets, slice onion, leek & celery
  • Melt butter in a large pot & fry the leek & onion
  • Add the celery, broccoli & stock
  • cook for 15-20min until the broccoli is soft
  • Blitz in the blender to make a smooth texture
  • Place back into the pot with the crumbled blue cheese & simmer to melt the cheese
  • Serve!

green soup 3

Courgette, bean and pea soup

As I have gotten older (oh boy)… my tastes have really changed. (Haven’t yours???)

When I was a child – I pretty much only ate 2 types of soup – cream of tomato (from a tin) and chicken noodle (from a packet). That was it. Nothing could entice me to try minestrone or onion or leek or any other type of soup. As I got a little older (teenager), I started to eat a few more soups (like Butternut or pumpkin) – but I still refused to eat a soup that wasn’t completely smooth and blended (not sure why, but I avoided the floating veggies like the plague).

NOW – as a somewhat older individual – I love soups… and even more so if there are chunky bits!! Who knew!

In an attempt to watch the waistline (and here, I mean watch… not necessarily do anything about :)) – I found a soup on the BBC Good Food website that would use up the courgettes that were sitting in my fridge and promised to be only 200 calories per serving!! FANTASTIC!

Courgette, bean and pea soup

it taste far more delicious than it actually looks - promise!

it taste far more delicious than it actually looks – promise!

1 garlic clove, crushed

olive oil

1 onion, diced

500g courgettes, sliced/diced

1 400g tin of cannelloni beans

200g frozen peas

1l stock

courgette soup ingredients

  • heat oil in a large pot
  • Fry onion and garlic
  • Add courgettes and cook for 3-5minutes
  • courgette soup mix 1
  • Add stock, beans and peas.
  • courgette soup mix 2
  • Reduce heat and cook for another 5-10minutes
  • Serve with a little bit of pesto on the top (and I added just the tiniest bit of feta cheese as well)

Cauliflower and Tomato Soup

It sounds odd… but don’t mock it, until you have tried it!

Brussels is currently still suffering through winter… and it is April already… SAD, but true… and what better way to fill the belly and ward away the cold spells, than with a winter(?) warming bowl of soup?

Mom mentioned that she had been to an Easter luncheon at Dad’s whereby Dad’s partner had served a Cauliflower and Tomato soup – which was burnt orange in colour and deliciously subtle in taste…

Which got me salivating… so with Wednesday being Market day at the Chatelain, I braved the blustering cold wind with my little basket in order to get some fresh veggies!

Cauliflower and Tomato Soup

cauliflower and tomato soup final

1 head of Cauliflower, broken into florets

300ml of Passata

2 leeks, sliced

1 onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

knob of butter

enough stock/water to cover the veggies

cauliflower and tomato soup ingredients

  1. Fry the onion, leek and garlic in a little bit of butter for about 5minutes
  2. add the passatta and some herbs – reduce heat and simmer for 5minutes
  3. cauliflower and tomato soup base
  4. add the cauliflower florets to the pot and top up with the stock/water
  5. cauliflower and tomato soup mix
  6. Gently simmer away until the Cauliflower is soft
  7. cauliflower and tomato soup simmer
  8. Liquidise
  9. I added some feta and fresh basil pieces and it was superb!
  10. cauliflower and tomato soup final 2

Cauliflower and Stilton Soup

I can’t help it – but when the weather turns cold… all I want is a warming cup (or bowl) of tasty soup.

I never used to be like this… but since I moved to Brussels 5years ago – I have finally found that my favourite winter warmer is SOUP! Who would have thought?

Previously, I have blogged about Carrot soup, Butternut soup and recently a Broccoli and Courgette Soup, and I have been dying to make my own tomato soup (but I seem to devour tomatoes well before they reach the state of needing to be used up in Soup!).

HIM is also a fan of soup – and his recipe is essentially about throwing ALL available veggies into a pot with a tomato and stock, bringing them to the boil until they are all nice and soft, liquidizing them and then adding fresh baby spinach and lots of slices of chorizo and cooked baby pasta… a MEAL in its self!

I found this particular recipe in the BBC Good Food magazine (October 2010 issue) and knew that it was something that I had to try… especially since I am such a fan of cheese!! (and this magazine page has been sitting in my *must try* pile for a while now :))

Cauliflower & Stilton Soup

cauliflower and stilton soup ingredients

1 medium cauliflower

small knob of butter

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 leek, finely sliced (my own addition to the recipe)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (another of my own additions)

1 litre of stock

250g stilton

100ml cream (they say creme fräiche… so up to you)

  • Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and break into small florets
  • Melt butter in a big pot (enough for entire soup) over a medium heat
  • Add leeks, garlic and onions and cook for 5minutes until onion becomes glassy
  • Add cauliflower and cook for a further 5minutes
  • cauliflower and stilton soup pot 1
  • Add the stock and bring to a simmer for 20minutes (or until cauliflower is soft)
  • crumble in the cheese and stir over a low heat until it is all melted
  • cauliflower and stilton soup pot 2
  • Add the cream and stir to combine
  • remove from the heat and liquidise (either handblender or liquidiser)
  • return to the pot and reheat gently

cauliflower and stilton soup final

Broccoli and Courgette Soup

It has been snowing on and off in Brussels since Thursday…. just when I thought that Spring was surely on its way … but *sigh*… my excitement and anticipation of spring on the prior temperate weather days was short-lived! Now the trees are white-tipped and people are unable to drive again 🙂

When the weather is like this… there is nothing better for lunch (or dinner) than a steaming bowl of home-made soup!

Broccoli & Courgette Soup

brocolli and courgette soup

1 courgette sliced/diced

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

750ml stock

olive oil

fresh coriander (to garnish)

  • brown the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil
  • then add the courgette and broccoli and cook on a medium heat for about 5minutes
  • Then add the stock and bring to the boil
  • Once the vegetables are soft, blitz in the liquidizer or with a hand-held blender
  • top with a little bit of cheese or cream and some fresh herbs… and viola

Yum soup? Try Thai Tom Yam soup

Walking through the enormous Carrefour Planet the previous Saturday – had me standing in an aisle looking at an array of cook-in sauces and spices (in the International food section) and I managed to start drooling (SERIOUSLY)….

And I know that they say that you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach… and I didn’t!! But the sounds of a spicy Thai Tom Yam soup on a cold and snowy day… had me salivating hectic-ly!

thai tom yam ingredients 2

deSIAM is a brand specialising in providing authentic curry pastes, spices and sauces all the way from Thailand. Started in 2008 by 3 friends – it now supplies products across 26 countries!! (Plus they have an online store in the EU… hurray!)

This served HIM and I for lunch in what I would call 2 healthy soup bowls… and there was enough for my lunch the following day!

Thai Tom Yam Soup

thai tom yam ingredients

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

piece of fresh ginger, peels and finely chopped

1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

10 peeled prawns

1 shallot, finely sliced

1 deSIAM Tom Yam Soup paste (made by pounding tamarind and red chillies)

80g mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon fish sauce

dash of lemon juice

500ml chicken stock

  1. quickly fry the shallots and garlic in a drop of oil
  2. Add the chicken stock, ginger, chill and mushrooms and simmer
  3. when mushrooms are soft, add the paste and fish sauce
  4. thai tom yam soup 1
  5. If the prawns are uncooked, best to add them now and leave to cook until firm, if they are uncooked, let the soup simmer for another 5-10minutes
  6. Add the cooked prawns and a dash of lemon juice and SERVE!
  7. tom yam and cornbread

    I served mine with the corn bread that had just come out of the oven

6 carrots 1 onion soup… close enough

Ok – so it isn’t really as easy as that… but pretty close!

Mommabear used to make this soup at the *end of the month*… and you know what? It was so tasty, warm and filling that we never really felt the *end of the month* blues. Her recipe really is just 6 carrot, 1 onion and some stock… but I like to add some potatoes as well.. as it makes the soup thicker and even MORE filling! Plus a bit of garlic with the onion as it adds that extra *PUNCH*!!

Carrot Soup

10 carrots, peeled and chopped

4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 onion, diced

blob of butter

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1.5l chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock if you like, but it isn’t really the same)

  1. Fry onion and garlic in the melted butter (in a large pot)
  2. Add the diced carrots, potatoes and stock
  3. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20minutes (or until potatoes are cooked through)

  1. Liquidise and add salt/pepper to taste (although I find that there is sufficient salt in the stock…)
  2. Serve with fresh bread slathered in butter

Silky, thick and creamy – the tummy warming Butternut Soup

When the weather gets grey, cold and rainy here in Brussels… I always find that my mom’s recipe for Butternut soup is enough to chase away the *miz* feelings I get… or least keep them at bay for a day or two.

This is one of those super easy recipes that makes more than enough to fill the fridge or freezer for a few days… and is also a great way to start a dinner party!


500gm Butternut (or Pumpkin) – cleaned, peeled and diced

250gm Potatoes – cleaned, peeled and diced

1 onion – diced

Salt & Pepper

600ml Milk

2cups Chicken stock


1. Fry the onion in some butter

2. Add potato, butternut (or pumpkin) and milk

3. Simmer until tender

4. Liquidise until silky smooth

5. Add the chicken stock… and taste… then add Salt & Pepper

6. heat all the way through before serving…

A Truly tummy warming winter meal….