Quantities are approximate; it usually does not matter much if more or less of any particular ingredient is used, although the soup will be slightly different.


See also the following dishes, which can be served either as soups or stews:



DUTCH PEA SOUP  (Erwtensoep) (for 4)

This is a version of the Dutch winter staple. It should be very thick; traditionally, a spoon should stand up in the soup. Carrots and potatoes (peeled and chopped) and a couple of cloves can also be included in the ingredients.

6 oz/200gr green split peas
1 pig’s foot (optional)
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, derinded and diced
white part of 1-2 leeks, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 stalks celery, diced
6-8 oz/200-300gr celeriac, peeled and diced
8-12 oz/250-300gr cooked smoked pork sausage (Mattesson’s U-shaped is

    good, or Polish), sliced, or some chunkily cut good quality ham
salt, pepper, chopped parsley, bay-leaf

Put all the ingredients except the sausage or ham in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Simmer, covered, for about 1½ to 2 hours, until the peas are totally disintegrated, skimming off any foam at the beginning of the cooking. At the end of the cooking, remove the pig’s foot (if using), cut off the meat and skin and return them in small pieces to the saucepan. Add the sliced sausage or ham, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, it can be loosened with a little water. Freezes well before the addition of the sausage or ham.


So to the Cocke, where they, and I, and Sheres, and Tom dined, my wife having a great desire to eat of their soup made of pease, and dined very well, and thence by water to the Bear-Garden, and there happened to sit by Sir Fretcheville Hollis, who is still full of his vain-glorious and prophane talk.

(Pepys' Diary, 12 April 1669)



CALDO VERDE  (for 2)

This is an inauthentic version of a Portuguese staple.

1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1-2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large or 4 small frankfurters
150gr/4 oz Savoy or green cabbage
salt, pepper, olive oil

Cook the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft but not coloured. Add the diced potatoes and 1 pint/600ml water. Simmer until potatoes are soft, and put through a mouli-legumes. Return the pan, bring back to a simmer, and add the cabbage, sliced as finely as possible (discard any tough stems). Cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile poach the frankfurters., then sllice them and add to the soup. Serve with a good dollop of extra virgin olive oil poured into each plate of soup. 



150gr/5 oz dried chickpeas
1 pig’s trotter, split
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 rashers of streaky bacon or pancetta, derinded and diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
bay-leaf, sprig of rosemary, chopped parsley, origano, a few sage leaves
salt, pepper, bicarbonate of soda, olive oil

Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours in water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate.  Rinse and put in an oven-proof dish with the trotter, garlic, bacon, celery and herbs. Cover generously with water and bring to the boil. Cover the dish with a tight fitting lid (or a lid with foil underneath). Cook for 3 hours in the oven, pre-heated to gas mark 2/150° C, adding more water if it is getting dry. Cool, and remove the trotter, bay-leaf and rosemary stalk. Take out a couple of tablespoons of the chickpeas; liquidise them with some of the liquid; then return to the dish. Pick the skin and meat from the trotter and return to the soup. Reheat, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a big dollop of good olive oil in each plate.



The quantity of lentils and sausage used is dependent on whether it is to be a first or main course.

200-500gr smoked pork sausage (eg Matthesons U-shaped)
6-10 oz/150-300gr green or brown lentils (Puy are best)
1-2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 smallish parsnip, peeled and diced
150gr celeriac, peeled and diced
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pushed through the garlic squeezer or very finely chopped
1 tablespoon French mustard
1 big tablespoon red wine vinegar
200ml soured cream
salt, pepper, 2 bay-leaves, oil

Half cook the lentils in 1 litre of water. Add the root vegetables and bay-leaves, and continue simmering until everything is done. Cook the sausage separately according to the instructions on the packet, slice and add to the soup. Soften the onion in a small saucepan in some oil. Add the garlic to it and cook gently for another couple of minutes without browning. Stir the mustard and sour cream into the onion, and then stir the mixture into the soup. Reheat, add the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, and serve.



1 small chicken or 4 chicken joints
1 carrot, peeled and roughly sliced
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, white part roughly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch/2.5cm piece of ginger root, peeled
6 cardamom pods
½ cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander
1 dessertspoon butter
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and chopped into smallish pieces
3 green chillis, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
¼  teaspoon ground mace
3-5 fluid oz/100-150ml basmati rice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tbsp cream

Put the chicken in a saucepan and cover with 2-3 pints/1.5 litres water. Bring to the boil and skim off the scum. Add the onion, carrot, leek, garlic, ginger, cardamom, bay-leaf, cinnamon stick, pepper-corns and salt, and simmer gently for one hour (40 minutes for joints). Remove and bone the chicken, reserving the flesh and slicing it into bite-sized pieces. Strain and reserve the liquor in which the chicken was cooked, discarding the vegetables and flavourings. (All can be done in advance up to this stage.) Dry-fry the cumin in a heavy saucepan until brown. When the saucepan has cooled a bit, add the butter, ground coriander, apple, chilli, turmeric and mace, and cook briefly. Add the strained cooking liquor from the chicken. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Add the rice and continue to simmer until it is cooked. Remove 2-3 tablespoons of rice (avoiding the apple bits), liquidise with a bit of the broth and return to the soup, along with the chicken flesh.  Bring back to a simmer, stir in the cream and lemon juice, season to taste and serve.



300-400gr white fish fillet
1 ¼ litres fish stock
1-2 onions, peeled and chopped
1-2 leeks, white parts sliced
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
200-250gr tin of peeled Italian plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
500gr new or waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
1 glass white wine
1 egg-yolk
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tbsp lemon juice
olive oil, salt, pepper, large pinch chilli powder or ½-1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Remove any skin or bone from the fish and poach in the fish stock until just cooked. Reserve both separately. Soften the onions, leeks and carrots in some olive oil without colouring. Add the tomato, potatoes, fish stock, wine, salt and pepper, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Meanwhile make the rouille sauce by making a mayonnaise with the egg-yolk, the garlic clove either pounded or put through a garlic squeezer and 120-150ml olive oil. Stir in the chilli powder and lemon juice and some salt. Then thin with a tablespoon of hot fish stock. Flake the fish and add to the soup; heat through; and serve with the sauce spooned over the top.  (Two salmon heads can be used both to provide the flesh and to make the stock. Poach the salmon heads in 1½ litres of water until just cooked; fish out and pick off the flesh. Then return the bones to the stock and cook for another 15 minutes before straining and proceeding as above.)




1 litre chicken stock

1 tablesoonp Thai fish sauce

1 2-3 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated on the large holes of the grater

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

1-2 red chillis, deseeded and finely diced

zest and juice of 1 lime

200-250ml coconut milk

300gr skinned chicken breast, cut into thin strips

1-2 carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of the grater

1 small savoy cabbage or 2 heads of bok choy, finely shredded

1 small bunch of spring onions, trimmed and cut on the bias.

70-100gr fine Thai rice noodles or Italian vermicelli

Green coriander


Bring the stock to a simmer and add the fish sauce, ginger, garlic, chilli and lime zest. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken, carrot and cabbage (if using) and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, spring onions and the noodles, and also the bok choi if you are using that instead of cabbage. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until the noodles are cooked, stirring occasionally to make sure they do not stick. Finally add the juice of the lime and some chopped green coriander, plus salt and pepper to taste (the fish sauce may have made it salty enough).