Category Archives: soup


Greg found this vegetarian version of pho by Anna Jones via The Guardian when trying to recreate the pho he enjoys when visiting Blue Cliff Monastery.

For the stock
onions 2
garlic 1 bulb
ginger a small hand
cinnamon a 5cm stick
star anise 4
cloves 3
coriander seeds 1 tbsp
vegetable stock powder 1 tsp, or stock cube ½
dried mushrooms (Asian if you can find them) a large handful
soy sauce or tamari 1 tbsp
carrots 4

For the rest
dried flat rice noodles or pho noodles 200g
Basil or fresh Thai or Vietnamese basil and mint or shiso/parilla (if you can find them) a small bunch
fresh coriander a small bunch
pak choi or spinach 300g
sugar snap peas 200g
limes 4-5
beansprouts 200g
good chilli oil

pan-fried tofu, tossed in maple and soy at the end of cooking

Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients together. Heat a large saucepan over a high heat.

Peel and quarter the onions and halve the bulb of garlic, bash the ginger until it almost starts to break up. Add the onion, ginger and garlic to the dry pan and toast until blackened and charred all over. This will take 4-5 minutes. *Warning! likely to trigger smoke alarm*

Next, add the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and coriander seeds and toast for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Now add 2 litres of hot water from the kettle, the stock powder or cube, the mushrooms and the soy or tamari and bring to a simmer. Chop the carrots into 2cm chunks and add these too. Cook for 25 minutes, until all the flavours have infused.

While the stock is simmering, put the noodles into a bowl, cover with boiling water from the kettle and put to one side. Drain after 8 minutes or following the packet instructions.

Pick the leaves from the stalks of all your herbs, quarter your pak choi and halve your sugar snap peas, lengthways.

Once the stock has had its time, sieve it into a large bowl and pour it back into the pan. Add the juice of 3-4 limes, depending on how juicy they are. Taste and adjust, make sure the lime, soy and spices come through, then add the sugar snaps and pak choi or greens and simmer for a couple of minutes, until the leaves have wilted a little.

Divide the drained noodles between four bowls and ladle over the stock and vegetables. Serve with beansprouts, herbs and the remaining lime cut into wedges, with some chilli oil for everyone to add as they choose.



Janet’s Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

A Chemo Crew recipe, 2014 

1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 large), washed
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 T red curry paste
1 15 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
3 c vegetable broth
3 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1 T sesame oil
1/2 fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400°.  Bake the sweet potatoes on an oven rack for 50 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven to cool.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and ginger until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook one minute more. Add the coconut milk and broth and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for about 5 minutes.

Skin the potatoes and cut into 1″ chunks. Add to soup and simmer 5 minutes more. – don’t let it boil! Stir in the lemon juice and salt.

Ladle soup into 4 soup bowls and drizzle the sesame oil evenly over each. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Best with a locally grown pie pumpkin you roast yourself.

4 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 – 1/4 t dried red pepper
2 t curry powder
1/2 t ground coriander
pinch cayenne
6 cups roasted pumpkin
2 c chicken or vegetable broth
2 c milk
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 sour cream, half & half or heavy cream
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot, add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add spices and cook for another minute.

Add pumpkin and broth and mix well. Just bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Puree mixture in a blender – don’t fill it too full, and make sure the lid is in tight!

Return it to the soup pot over low heat. Mix in sugar, then slowly add milk, then cream while stirring. Taste – add salt and pepper if desired. If the soup is too spicy, add a little cream. Serve hot or cold.

Adapted from “Spicy Pumpkin Soup” at

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Croutons

It’s just as good without the salt pork and healthier too.

2 c dry split peas
7-8 cups of water, plus more as needed
2 t salt
2 bay leaves
1 t dry mustard
1 medium onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 stalks celery, minced or substitute celeriac
2 medium carrots, sliced
2-3 smallish potatoes, thinly sliced
pepper to taste
3 T red wine vinegar

Top with a little sesame oil and croutons (recipe follows)

Place peas, water, bay leaves, salt and mustard into large soup pot, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add vegetables. Partially cover and simmer gently for 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed.

Add pepper and vinegar to taste and serve with a drizzle of sesame oil and homemade croutons.

— adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, pg 17

Cut good day old or stale bread into cubes (about 6-8 cups).

In a large pot heat 3-4 T olive oil and 3-4 T butter over medium low heat. Add lots of pressed garlic, (about 10 – 12 cloves) and dried parsley. Cook till soft, stirring often. Then add the bread cubes. Toss to coat, spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for up to 30 minutes, or until they are nicely toasted. If you use more than one cookie sheet (it’s better not to crowd them) then switch racks every 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave croutons in to cool slowly. Use right away or store in an airtight container.


Croutons prepared in Connor’s preferred style. He tears the bread apart, on the theory that it soaks up more olive oil that way.

Cut good day old or stale bread into cubes, or tear it into bite size pieces if you prefer Connor’s method.

In a large pot heat 3 T olive oil and 3 T butter over medium low heat.  Add lots of garlic, 10 – 12 cloves and dried parsley.  Cook till soft, stirring often.  Then add the bread cubes.  Toss to coat, spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 12- 20 minutes, or until they are nicely toasted.  If none are burnt, turn off the oven and leave croutons in to cool slowly. Use right away or store in an airtight container.

Great with split pea soup!

Russian Tomato Cabbage Soup

Fresh cabbage soup or shchi is one of the national dishes of Russia, and reminiscent of soup we enjoyed while we lived in Prague.

3 T butter or olive oil
1 large chopped onion
1 large head cabbage cut into shreds
1 large peeled and coarsely grated carrot
1 chopped celery
1 bay leaf
Black peppercorns to taste
8 cups water or vegetable stock
2 large peeled and coarsely chopped russet potatoes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh dill for garnish
Sour cream for garnish

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté onion in butter until translucent. Add cabbage, carrots and celery and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bay leaf, peppercorns and water or stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.

Add potatoes to soup and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings.

via Barbara Rolek on




Mushroom Barley Soup

One of Greg’s favorites. Adapted from Horn of the Moon Cookbook page 79

1 c raw uncooked barley
6 c boiling water or vegetable (or chicken stock if not vegetarian)
2 T oil
2 c finely chopped onions
2 c  sliced carrots
1 T dried dill
1 ½ c sliced celery
4 c sliced mushrooms
1 t salt
pepper to taste
1 T tamari or soy sauce
parsley & sour cream for serving

Combine barley and stock in a 4 quart soup pot. Cover and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the onions, carrots and dill. A few minutes later, add the celery. When browned and cooked nicely, add to the soup pot. Saute the mushrooms in the same pan quickly on high heat until lightly cooked, then add salt, pepper, tamari and more water or stock if needed. The barley will continue to absorb water, making the soup thick. Serve with sour cream &  parsley.

Makes 8 servings.