Posted in Recipe, soup

Two Favourite Soups for Winter

We are going into winter in South Africa and it is my favourite time of the year, because it is soup time! And when it comes to soup, I like it chunky, Yes, the refined soups pushed through a sieve for fine dining is usually what I do when I do soups for a private clients, but for myself I like the soup to be rustic and plain rural in its structure and texture. In this post I am sharing with you two of my favourite soup recipes: Chicken & Mushroom Soup and Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea Soup. The secret for both soups are a good stock, take your time and cook either a vegetable or chicken stock, it will make the soup so much better! Both soups are easy to make and actually very quick if you have everything prepared.


Chicken & Mushroom Soup

You’ll need:

  • 1 Whole Roasted Chicken
  • 250g White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2L Chicken Stock (cook your own with the bones from the chicken)
  • 30ml Olive Oil
  • 30g Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 6 Cloves
  • Freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 5ml Fine Coriander
  • 5ml Fine Cumin
  • 1 Large Boiled Potato
  • 125ml Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Chives to Sprinkle
  • Taste Café Chili Dukka
  • Large Crouton
  • Butter to spread on the crouton

To make:

Take the chicken meat of the bones (keep the bones and use them to cook stock from), just use the meat, skin off for the soup and chopped the meat into bite size cubes. In a large soup pot, fry the onions and mushrooms in the oil and butter till the mushrooms and onions have a good tan to them from the heat, a little caramelisation will add flavour to the soup. Add the garlic and all the spices and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the stock and chicken and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. To thicken the soup, take the skin off the boiled potato and mash it, add some of the mash until the soup has thicken to your liking. Add the cream, salt and black pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, butter the croutons and press it into the Chili Dukka (available from our market stall on the Pretoria Boeremark). Laddle some soup into a bowl, sprinkle with chives and place the crouton onto the soup and serve.

Spicy Pumpkin & Chickpea Soup

You’ll need:

  • 600g Iron Pumpkin, large dice
  • 2L Vegetable Stock (a good strong one)
  • 300g Chickpeas, cooked already
  • 30g Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 3cm Piece Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 5cm Piece Lemon Grass, crushed
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5ml All Spice
  • 5ml Caraway Seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar & pestle
  • 5ml Taste Café Harissa Paste
  • 1 Tin Coconut Milk
  • Paninis
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Butter
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Coconut Shavings

To make:

Fry the onions in the butter till soft, add the ginger, garlic, lemon grass, nutmeg, all spice, caraway seeds and harissa paste and fry for about 1 minute. Add the stock and pumpkin and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, add the chickpeas and mash the pumpkin and chickpeas which will now start to thicken the soup. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the soup is simmering, cut paninis in half, butter them and place some mozzarella cheese inside, toast them in griddle pan until the cheese starts to melt. Laddle soup in a bowl, add some coconut shaving and pumpkin seeds and serve with warm paninis.

Posted in Best Find

Market Food – Taste Café is in it!


The market scene in South Africa is busy exploding. The plethora of markets from which visitors can pick and choose are just amazing at the moment and the influence of markets on how people eat, drink and socialize is huge. When Jessica Cairns visited my stall at the Pretoria Boeremark about two years ago with this fabulous idea to do a book about the different markets and the food you can find on these markets, I was thrilled with idea and fell very privileged to be a contributor to Market Food South Africa. 

Taste Café and owner Willie Cloete is featured in Market Food  where I share a delicious recipe for Brinjals roasted with Garlic and Sumac and we would like to encourage all our clients, readers, supporters and friends to support this publication by ordering it, buying it or downloading it!

Click here for a link to a review of the book. Market Food is available from Exclusive Books, CNA and other independent bookstores. On-line stores such as Kalahari, Look, Take-a-lot and Red Pepper should also list the book shortly.