Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Having a pot of soup simmering on the stove is a good feeling. The gentle aroma fills the house, I enjoy the anticipation of eating a bowl of warming goodness and I also enjoy knowing I have a nourishing meal or snack ready to heat and eat for a quick lunch or for family and friends. Below are recipes for two of my everyday favorite soups and the third one comes from my friend Bronwyn who each winter since I met her three years ago has told me about a traditional Tibetan yoghurt soup she makes when she or her daughter have a fever or a cold. I finally have the recipe and have included it here for you. Thanks Bron!

Soup is a meal I never tire of so expect to see more soup recipes soon. And if you have any to share let me know and I'd be happy to try them and write a post including the recipe and even better if there is a story that goes with the recipe, perhaps a family or cultural tradition.


1 large onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sticks celery with leaves, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2-3 chicken pieces with bone (drumstick, maryland or thigh)
2 litres chicken stock or water (can use 1 litre stock 1 litre water)
A small handful of brown rice or barley or short noodles
A bunch of parsley chopped

In a large pot heat a splash of olive oil over a low to medium heat and gently fry onion and garlic until onion is transparent.
Add celery and carrot and fry for a few minutes longer putting in a splash of water if pan becomes too dry.
Place in chicken pieces and slightly brown the outside.
Cover with stock and water.
Toss in brown rice or barley. If using noodles add them towards the end of the cooking time.
Bring to boil then lower to simmer and cook for an hour or until meat tender and grain is cooked.
Remove chicken pieces from pot, discard skin and shred meat from bone. Discard bones and return meat to pot.
Add chopped parsley, stir and it is ready to serve.

This is a meal-in-a-bowl kind of soup. My nan filled my freezer with containers of this soup when River was born (he is a July baby) it was perfect post partum fare. And now it is a family favorite.
I  especially like it when I am feeling a bit low on energy.

1 tablespoon olive oil           
2 lamb shanks           
2 onions, chopped           
2 cloves garlic, crushed           
2 carrots, chopped           
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped           
1 turnip, peeled and chopped           
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped           
1 litre meat or vegetable stock           
1 litre water           
1 (425g) can chopped tomatoes           
1/2 cup pearl barley           
2 bay leaves   

Heat oil in a large stock pot/saucepan.
Brown shanks well all over.
Transfer to a plate.
Add onions and garlic to pan and saute until onions are tender.
Stir in carrots, potatoes, turnip and parsnip.
Cook for 1 minute.
Blend in remaining ingredients.
Return shanks to pot.
Bring to the boil.
Reduce heat.
Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours or until barley is tender and lamb falls off the bone (add more liquid as required).
Transfer shanks to a dish.
Remove meat and chop roughly.
Add meat to soup.
Ready to serve.

TIBETAN CURD SOUPBronwyn writes, "Traditionally this soup is made in the Summer time as a refreshing dinner, cooling and balancing to the body. It is also used to remedy fever and symptoms of flu. This has been successfully tried and tested by myself and friends numerous times! I just love it as an alternative, vegetarian dinner. The measurements are slightly vague, because as it is with traditional cooking, ingredients are seldom measured out but done by feel and visually passed down from cook to cook."

Ghee to cook with
1 bunch spring onion, sliced
Full cream, unsweetened yoghurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Just boiled water
Noodles of your choice

Firstly fry down the spring onion, in ghee, in a saucepan.
Spoon the desired amount of yoghurt (I use about 2-3 tbspn per person) into a bowl and mix till smooth.
This will help the yoghurt to stop separating as it is cooked. I've been told, the more mixing the more delicious the soup will taste!
Add the yoghurt to the spring onion in the saucepan, and fry for a few minutes.
Season as desired.
Add as much boiled water as needed to cook the desired amount of noodles properly, not making it too thin or too sludgy.
Add noodles and serve when ready!
A hearty yet light soup ready to go in no time!

Thanks Bron. I made this soup with butter as I didn't have ghee and it worked out fine. I made enough for two serves and used about 40 grams of gluten free spaghetti as the noodle component, I broke the noodles up and put them in. Don't worry if when you put the water in it seems to thin, it will thicken up again as the noodles cook. 

I did have a photograph to accompany this recipe but my camera or computer is being temperamental and won't send photo across. I like the recipe so much though I couldn't wait! So here it is and perhaps I'll cook it one day with Bronwyn and post step by step photos.

Happy soup cooking. I look forward to hearing your recipes.


  1. All those soup recipes look delicious Nikki - The kids and I are big fans of red lentil soup - include a dash of curry powder, cumin, celery, onions garlic and carrots (and tomato too if you want) and you have a meal! They also cook really quickly - just 25minutes for quick last minute meals. Am going to try out your Lamb Shank and Barley soup - Thanks for sharing. Jenny.

    1. Red lentil soup sounds delicious Jenny. Thanks for your comment. I hope you enjoy the lamb soup x

  2. I have always found it quicker and easier to grate the veggies, instead of chopping. Especially with the food processor!

    1. Time saving Jan :) lovely to read your comment here. Thanks for the tip. I hope all well with you and yours xx


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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