2013-05-30 20.34.13

Chowder is a seafood and/or vegetable thickened soup served with milk or cream. It is traditionally eaten, or even thickened with, saltine crackers but it can easily be made without.

This is how I made mine (quantities to serve 2 people)

– 400g chopped tomatoes with juices (approximately one can; I used cherry tomatoes)

– one onion, chopped finely

– 1 minced garlic clove

– a handful of mushrooms, chopped roughly (I used dried shiitake mushrooms which I soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes prior to adding to the recipe) – or other vegetables of choice

– mussels which have been debearded and scrubbed well – or shell removed (approx. 4-6 per person, depending on size)

– 1/2 cup white wine

– 1/2 cup chopped chorizo, chopped into 1/4 inch discs

– 1/2 cup single cream / heavy cream or make your own

– 1 cup stock

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 tablespoon green curry paste (mine was store-bought)

– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

– chopped coriander (optional, because coriander is delicious with anything!)


– In a deep pan on medium heat add the olive oil and green curry paste, this will begin to dissolve. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the chopped onion and stir. Cook until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Subsequently add the minced garlic and cook for a further minute.

– Add the chorizo slices and stir until these start to brown slightly. Add some wine if the mixture starts to dry up.

– Now add the tomatoes, wine, stock and apple cider vinegar and stir.

– If you are using any vegetables that take longer to cook, chop them into bite size chunks and add them now. Give them sufficient time to soften – adding more stock or a small amount of water if necessary.

– Add the mushrooms and mussels to the pot and stir carefully so as not to break up the mussels.

– Simmer for 5 minutes and add the cream. Stir gently until the cream is heated through (about 1 minute), check the seasoning and add salt or pepper if necessary.

-Serve hot with chopped coriander  and freshly ground pepper as garnish


This soup was born out of two reasons:

a) the need/desire to use up a number of green vegetables

b) the challenge of making something very healthy taste good (some think that this war is impossible to win, but so not true)

The following amounts make 2 portions. You will need:

    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 long celery sticks, chopped
    • 1 medium courgette, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon turmeric
    • 2 teaspoons medium curry powder
    • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
    • 1/2 a low salt, low carb vegetable cube dissolved in about 600ml of water

Fry the onion, fennel, garlic, turmeric and curry in coconut oil. Nowadays I mostly use coconut oil for cooking, but feel free to use butter or vegetable oil, or a mixture of both to avoid burning the garlic.


 Add a dash of water (or wine if you prefer) to cook the onion until it becomes translucent and soft without burning.

Next add the courgettes and celery and stir continuously for a few minutes. Add your stock and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Test it to check whether the vegetables have cooked sufficiently. Blend or crush slightly to break down the larger pieces of vegetable (unless you were patient enough to chop up your vegetables into tiny pieces to start with) and serve with a few gratings of goat’s cheese and freshly ground pepper. This soup reheats well.


A huge part of my cooking consists of improvising – I was planning to make some sort of stir fry with a chicken breast, but it turns out I should have taken the chicken breast out of the freezer the night before (not just a couple of hours earlier).

Back home at lunch time the options were two: cook something else or find a way to defrost the chicken quicker. That is when I came up with the idea of making chicken broth. Chicken broth – best known as home cold remedy. Tastes best if someone you love makes it for you 🙂 But does it really work?

You will need:

  • Chicken breast or thighs
  • one onion sliced
  • 2 small potatoes, sliced
  • water
  • 1/2 a stock cube
  • fresh herbs – I used thyme, parsley and oregano
  • a knob of butter (optional)

I used onion and potato but if you like you can use other vegetables like carrots, turnips etc. The above makes 2 portions of soup.

You can start cooking all your ingredients together – to make sure that your chicken is cooking throughout it’s best to chop it into chunks. If you do this half way through cooking you will need to wash everything the raw chicken has touched with soup and water, to avoid contamination.

The soup needs to cook for about 30-40 minutes for best results. I think some of magical properties might be lost if you blend it. Add salt and pepper to taste as you go along. In the last few minutes I added vermicelli pasta.