Beef Noodle Soup

Beef Noodle Soup


This year I’ve been trying to cook more larger pieces of meat and save the leftovers for more meals.   Of course, sometimes this means we are just tempted to eat more on the first night, but it also means that I am being a little more economical and more creative with leftovers.

We had slowcooked beef brisket a couple of nights ago and after having some of the leftovers for lunch, there wasn’t much left.   I needed a meal that would make a little bit of beef go a long way, and that is exactly what a soup can do.   I sliced the beef very thinly against the grain along with about 4 times the quantity of vegetables and the finished soup didn’t make us feel like we were being short-changed at all.  I made this just for 2 people but it is easy to increase the quantities and it is the perfect dish to make when you don’t have very much meat but want to feed a crowd.

The vegetables can be varied.   I was also trying to use up what was left in the fridge, which is why there was just a very small amount of red onion in the soup. Don’t feel you have to add onion – I would have added a couple of spring onions if I’d had them.  I also had half a yellow pepper and half a red pepper leftover from another meal, which is why they went in, but use whatever coloured peppers you like.   Because the soup is not cooked for very long, the chillis will not lose much of their heat so you may need to remove some of the seeds.   I like hot food so I usually leave them in, but this will be extremely hot if you leave all of them in.   It’s up to you.

Ingredients – Serves 2

100g leftover beef brisket, thinly sliced

2 nests of dry noodles

1 carrot, sliced thinly with a potato peeler

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 pepper – or halves of 2 different coloured peppers, cut into strips

1/4 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, cut into batons

1 chilli pepper – some of the seeds removed, sliced

Juice of 1/2 lime

400ml beef stock

How to Make Beef Noodle Soup

1. Prepare all the vegetables.

2. Pour boiling water onto the noodles and cook according to the packet instructions.

3. At the same time bring the stock to the boil and add all the rest of the ingredients, apart from a few slices of chilli to garnish with.   Cook for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice at the end.

4. Drain and divide the cooked noodles between two bowls.   Top with the stock and vegetable/beef mixture.

This is a very quick meal to make so I’m linking to Speedy Suppers, hosted by Dinner with Crayons and Feeding Boys and also Family Foodies, hosted by Eat your Veg and Bangers & Mash, which is for meals under 30 minutes this month.  As this soup is a great way to use up leftovers I am linking it to the No Waste Food Challenge, run by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary hosted this month by Cooking around the World.  I am also linking to Extra Veg, hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families and Fuss Free Flavours as this is packed full of vegetables.

speedy-suppers-veg-impfamily-foodiesno waste food challengeExtra-Veg-Badge-003

Sausage and Vegetable Soup

With a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard and a few vegetables in the fridge, even ones that are past their best, it’s always easy to make a quick soup for lunch or dinner.   This was the one that I made the other day to go with the soda bread.  If I hadn’t made the soda bread I would probably just have added a tin of kidney or cannellini beans, or even some lentils to the soup to make it filling enough for a  main meal.

I would like to say that I made this to be healthy in January and to increase the amount of vegetables I’m eating.  I didn’t.   I just made it because it was easy and because I love sausage and vegetable soup.  You can use any type of sausage.  You could use a cured sausage like chorizo and I have often done that.   This one just used very ordinary pork and leak sausages and I added lots of herbs, but I would have used Cumberland sausages if I’d had them as I like ordinary sausages to have a bit more flavour, and I think in a soup, the stronger the flavour the better.   You can also change the vegetables to suit whatever you have at the time.

As this is packed full of vegetables I am linking it to Extra Veg, created by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families also to Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.  As the soup also used up a slightly soft green pepper I am also linking to the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

sausage & vegetable soup (500x388)

Ingredients – Serves 2-3

3 sausages, sliced

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 green pepper, diced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

1 bay leaf

How to Make Sausage and Vegetable Soup

1. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until softened.   Add the sausage and cook until it has browned slightly.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and a little water to cover everything.   Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Serve with fresh bread.


no waste food challenge


Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’d been thinking of making a tortilla soup for a long time when I saw it on Jen’s Journey, the blog I was assigned to this month for the Secret Recipe Club.  Jennifer claimed it was the best soup she had ever eaten so I knew it was going to pretty good.  I had to make one or two changes.  It’s not possible to buy cans of Rotel tomatoes and chillies here, or at least not where I shop, and so I just used a tin of tomatoes and some fresh chillies instead.  I hope that achieved a similar result.   Even if it didn’t, it was very very tasty and a soup that I can easily make again.

chicken tortilla soup (500x379)

Ingredients – serves 2-3

2 chicken breasts

1.5 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

A little salt

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 chilli peppers, sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

Handful of coriander leaf (cilantro)

A little grated cheese (I used cheddar)

500ml water

950ml chicken stock

2 tortillas (I used flour ones), cut into strips or triangles with a pair of scissors

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

1. Mix the chilli powder, cumin, 1 clove of crushed garlic and a  little salt together.    Coat the chicken in a little oil and then sprinkle some of the spice mix onto the chicken.   Rub it in.

2. Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until done. At the same time, bake the tortilla pieces for just a short time each so they go crispy.  Shred the chicken using 2 forks.

3. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion, chilli pepper and bell pepper.   Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the crushed garlic and rest of the spice mix that did not go on the chicken.  Cook for another couple of minutes.

4. To the pan add the chicken, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and water. Simmer for 45 minutes.

5. At the end add some of the tortilla pieces/strips and the chopped coriander.

6. Serve topped with the grated cheese, chopped coriander and more of the tortilla pieces.  You could also garnish with avocado or sour cream.

Mulligatawny Soup

Firstly I have to apologise to Sarah.   My photo of this soup is not a pretty picture.   The picture on her blog, Sarah’s Kitchen looks much more appealing, and before you turn away in horror, it did taste a lot better than it looks.

Although I had heard of mulligatawny before making it, I had never actually had it before and didn’t really know what it was like.  All I knew was that it was a curried soup that dated back to the time of the British Empire in India. The style of the soup is therefore quite traditionally British but with some Indian flavours from the curry powder, ginger and coconut milk.  It makes a very thick warming soup that is hearty enough to be eaten as a main meal, especially if you serve it with some bread on the side too.   We chose to have garlic and coriander naan but any bread would be nice.  A crusty English roll would also go nicely.

I was paired with Sarah’s Kitchen for the Secret Recipe Club.  Sarah is a British girl living in the US and has a lovely mixture of British, American and international recipes on her blog.


Ingredients – serves 3-4

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp flour

1 apple, peeled, cored and grated

1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, grated

1/2 can coconut milk

600ml chicken stock

2 tbsp cooked rice

1-2 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized strips or leftover cooked chicken

How to Make Mulligatawny Soup

1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan.  If using raw chicken, add the chicken.  When cooked remove and set aside. If using cooked chicken start at step 2.

2. If necesary add a little more oil and add the onion, carrot and celery.  Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

3. Add the tomato puree, flour and curry powder.  Stir in well and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.  Add a dash of water if it is too dry.

4. Add the ginger and apple and cook for another couple of minutes.

5. Add the chicken, rice, coconut milk and stock.  Bring to the boil stirring then lower to a simmer.  Keep stirring every so often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom.  It should soon thicken and then it’s ready to serve.

To see what other participants in the Secret Recipe Club have made, click on the link below:

Green Lentil and Coriander Soup

A new year, a new healthy diet.   That’s the plan for most of the time anyway.  Apart from that I have made no new year food plans and have written no review of the past year.   I would like to blog more frequently and I would like to be more active in commenting on the blogs I follow, but if I set that as a resolution, I feel I would just be setting myself up for failure.  After all, I am running the London Marathon on 21 April so will need to find time to fit all the training for that into my schedule!   So, I am just going to try to keep on blogging as often as I can, when I can.    I know it’s quite late to be saying this on 8th January already so that is all I am going to say on the subject.  Moving on to this green lentil and coriander soup….

I love making soups like this as they are warm, filling and are useful for using up any leftover vegetables.  Although the lentils are very dark,  I love the colours of all the vegetables showing up in the soup and I especially love the fresh coriander stirred in at the end.  It makes the soup taste very fresh.

I am linking this soup to Pantry Party, Food of the Month Club and Souper Sundays.

lentil coriander soup (500x351)

Ingredients – serves 2 (as a main meal)

3 tbsp dried green lentils

2 carrots, sliced

1 onion, diced

2 tbsp chopped red cabbage

2 tbsp sweetcorn

Small knob of ginger, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 chilli pepper, sliced

Handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

2 cardamom pods, crushed slightly

2 cloves

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala

How to Make Lentil and Coriander Soup

1. Put a little oil in a saucepan.   Add the cloves and cardamom pods.   Cook for 30 seconds then add the chopped onion, chilli pepper and ginger.  Fry gently until soft.

2. Add the turmeric,cumin, garam masala, carrot and lentils.   Stir in and add boiling water from the kettle.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes then add the cabbage.   Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.

4. Add the frozen sweetcorn.   As soon as the water reaches the boil again, take out two ladles of the soup.   Blend in a food processor or with a stick blender and then return the pureed soup to the pan.   Stir in the coriander and serve immediately


I would normally avoid making a green bean stew as I’d think that green beans are not really interesting enough to be the main ingredient. However, when I saw the chilli, ginger and garlic on the ingredients list as well, I decided it was worth trying. I also liked how easy it was to prepare. Fasolakia is a Greek green bean stew and can actually be served cold as well as hot. I did plan to leave some for the next day to have for lunch with yoghurt but unfortunately there was none left. I was really surprised by how delicious it actually was.

The recipe is slightly adapted from Sarah Raven’s Food for Friends & Family. I borrowed this book from the library and I love it so much I’ll be disappointed when I have to take it back. It is divided into 4 sections for each of the seasons and a lot of the recipes remind me of Ottolenghi’s Plenty in that they really celebrate the vegetables. I think this is what has made me really love the book and I can’t wait to try a few more of the recipes.

Ingredients – serves 2

220g green beans, sliced into 3cm pieces

1 large carrot, grated

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small knob root ginger, finely diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 small red chilli pepper, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

Handful of fresh herbs ( I used coriander but the original recipe said parsley)

150ml vegetable stock

Olive oil

How to Make Fasolakia

1.Chop the onion and put it in the saucepan with a little olive oil.  Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

2. Add all the other ingredients to the pan, reserving some of the herbs to garnish with.  Simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes.

3.Serve with crusty bread.

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Tahini Soup

Well, it’s still soup weather out there and after my success with carrot and tahini soup,  I was eager to experiment more with tahini in soups.  The vegetables were basically what I had left in the fridge so could easily be changed for whatever you have.   It’s amazing that just a little bit of tahini makes the lentils taste really creamy.  I know it doesn’t look that pretty or appetizing in the picture, but if you like lentils and tahini then I’m sure you would love this.   For a slight variation peanut butter would work really well too.

I’m linking this to Souper Sundays hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

Ingredients – serves 1

1 tbsp red lentils, rinsed

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 tbsp tahini

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 chilli pepper, thinly sliced

1 tsp curry powder

How to make Sweet Potato, Lentil and Tahini Soup

1. Put a little oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion until soft.

2. Add the green pepper, chilli, garlic and curry powder.   Stir and cook for a minute and then add the lentils and sweet potato.   Cover with water, bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer.   Cover the pan and leave for 20 minutes.

3. Check the lentils and sweet potato are cooked.   Leave for a bit longer if necessary.   Stir in the tahini until it dissolves and then serve.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

I wasn’t sure whether to take part in the Secret Recipe Club this month or not.   What if the baby arrived early and I didn’t have time to make anything?   In the end, I decided to risk it, but to make my recipe as soon as I received my assignment.   This means I’m writing this in March and have no idea whether I’ll be a mother or not by the time this post goes live.   It is also the reason why I chose a fairly simple recipe.  I sometimes try to make something adventurous or new, but this month my priority was just to be organised and get my post ready in plenty of time.   Last month I made a black bean soup using dried beans for the first time and this month I am also making a black bean soup – both in the slow cooker.   But, that is where the similarities end.   Apart from the beans, the flavours and textures are completely different, and of course I wanted another opportunity to use dried black beans again.   The recipe comes from Julie at A Little Bit of Everything and she does indeed have a wide range of recipes on her blog, both sweet and savoury.   After the success of my microwave cake a few weeks ago I was tempted to try her crock pot chocolate cake but for me, the savoury dish won this time.   It made a perfect lunch two days in a row and was very healthy too.

Like Julie,  I also found that the beans lost some of their colour in the water due to the slow cooking and also dyed the sweet potato and pepper a little too.  All in all this didn’t bother me and I found it a lovely lunchtime soup which felt very healthy as I was eating it, as well as being pretty tasty and filling too.

Ingredients – serves 2

3 tbsp dried black beans

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped

1 green chilli pepper, sliced

Vegetable stock – enough to cover the vegetables

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to Make Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

1. If beginning with dried beans, soak in water overnight.   In the morning rinse the beans well.

2. Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours.

To see what other Secret Recipe Club Members have made, click on the link below:

Secret Recipe Club

Carrot and Tahini Soup

Summer was here for a week or two back in March but now it’s cold and chilly again and summer feels a long time away.   I’ve been eating quite a few salads but it’s not really the right time for them yet, but what this type of weather is perfect for, is soups.    I had a lot of carrots in the fridge and wanted to use them up.   They weren’t the best carrots.   A bit watery and without much flavour.   Not so good for dipping in houmous, perfect for blending up and putting in a soup.   Usually when I put carrot in a soup I add it along with a lot of other vegetables.   It’s not a carrot a soup, it just contains some carrot.   Yes, I have made carrot soup, about five years ago but I found it very sweet.   Too sweet and so carrot soup has been one to avoid since then.    Then, a few months ago I came across this recipe for Carrot and Tahini Soup on Eats Well with Others.  It got me thinking.   The sweetness of the carrots would be balanced out by the bitterness of the tahini.   Hmmm.   Maybe carrot soup could be delicious after all, just like carrots dipped in houmous.  So, I bookmarked it and there it lingered for a few months, until this week when all those carrots in the fridge began asking to be used up.   I adapted the recipe slightly.   I didn’t have any leeks so I used onions.   I made a much small quantity and so used fewer carrots but used a larger proportion of spices and added cumin too, as I feel it goes so well with coriander and carrots.    I love lemon juice in soups so added the juice of half a lemon but again, you might want to add less of this.  What’s really important is not to add too much stock.  This should be thick and delicious, not a watery soup.

I am linking this to Bookmarked Recipes, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and also to Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays.

Ingredients – 1 large portion (could serve 2)

2 small onions, finely diced

230g peeled carrots, chopped

1 large clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp dried thyme

Vegetable stock – just enough to cover the vegetables

1/2 tbsp tahini

Juice of 1/2 lemon

How to Make Carrot and Tahini Soup

1. Put a little oil in the bottom of a saucepan and cook the onion for about 3 minutes until softened.    Add the crushed garlic and spices.    Stir then add the carrots.    Add the vegetable stock.   Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the tahini then use a stick blender or transfer to a blender and blitz until you get a thick soup.

3. Stir in the lemon juice to taste and serve with bread.

Finnish Salmon Soup

I have never been to Finland and don’t know much about Finnish food, except that it is probably quite similar to other Scandinavian food, which I also know very little about.    Actually, when I think about it, the first thing that springs to mind is Jacques Chirac’s 2005 comment about British food, “After Finland, it is the country with the worst food.”  Understandably, this comment did not go down well in the UK, but at least we are aware of the stereotype of plain British food, whereas it was probably more of a shock to the Finns.   So, I set about researching Finnish food, and came across some wonderful ideas for cooking with reindeer and elk – but possibly not so easy to get hold of here.  Luckily, salmon is very popular in Finland and I soon decided to make a salmon soup which I found on Scandi Foodie.

I changed the recipe only slightly.   I couldn’t find any celeriac so had to miss it out.    I had ground all spice berries, not whole berries.   I used vegetable stock instead of water.   I could possibly have used fish stock but I didn’t want it to be too fishy, I just wanted to add a little extra flavour.  I also used milk instead of cream as I was making this for lunch and tend to avoid cream except for desserts or sauces that really need it.   I am ashamed to admit that I did worry slightly that it might be a little plain, with just the all spice berries really for flavouring.    In fact, the potato, parsnip and salmon soaked up the flavour of the all spice and were delicious.   I don’t often use all spice but it was a flavour I could happily enjoy without needing other herbs or spices.   So, it was definitely a success, and a recipe I wouldn’t hesitate to make again.   Unlike some soups which are not filling enough for a whole meal, it makes a great one-pot meal, not needing any bread to go with it, although of course you could have some if you wanted.

I am linking this to My Kitchen My World.   The March destination is of course Finland.   I am also sending it to Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays.

Ingredients – serves 2

About 5 new potatoes, diced

1/2 tsp ground all spice berries

1/2 onion, finely diced

1/2 a parsnip, diced

300g piece of salmon

Vegetable stock or water

200ml Milk (or a little cream and a bit more stock)

How to Make Finnish Salmon Soup

1. Add the potatoes, parsnip, onion and all spice to enough hot stock to just cover the vegetables.   Simmer for about 10 minutes.

2. Add the milk or cream along with the salmon.    Simmer for another 5 minutes.   Taste and add salt and black pepper to taste.