Another great winter soup from Donna Hay magazine issue 51 (Jun/Jul 2010) 🙂

This one has a bold green colour, and it makes you feel healthier already just by looking at it :P. The ingredients are the humble peas and spinach, and to give a savoury punch, Donna adds leg ham to the soup and blends them all together.

The peas are very sweet and matching the saltiness from the ham. The spinach is not dominant to the soup, but it certainly gives a bolder colour to the soup. A dollop of soup cream or thick cream (I used the Philadelphia cream cheese) gives the soup a smoother taste. Absolutely love this soup, it’s very satisfying and fulfilling :). Another good thing is that you can cook this in no time. Oh, and also – it is GOOD for you! 😀

Pea, spinach and ham soup

(recipe by Donna Hay, Donna Hay magazine issue 51, Jun/Jul 2010)

(serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 litre chicken stock. I used 2 chicken stock cubes in hot water.
  • 4 cups (480 gr) frozen peas
  • 100 gr baby spinach leaves
  • 200 gr leg ham
  • sour cream or thick cream to serve
  • any bread slices to serve

Step 1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil.

Step 2. Add peas, spinach and ham and bring to boil. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Return the saucepan to the heat for 5 minutes to make sure the soup is heated up.

Step 3. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls, top with cream and serve with bread slices.



Winter is coming..! It means we welcome the many varieties of thick and hearty soup to our dinner :). I love wintery soups, such as potato soup, pumpkin soup, pea soup, bean soup, etc… This particular soup is rich and feels luxury because of the addition of crabmeat 🙂

I used the canned crabmeat from the supermarket, but obviously fresh crabmeat would make a much better chowder. I did go to the market to get fresh crabmeat, but they did not have it. If you are keen, you can buy the crab and boil them and extract the meat yourself.

This wintery soup is perfect for a cold winter night. It’s thick, warm and hearty. Serve it with toasted sour dough bread or other bread to create a more fulfilling dinner. It’s simple and quick to make so you can have an early dinner tonight 🙂

Crab and sweetcorn chowder

(recipe from ‘500 soups’, Susannah Blake, 2007)

(serves 4 – 6)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 570 ml stock
  • 570 ml milk
  • 2 x 170 gr cans crabmeat, drained. Or use fresh crab meat.
  • 350 gr frozen sweetcorn
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Step 1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and chilli, and cook gently for 4 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, pepper and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Step 2. Process half the soup until smooth in a food processor or blender. Add the milk, crabmeat and sweetcorn to the saucepan and heat through. Then return the pureed soup to the saucepan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley and serve.


This hearty soup is particularly good for a healthy treat in a cold winter day. Melbourne is far from winter :P, but I made this soup as it has been pretty cold and gloomy in Melbourne. Served with toasted breads, the soup makes the perfect light lunch or dinner with the goodness from the pork, tomatoes and beans.

For this soup, do use good-quality sausages which contains less fat. The sausages I used are fennel and italian herbs pork sausage from Woolworths supermarket.

The sausage chunks and the beans make the soup quite filling. I also love the hint of chilli in the soup. If you don’t like chilli, just simply omit the chilli and replace with 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika.

Spicy sausage and bean soup

(adapted from ‘500 soups’ by Susannah Blake, 2007)

(serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 good quality pork sausages
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 400 gr canned chopped tomatoes
  • 750 ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 400 gr canned mixed beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and ground black pepper

Ingredients for spicy sausage and bean soup

Step 1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the sausages, brown them all over and then remove. Add onion, garlic and chilli to the saucepan and fry gently for 3 minutes.

Brown the sausage

Fry onion, garlic and chilli

Step 2. Cut the sausages into thick slices and return them to the pan, adding the tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Cut the sausages into chunks

Step 3. Put half the beans in a food processor or blender and add a couple of ladlefuls of the soup stock.  Process until smooth, then stir the purée into the soup with the remaining beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the parsley before serving the soup.

Spicy sausage and beans soup


I love this salmon chowder recipe. It’s full of goodness of salmon and a lot of vegetables. It’s very easy and quick to cook (well, you do need time to chop all the ingredients :P) and it’s flavoursome. It’s a pretty thick soup and very satisfying. Nothing else but praises from me for this recipe 🙂

Salmon chowder

(adapted from recipe by Diana Rattray)

(serves 4 – 5)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1¾ cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups diced potato
  • 600 gr diced fresh salmon
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for salmon chowder

Diced veggies and salmon

Step 1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add celery, carrot and onion, stirring for 5 -7 minutes until celery is tender.

Step 2. Stir in flour until well blended. Stir in chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Step 3. Add salmon and zucchini, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add milk and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup just begins to bubble. Taste and add salt and pepper. Add parsley right before serving.

Salmon chowder


It’s summer in Australia, but today in Melbourne, we have a lot of rains and it’s cold… maximum is only around 18°C.

Earlier in the week I planned to make a summer salad with rice noodle and thai dressing for tonight, but I didn’t feel like it in this kind of weather. Plus, Iggy is sick, he has a throat infection. So I thought I’d make something else. What is good for a cold night and to comfort the sick husband? Nothing better than a humble and warming chicken soup, I reckon.

I remember I read a basic chicken soup recipe in one of Donna Hay magazines I’ve got. I went to my Donna Hay magazines stack and found the recipe. It’s a simple dish to make and I already got most of the ingredients, except the chicken. Just need to quickly dash to Woolworths to buy a chicken.

Chicken soup

(from Donna Hay magazine, Jun/Jul 2009 issue 45)

(serves 6)

Chicken stock:

  • 1 x 1.5 kg whole chicken
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cm knob of ginger, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2.5 litres water or enough to cover

For the soup:

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup risoni
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve

Ingredients for chicken soup

Step 1. To make the chicken stock, place the chicken, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorns and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

Ingredients for the chicken stock

Step 2. Use a large metal spoon to occasionally skim the foam from the surface.

Chicken stock after 1 hour cooking

Step 3. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool slightly. Remove the skin and discard. Shred the chicken meat from the bones.

Shredded chicken meat and vege for the soup

Step 4. Strain the stock, discarding vegetables. Return the stock to the pan with the celery, carrot, risoni, shredded chicken and salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Top with parsley to serve.

Chicken soup