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Cover: The Gourmet Garden

Recipes with leek

16Jun 12

Tomato and Cabbage Soup

Tomato and Cabbage SoupI had an awful cold the other week, and it dawned on me that one of the worst things about being a vegetarian is not being able to eat chicken noodle soup.  It may not really be a cure for the common cold, but it certainly has proven to make you feel a bit better, at least while you’re eating it.  In any case, this tomato and cabbage soup recipe is my first attempt to make a vegetarian-friendly, feel-good soup for those pesky winter colds.

The young garlic, ginger, cinnamon and chilli help to clear your sinuses, and the fennel seeds and honey help to sooth a sore throat.  To be honest, it tastes nothing like standard chicken noodle, but it definitely did make me feel a bit better, and the effect lasted for a few hours after I ate it too!

What you’re going to need:

  • 3 medium tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded or chopped
  • 400ml cabbage, cut into 1cm x 3cm strips
  • 1 leek, washed and chopped
  • 1 young garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 250ml rice
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 2tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tsp honey
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • 1/2tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 3 litres water
  • 3tbsp olive oil

What you have to do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the leek and young garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage, carrot and tomato and continue sautéing for 3 more minutes with the heat on full.  Stir continuously to avoid burning.
  5. Add the honey, stock cube, chilli powder, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, bay leaves and fennel seeds.  Sauté for 30 seconds to bring out the aroma of the spices.
  6. Add the water and the rice to the pot and bring to the boil.
  7. Reduce heat to a fast simmer and cook for another 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  8. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you like your soups a bit cheesy, try this Cauliflower and Emmental Soup recipe.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:  Easy

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04Jun 12

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Pasta saucePasta: who doesn’t love it? There are probably just as many different types of pasta as there are sauces to accompany it, and this week I decided to have a go at inventing my own. The result is this Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, which, if I do say so myself,  is simply sublime!

This sauce is a breeze to make, and the roasting adds a rich depth of flavour. I suggest doubling the recipe and freezing or preserving the rest for later.


What you’re going to need:

  • 12 medium tomatoes, washed
  • 1 whole head of garlic, wrapped in aluminium foil
  • 1 Spanish onion, wrapped in aluminium foil
  • 1 leek, washed, tips removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 60 g chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

What you have to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Place the tomatoes, red pepper, leek, onion and garlic on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the veggies from the oven and let them cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the skin from the tomatoes (it should peel off easily after baking) and remove the seeds and the hard bit at the top.
  5. Remove the skin and seeds from the red peppers. Don’t worry if you can’t get all the skin off, just get as much as possible.
  6. Remove the aluminium foil from the onion, and peel off the outer layers of brown skin.
  7. Place the tomatoes, red peppers, leek and onion in a large saucepan.
  8. Remove the garlic from the aluminium foil.  Take each clove between your thumb and fingers and squeeze one end over the saucepan.  The melted garlic should slide out easily.  Repeat for the rest of the garlic cloves.
  9. Add the olive oil, sugar, salt and ground black pepper.
  10. Using a handheld blender, purée the sauce until it is very well blended (about 1 minute on high power).  Alternatively, you can use a food processor or regular blender to make the purée.
  11. Mix in the freshly chopped basil by hand.
  12. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Reheat if necessary and serve on top of your favourite pasta.
  14. Any leftover sauce can be safely stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Medium

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30Apr 12

Cabbage and Barley Soup

Cabbage and Barley SoupOne of the most underrated vegetables in modern cooking has got to be cabbage.  It’s got a lot of vitamin C, and even though it is quite filling, it is very low in calories. Even more importantly, it tastes absolutely wonderful, even if the smell while cooking can be a little off-putting to some people!  In any case, yesterday I found a head of green cabbage buried at the bottom of my refrigerator and decided to make this barley and cabbage soup recipe. (Also try this Danish red cabbage.)

The pearl barley adds a nice chewy touch to the soup and is also full of lots of essential amino acids and apparently even helps to regulate blood-sugar levels.  All in all, this is a very healthy soup, although I suppose the sour cream might take away from that a little bit, so you can omit it if you’re dieting or lactose intolerant.

What you’re going to need:

  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • 125g pearl barley
  • 1 small leek, washed and finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, washed and finely diced
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 65ml dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10g parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 65ml sour cream


What you have to do:

  1. Cut the cabbage into quarters and cut out the core. Wash, dry and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the barley well and then dry.  Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  4. Add the leek, carrot, and celery, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
  5. Add the barley and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the wine and continue cooking until most of it has evaporated.
  7. Stir in the cabbage.
  8. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  9. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 60-75 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Wash the chives and cut them up into fine rings.
  12. Garnish the soup with a tablespoon of sour cream and sprinkle some of the chives and parsley on top.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time: 90 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty: Easy

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