Author Archives: CristinaS

About CristinaS

First time wife, first time mum, living in London and trying to make it work.

Green soup (recipe)

Another one of my very own recipes. Very simple veggie soup that I made as a pre-dinner snack as I wanted something comforting, healthy and easy to fill me up before my husband got home, and I had some courgette that just needed to be used.


Green soup

Green soup

Servings: 2 large, 3 average


  • Onion, 1/2 medium diced
  • Garlic, 1 clove chopped
  • Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Courgette (zucchini), 1 large diced
  • Swede (rutabaga), 1 cup diced
  • Spinach, 1 cup frozen
  • Carrot, 1 large diced
  • Chicken broth, 4 cups


  1. Saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil, until the onion is transparent.
  2. Add the salt and pepper.
  3. Add the all the vegetables and chicken broth. Let boil covered until vegetables are soft.
  4. Serve as is for a chunky soup, or blend it for a creamy soup
Categories: Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lentils and parsnips (recipe)

On a whim I decided to be creative and prepare soup from scratch. I didn’t feel like following a recipe today and the baby didn’t feel like giving me mor than 10 minutes to prepare lunch.

Being Spanish, I went for the ultimate Spanish comfort food: lentils. And added paprika and garlic as an extra nod to the country. The parsnips came into play as I have a lot of them and I wanted something a bit more interesting than potatoes.

Very earthy and filling, and great for a cold winter day.

Lentils and parsnips soup

Lentils and parsnips soup

Servings: 2 large, 3 average


  • Onion, 1/2 medium diced
  • Parsnips, 2 diced
  • Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika, 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green lentils, 1 cup
  • Vegetable broth, 4 cups


  1. Saute the onions and parsnips with the vegetable oil, until the onion is transparent.
  2. Add the salt, garlic powder, paprika and cumin. Heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the green lentils and vegetable broth. Let boil covered until lentils are cooked.

Lentils and parsnips soup

Categories: Beans and lentils | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

North African Fish Soup

I’m all about cheap, and the other day I bought cheap white fish fillets from the frozen section of the supermarket.

Frozen white fish is not the tastiest, but it’s fish, and that makes it healthy. So I had to find a recipe that would bring out the fish taste and would make my husband happy as he would be having lunch with me.

He is African and I’m European. So we try to find an in-between situation when it comes to food. Sometimes we have my food, sometimes his and most often than not we have a mix.

This North African Fish Soup Recipe falls into that category.

North African fish soup bubbling away

Let’s just say that I only have the in-progress photo of this soup as I wasn’t fast enough to take a pretty served photo before my husband took the plates to eat and there was none left after lunch. A complete success!

Very recommendable, we will be having this one again without any changes to the original recipe.

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Cream of carrot and basil

Have you ever had the feeling that you are doing something very wrong but you just don’t care because it’s feels so good? And no, I’m not talking about anything related to sex (I’m a married lady, so you better be respectful there!). I’m talking food.

As I wrote before I went experimenting with making cream soups.

The recipe I followed is pretty much nail on when it comes to creating a creamy decadent soup.

Cream of carrot and basil

I decided to go for carrot as I had lots at home, and there’s only so much carrot one can bake/mash/microwave/hide in pasta sauce.

Carrots are usually paired with coriander in soup. I’m not a big fan of coriander, and I didn’t have any in any case. I did have basil (I have a plant in my kitchen window sill actually), so carrot and basil cream soup on the menu today.

I followed the recipe pretty accurately. I ended up using about 3 tablespoons of flour, 3 cups of vegetable broth, a (biggish) twig of basil as an aromatic, vegetable oil (not butter), and 1/2 cup of cream.

The soup was amazing. If anything I’ll use 1/4 cup of cream next time I use this recipe. Decadent food is nice, but there’s something as too decadent.

Cream of carrot and basil

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Cream of whatever techniques

Reading and googling took me to discover that there are basically 3 ways of making a cream of whatever you fancy.

  • a velouté: a very light béchamel as base of the soup, with purée of what you want.
  • cream: the purée plus some kind of cream or milk.
  • starch: the purée thickened with starch, either potato, yam or cornstarch.

There’s a fourth way which involves mixing any of the above. Most commonly making a velouté and then adding cream. Personally that’s my favourite. You gt the thickness of the velouté and the richness of the cream.

During my research I found a promising catch-all sort of recipe for creams that seems simple enough for a homecook: How to make cream-of-anything soup. I’ll be experimenting with it later by making a cream of carrot for lunch. We’ll see how it goes.

Categories: General/about | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Just as I got pregnant I started working at a Japanese restaurant in central London. During lunch we did what the staff came to call McSushi, very fast food style Japanese food, and during the evening we turned into a proper restaurant, meaning table service with tips expected from customers.

Although for about half of the time I worked there I couldn’t get close to the miso pot due to morning sickness, which in my case was more of a lunch time sickness (it worked for me, as I usually had lunch at 4ish).

Our miso was done with white miso, shiitake and kombu (dried kelp) and it had wakame (seaweed), aburaage (deep fried tofu) and green onion as garnishes, and it tasted amazing. I would love to replicate it at home, but I was in charge of buying in the restaurant and I know how expensive those ingredients can get.

I really wanted my restaurant’s miso today, but I’m not going to spend an hour on the bus with a 2-month baby just to get soup. I figured that miso soup is all about the miso paste and I had that at home, but I couldn’t make the soup I wanted, so why not go a bit unconventional?

I used a miso noodle soup recipe from the BBC website and prepared it sans noodles and sans pak choi. Noodles I took out because I don’t really like my miso with noodles, and the pak choi because I didn’t want to go to the supermarket (I did add some cauliflower leaves as a replacement though).

Miso soup in the making (you can see my very cool kitchen and cooking tools)

The recipe is super fast and easy to prepare. There’s a nice kick to it from the chilli, but too much ginger. I did have to almost triple the water because of the water loss during boiling and because it just wasn’t enough.

Miso soup

Next time I’ll put more water from the start, add a pinch of salt and use fresh ginger. I loved the cauliflower leaves, so those are a keeper.


Categories: Soy tofu and related | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Vegetable Soup

Today I had to take the baby for immunizations and pick up the car from the garage, both during lunchtime. I needed something quick and easy, and hopefully warm (it’s very cold today). Soup it was.

I had this recipe in my bookmarks to try and I happened to have all the ingredients. So the menu for the day was: Quick Vegetable Soup – Martha Stewart Recipes.

It’s very easy to do. A little bit of chopping, some boiling, done: soup.

Just like Martha's minions, I photographed my soup in a cup (mine is cuter though, and bigger)

The results are, like everyone’s favourite fashion designer Michael Kors would say: underwhelming. It tastes like watery tomato sauce. I felt as if I had forgotten the spaghetti while I was eating it. And I didn’t even use as much tomato as called for in the recipe.

Courgette and cauliflower

I love courgette (zucchini, for any American around) and cauliflower, but they just got lost. Just not a good Martha Stewart moment.

I will probably make it again but cutting the tomato in half and adding more aromatics at the beginning, celery probably.

Categories: Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Butternut squash soup

If you ask me fall means three things: the X-factor, walking down the street stepping on leaves with a chunky scarf, a beret and a Starbucks latte, and butternut squash.

The X-factor is almost finished. Walking in the cold is out of the picture with a newborn. So I only have butternut squash left. Mostly I can’t really be bothered to do much with it other than cutting a big chunk and putting it in the microwave for some 5 minutes or throw it into a soup to make it a bit sweeter.

I thought it was high time I did something a bit more interesting with it. An ingredient that is so sweet used in a savoury meal gives you a lot of options, why not explore them?

There are a lot of great looking butternut squash soup recipes online, it was hard to make up my mind. After a lot of browsing, the last five contestants were:

It wasn’t easy, and I only made up my mind just before hitting the kitchen. My dad was visiting, and he loves garlic, so the winner was Easy & healthy butternut squash soup.

It’s a very basic soup, only 3 ingredients really.

I ended up chopping the onions and my dad the garlic and butternut squash. Neither of us is a vegetarian, so we cheated and used chicken stock rather than water and added loads of pepper, as well as one cup of soy milk.

We also left the skins on when we processed the soup. We figured we could get some more nutrition out of them (and save us the trouble of taking the out).

Soup ready to boil

The soup is very peasant and hearty, so we kept it simple. Just soup on the plate, no fancy decorations or fancy anything really. Just good food.

Butternut squash soup

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Categories: Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

For the love of soup

After chocolate, soup is my favourite food. I would live of chocolate, but my hips and my husband would probably not appreciate it, so I’d rather go with soup.

It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold (I am Spanish, I grew up with gazpacho), thick or liquidy or whether it has meat or it’s vegetarian, I’ll even have tofu and seaweed in it (being a supervisor in a Japanese restaurant taught me to embrace weird stuff floating in my soups).

The two things I like the most about soups are versatility, you can quite literary throw anything to it, and easiness, most times you prepare ingredients, put in a pot and let boil until you’re hungry.

Being a new mum, I’m all about easiness. So I decided to expand my knowledge of cooking, enjoy soup and have food on the table for when my husband gets home from work by preparing at least one new soup recipe each week. You’re welcome to join in.

*Stews, chowders, creams and similar foods are allowed as well.

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