soup

tomato and lentil lasagna soup

It’s Frida approved.

It’s Frida approved.

I shared the above photo on Instagram, making the assumption that everyone was probably sick of my soup photos - but it’s all I’ve been eating lately and I’m all about keeping it real on here, as you know - but to my great surprise, there have been many calls for the recipe. I try never to let my public down, so here it is!

Imagine the best bits of minestrone and lasagna but in a soup, with some added spiciness and piquancy from ginger, cumin, coriander, parsley and lemon juice. It’s downright addictive and delicious! I made this up to use up what was in my fridge but I think I’m going to have to buy all the ingredients again to make this soup all winter long.

And please note, when I say “finely chopped”, I mean chopped as finely as you like/can be bothered! If you don’t mind a chunk of ginger or garlic in your soup (and I don’t), then don’t feel obliged to slave over the chopping board for longer than you want to!

Tomato and lentil lasagna soup

Makes at least 6 decent servings

Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 bunch fresh parsley (the bunches you can get in the supermarket), including the stalks, finely chopped
3 large sticks celery, including the leaves and ribby bottom bits (without dirt), finely chopped
3 large stalks silverbeet (chard) or kale, including the stalks, finely chopped
Any other vegetables you want to use up (carrot, zuchinni, capsicum etc), finely chopped
390g lentils - I used a combination of 150g dried red lentils and 1 x 400g can (including liquid) cooked brown lentils which was a great combination, as the cooked brown held their shape nicely
3-4 tablespoons tomato paste (I like it rich and tomatoey)
2-3 tablespoons spicy tomato chutney (optional, I just had this sitting in the fridge)
1 x 420g can whole plum tomatoes
1 heel of manchego/parmesan/vegetarian hard cheese (optional, but it adds a lovely flavour - freeze your cheese heels when you get to the hard end of your piece of cheese so you can use them in things like this!)
2 litres (approximately) stock - I made my stock with Massel Beef Style stock powder, which is vegan, and adds a lovely richness
4-5 fresh lasagna sheets (approx 1/3 of a 375g pack), torn into rough pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
Baby spinach, to stir in at the end
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Drizzle some olive oil in a large, heavy-based stock pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften. Add the spices, parsley and vegetables, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until starting to soften and fragrant. Add a bit of water if it’s starting to stick to the bottom.

Add the lentils and stir to get everything mixed together nicely. Add the tomato paste, chutney (if using), can of tomatoes, stock and cheese heel. Stir to combine, add more stock if you think it needs it, and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Tear the fresh lasagna sheets into pieces - the more rustic the better! - and place in the simmering soup. You may need to add a little bit more stock. Make sure the pieces of pasta are submerged sufficiently. Cook for a further 4 minutes until the pasta is soft.

Finally, add the lemon juice, spinach leaves, salt and pepper to taste (you probably won’t need much salt if you’ve used the cheese heel) and stir well to combine and wilt the spinach. Remove the cheese heel (or cut it up and put it back in the soup - I like that, but not everyone does!), ladle into deep bowls and serve.

This is like a warm hug in a bowl! The fresh lasagna sheets make it particularly phenomenal. If you want a stick-to-your-ribs winter soup that will warm you from the inside out and make your tastebuds zing, this is the one. I hope you enjoy it.

hearty sweet potato and brown rice soup

hearty-sweet-potato-and-brown-rice-soup-philippa-moore

I’m writing this with my thickest sweater on, wrapped in a dressing gown and wearing fingerless gloves to type. Am I in London? No, I’m in Hobart, as the last days of autumn have begun to blur into winter.

Tom and I have just moved to a house on the fringe of the city - a house built between the wars, so roughly 100 years old, with lots of original features but not the most modern heating. It will be trial and error to see how we go keeping warm in this place over the winter! The one thing UK winters have going for them is the pretty standard central heating of homes and offices. I had forgotten how airy houses in Australia are - because they have to be, otherwise you would suffocate in the warmer weather! So the upside is that, in theory, this house will be a haven of coolness in the summer.

Back to soup. It’s all I want to eat at the moment, something warm and nourishing. I saw an ad for Australian sweet potatoes on Instagram with an interesting sounding soup, and as I had one in the fridge to use up, I glanced at my pantry shelves and recreated what I saw in the image. Thick and hearty, and full of goodness, it was just what we wanted on a four degree evening, alongside some toasted sourdough from Imago, my new favourite local bakery.

Hearty sweet potato and brown rice soup

1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped finely
1 medium piece of fresh ginger, crushed or chopped finely
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 large stalks silverbeet (chard), chopped
3 stalks celery (including leaves), chopped
1 tablespoon of your favourite curry powder (more if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli flakes
1 cup red lentils
1 cup brown rice
2 litres vegetable stock (you may need more as the soup cooks and thickens)
1 can coconut milk
Spinach and parsley, as much as you want, to stir in at the end
Lemon juice, to taste, to stir in at the end
Coriander pesto, to serve (optional)

Drizzle a little olive or coconut oil in a large stockpot and place on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the vegetables, curry powder and cayenne pepper and stir to get everything coated and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add some water if it starts catching or browning too quickly.

Add the lentils and brown rice, stirring so they are distributed evenly. Then add the stock and coconut milk, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Make sure everything is fully covered with liquid to spare, add more stock if you need to (or just rinse out the coconut milk can with water, I usually do). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, place the lid on top and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the rice and lentils are cooked. You might need to add some more stock at this stage if you prefer your soup “soupier”!

Once you’re happy the rice and lentils are cooked (and the sweet potato of course, but if the grains are cooked then the vegetables will be too!), add some spinach and parsley to finish, and some fresh lemon juice. Stir well to wilt the greens and distribute the fresh flavour of the lemon. Taste and add salt and pepper if liked.

Ladle into bowls and serve either as is or with a dollop of delicious coriander pesto (I buy mine from Hill Street Grocer - it’s one of my many food obsessions) and some toasted sourdough or pitta bread alongside.

Just the thing to get you through the wintry nights!

moroccan chickpea and lentil soup

moroccan-chickpea-and-lentil-soup-philippa-moore

This soup was a great favourite of mine in my Weight Watchers days - I made it again recently and to my delight, it is still excellent. And perfect for those nights where the air is freezing, you can smell chimney smoke and rotting leaves, and hear next-door’s dogs howling at the moon.


Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup

2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons turmeric
4 teaspoons Masterfoods Moroccan Seasoning (or a spicier Moroccan souk seasoning, my favourite is this one from Gerwurzhaus)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
2 x 420g cans chickpeas, drained
2 large or 3 medium carrots, diced
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large red capsicum, chopped
1 sweet potato (or large white potato), chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
Vegetable stock (or water), to cover
Fresh coriander to serve, if desired

Coat a stockpot with cooking spray. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until soft. Add a bit of stock if it starts to stick.

Add carrots, capsicum, sweet potato and zucchini (a note on the vegetables: this combination is not set in stone. It works brilliantly with any vegetables so use up whatever you’ve got). Mix well, then add the red lentils and chickpeas. Add the spices. Stir well to coat everything evenly.

Cook for about a minute, until everything is fragrant and combined thoroughly. Add enough stock to cover. Stir well. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Come back to check on the soup every 15 minutes or so. Lentils will absorb the liquid as they cook, so you may need to add more stock or water during the cooking time, depending how thick you want the soup.

After 30 minutes, check the lentils to see if they are tender. If they are, the soup is ready. If not, cook for a further 10 minutes before checking again.

A note on the spices: some Moroccan seasonings can be quite mild so taste the soup as you go and add more if you want. I prefer a kick!

Either serve the soup as it is, or puree roughly with a hand-held blender to break up the bigger chunks of carrot and capsicum.

Serve immediately, or freeze in containers. Makes enough for 8 serves.

This is one of the most comforting things in the world to eat when it’s cold outside.

spinach, risoni and lemon soup

philippa-moore-spinach-risoni-lemon-soup

This is one of my most favourite soups of all time. And if you’ve been reading my ramblings for a while, you’ll know how much I love soup and therefore that is not a statement I make lightly!

This soup came into my life like so many good things have - in Melbourne, through a friend. The original recipe had chicken in it and when I used to eat meat, I made the original recipe and it was truly ambrosial. Then when I went vegetarian 12 years ago, I used Quorn in place of the chicken. These days, I am mostly in favour of eating natural, unprocessed stuff as often as possible (I make an exception for Smith’s Salt and Vinegar chips but I digress) so I have ditched the chicken substitute all together for a can of cheap, nutritious beans.

And therefore, the 2019 version of this soup is quite frankly the best ever.

Try and grind cumin seeds fresh if you can - I must confess I only did this when I found myself in a kitchen that only had seeds, not ready-ground cumin! It is such an essential part of the soup and when freshly ground, there is an added magical earthy deliciousness to it. But don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to, it will be just as tasty! You can also add the liquid from the beans in to the soup, I often do. I find it helps the soup to thicken. But by all means drain them first if you prefer.

This soup makes an elegant and delicious meal for friends and an equally nourishing meal for just yourself. Soup is the ultimate act of self care. Well, in my world it is.

Spinach, risoni and lemon soup

Makes heaps

1 tablespoon olive oil (or you could use cooking spray)
1 leek, thinly sliced or 1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
A splash of dry white wine (optional)
1.5-2 litres vegetable (or “chicken style”) stock
250g risoni (orzo in the UK) or any other short pasta
1 x 400g can cannellini or butter beans
Zest and juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
250g spinach leaves, washed (and chopped if they are large)
Chopped fresh dill, as much as you like


Heat the oil in a large pan on low heat.  Add the leek/onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until soft.  Add the cumin, saute for 1 minute. Add the wine, then the lemon zest, risoni, beans and stock.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Add the lemon juice, spinach leaves and dill.  Simmer for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted.  Season with salt and pepper (and more lemon juice if you like) and then serve.

I love dill so I am very liberal with the amount I use.  I also sometimes put some stalks in with the broth to cook the pasta in.  If you don't like dill you can use parsley.  You can also add other green vegetables you might need to use up, like celery, zucchini (courgette) or green beans. If you have a heel of stale sourdough or other good bread lying around, you can also put the piece of bread in your bowl first, then ladle the hot soup over the top and leave for a few minutes to grow soft before eating. Divine. And no waste! (my favourite).

Despite being filled with pasta and beans, it's wonderfully light and nourishing.  You can feel it doing you good as you spoon it up. If I have a cold, this soup is all I want to eat.