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What is more comforting in winter than steaming bowl (or two) of rich, nourishing soup? Give these three wonderful tummy- and heart-warming winter soups a try, your family will love them.

These soup recipes come compliments of the kitchen of Granny Mouse Country House & Spa.

Spicy squash soup with carrot-top pesto

Serves 4

  • 1 x 800g butternut or pumpkin
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp chilli flakes
  • 10g fresh curry leaves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 x 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cultured coconut yoghurt, for serving (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala spice

For the carrot-top pesto, blend:

  • 30g carrot-tops (or Italian parsley)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ lime, juiced

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Halve the butternut or pumpkin, remove the seeds and set aside. Place the squash on a baking tray and top with the cinnamon, garam masala, mustard seeds, chilli flakes and curry leaves. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and roast until soft and tender, about 40 mins. Meanwhile, cook the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric in a large saucepan until fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are almost soft.

Once the butternut is soft, scoop out the flesh and add to the saucepan. Stir until smooth. Cook until the carrots are soft. Serve the soup with the seed sprinkle, pesto and cultured coconut. To make the seed sprinkle, toss the squash seeds in the remaining olive oil and the garam masala spice. Roast until golden and crunchy.

Roasting the squash in the skin adds caramelised flavour, while the flesh thickens the soup and gives it body without you having to blend it.

Dhal soup with chickpea flour dumplings

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 400g Rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tsp fresh turmeric, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp medium curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 250g split red lentils
  • 1 bunch of coriander

For the dumplings:

  • 150g chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt

Place the oil and tomatoes in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20–30 mins, or until the tomatoes are blistered.
Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the butter and onion to the same pan and cook over a medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric and spices and cook for 3 mines. Add the cooked tomatoes, stock and lentils and bring to the boil.Cook until the lentils are plump and soft.

To make the dumplings, mix all the ingredients except the yoghurt. Make a well and add the yoghurt. Whisk together until well incorporated. Spoon dollops of the mixture into the simmering soup and cook for 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with coriander.

Marrow bone samp soup

Serves 6

Tip: Roasting the marrow bones first is important as the flavour is released into the juices, which enriches the broth. You can add dried herbs of your choice to the bread. And, instead of amasi, you could use yoghurt or buttermilk.

  • 8 beef marrow bones
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 x 400g can samp and beans
  • salt, to taste

For the no-yeast bread:

  • 360g flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup amasi, heated
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the bones in an ovenproof pan and add the water. Cover and roast for 30 mins. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the vegetables and bay leaves and cook over a medium heat until golden brown. Add the bones, their cooking liquid and the stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the samp and beans and warm through. Season and serve the soup with chunks of steaming hot bread.

To make the bread, preheat the oven to 220°C. Mix all the ingredients to form a dough, then shape into a ball. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and place the dough on top. Add a few fresh bay leaves if you like. Bake for 30 mins.

Find recipes for other delicious winter soups here and here.

Chances are that once you’ve made any of these, they’ll become regulars on soup night.



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