Bowls of soupy gold!
If you are a lover of lentil then this creamy bowl is a winner.
Just because you are on a time frame doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good laksa. This recipe combines fresh ingredients with a laksa paste, meaning a lot of the prep is all done for you. Score!
This thick and creamy soup is all about nurturing your stock and spice.
Feel the winter warmth with good ol' pumpkin soup - the kicker is the sweet, acidic addition from the apple as well as the crispy kale chips.
Ready in 30 minutes, this clear soup is full of ginger, soy and water spinach to keep your wontons warm.
Think rich, thick and moderately spicy: this Japanese-style soup is a winter-night favourite.
At the root of this vegetable soup is celery's cousin, celeriac. Add potato to the mix and you have one super- satisfying meal.
Made with coconut cream and milk, this divine Cambodian-style chicken soup comes from Luke Nguyen.
Simple, satisfying and bursting with flavour, say no more!
Congee is always comforting.
One of my favourite South Indian soups is rasam (pronounced rus-um), which can best be described as a spiced, fiery, peppery broth that is rather light yet wholesome. Rasam is also considered by some to have a healing touch. Instead of going with the traditional tomato-based recipe that makes a reddish-brown rasam, I've taken a few liberties along with a little inspiration from a rasam we tried at modern Indian restaurant in Bombay, as well as green goddess dressing. The result is a light lentil broth that's full of spicy heat and fresh herb flavours, making it one refreshing soup!
Here’s a really straight-forward chickpea soup; it’s actually what Tunisians enjoy for breakfast. Capers, chopped almonds, chopped olives, a dollop of yoghurt and some mint can all be added at the end, and the soup is commonly served ladled over cubes of yesterday’s baguette. Tuna is often added too, and there’s a (less common) version made with cow’s trotters.
Popular throughout the Andes mountains of South America, Argentinean locro is a thick, rich stew of mixed meats, beans and corn. Traditionally simmered over several hours and served on festival days, this quick-cook version is ready in just 30 minutes - without compromising on flavour.
Born from humble origins, this classic Spanish soup can be pulled together with minimal fuss and mostly from pantry staples. Use the best-quality ingredients you can lay your hands on and this peasant dish will deliver humbling results.
This is one of the classic dishes from the realm of cucina povera – the food of the poor. But it is comfort food that touches your soul no matter who you are – a thick soup of pasta and cannellini beans with lovely hints of prosciutto – in this recipe from legendary Italian chef Armando Percuoco.
Aromas of cumin will quickly flood your kitchen with this stir-fried goodie.
This dish calls for sweet potato noodles, deliciously chewy and jelly-like in texture. You can buy them from most Asian supermarkets.
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can get colourful and flavourful with this fry. make it with egg, beef or chicken - the choice is yours.
This quick and healthy bowl will soon become a weekly staple.
Calamari cooks in no time, so fire up your wok and toss through your veg for this saucy number.
Our seasonal cook, O Tama Carey, uses olive oil to complement the taste of the black beans, as well as the heat from the chilli, to create this snappy meal.
22. Char kway teow
A Malaysian-style meal for those chilli-inclined. This'll have you digging straight outta the wok, it's that good.
If you love a vibrant salad but want a little more winter warmth, Luke Nguyen's vermicelli bowl will do the trick.
Often the best stir-fries are the simplest ones and this recipe makes for an effortless dish.
Poh Ling Yeow gives us a family favourite. This is a dark dish designated to the 'non-spicy' eaters out there, so the little ones will love it, too.
This colourful side dish will banish all thoughts of trendy pumpkin-spice drinks and snacks. The spices here are a combination of Northern and Southern Indian seasonings, with a mild back-of-the-throat heat from chillies. Eat this with Indian breads or rice, ideally as part of a meal that also has a spinach dish, a dal and a yoghurt relish or salad.
With dark tones and earthy notes, this is a simple, yet impressive, mid-week meal that you’d pay handsomely for in a restaurant. Use any kind of fresh mushrooms and, if cooking for vegetarians, simply omit the pork.
Here is a traditional Taiwanese Hakka-style stir-fry combining pork belly and squid. It's easy to make and requires the ingredients to be cut thinly before cooking.
This simple street dish is one of my favourites. The technique I use to cook the noodles is called ‘kua’ or dry frying. While I do add a little oil to the wok to begin with, it helps coat the noodles and allows them to char nicely which gives this stir-fry an added depth of flavour.
If you’re well-organised and confident with a knife, this tasty stir-fry can be on the table in less time than it takes to order take-out. Lup cheong is a dried sausage revered by the Chinese for its sweet, smoky taste. Teamed with delicate mushrooms and chilli, it makes this almost-vegetarian dish the perfect "mid-weeker" for the time-poor.
Inspired by a Vietnamese chicken curry, this vegetarian version is not too spicy and has a hint of sweetness.
The power is in this sauce, and you can thicken this base by using tomato, cream and nuts.
Fresh homemade curry paste without all the fuss. This vegetarian green curry can be modified to include chicken, beef or fish.
Cauliflower is such a great vegetable to use in your curries and this recipe also allows you to add any proteins and veg you have handy.
Turmeric gives this crunchy cabbage dish an earthy flavour and an excellent shade of yellow. Perfect to serve with your curry!
“Curry has become a national dish in the UK, and in Manchester there is a street named a ‘Curry Mile’. I went into one of the most popular Indian restaurants on that strip, Mughli, to learn how to make a true British curry. I was told it was best to cook this curry in a solid wok-like pan, which is where the kadai gets its name. A combination of chicken thigh and breast meat works best, but you can use one or the other if you prefer. If you like a slightly less spicy curry, add the green chilli to the pan with the onions- or leave them out altogether.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom
Hailing from northern India, where fresh produce grows in abundance and vegetarian fare features heavily, this mushroom tomato curry takes its name rogani (meaning red) from the colour of the tomato sauce and kumbh for the mushrooms that give it body. Onion, ginger and garlic, used to enrich the curry, are cornerstones of North Indian cuisine, too.
A little risotto and a little pasta?
Deliciously rich, this is a great recipe for those who need a vegan and gluten-free version.
Popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, freekeh is similar to brown rice.
This dish has converted many anchovy resisters, so if this is you, why not give it a go. Their flavour is balanced perfectly in this sauce.
Use a marinated goat's cheese here for that little something extra on top.
Normally associated with South East Asian cuisine, tamarind features in the food of the Persian Gulf (probably due to its closeness to India and Africa). On its own, tamarind is very sour, but when tempered with sugar it becomes pleasantly tart. When simmering liquid that has tamarind in it, it is best not to use a seasoned wok as the acid tends to strip the seasoning away.
Manti is a traditional Turkish dish of tiny pasta shapes stuffed with a lamb mince and onion mixture that are dressed in a yoghurt sauce. Here we’re cheating a bit by buying already prepared raviolini (tiny ravioi). The process of toasting the pasta before cooking in stock completely changes its taste and texture. This could be the best comfort food ever.
Kuku is an Iranian egg dish popular served as a side or main meal. This kuku is as good hot as it is served cold for a picnic or light lunch. For a family-friendly option omit the chilli.
A feature of Burmese cuisine is toasted chickpea flour (besan), which is commonly used as a thickener for soups or, like here, sprinkled over salads.
A favourite from the Indian kitchen, palak paneer is traditionally cooked in ghee and finished with rich, thick cream. Here, we’ve lightened things up by getting rid of the ghee and swapping the cream for tart, creamy yoghurt. Using baby kale leaves with the spinach adds extra bite and texture.