Whether you prefer a comforting bowl of soup, a crisp stir-fry or a rich curry, these recipes are guaranteed to make your weekly dinners a breeze, and healthy too.
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30 Jul 2020 - 11:05 PM  UPDATED 30 Jul 2020 - 11:05 PM

Bowls of soupy gold!

 


 

1. Red lentil soup with milk

If you are a lover of lentil then this creamy bowl is a winner. 

2. Malaysian laksa (cheat's laksa)

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!

Cheat's Malaysian laksa

3. Middle Eastern-spiced cauliflower soup

This thick and creamy soup is all about nurturing your stock and spice.  

4. Butternut and apple soup with salt and vinegar chips

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.

Butternut and apple soup with salt 'n vinegar kale chips

5. Prawn and mushroom wonton soup

Ready in 30 minutes, this clear soup is full of ginger, soy and water spinach to keep your wontons warm.

Prawn and mushroom wonton soup with water spinach

6. Spicy pork and miso udon noodle soup

Think rich, thick and moderately spicy: this Japanese-style soup is a winter-night favourite.

7. Celeriac, potato and roast garlic soup

At the root of this vegetable soup is celery's cousin, celeriac. Add potato to the mix and you have one super- satisfying meal.  

8. Chicken coconut soup

Made with coconut cream and milk, this divine Cambodian-style chicken soup comes from Luke Nguyen.

9. Korean beef and rice stick soup

Simple, satisfying and bursting with flavour, say no more!

10. Chilli and garlic congee with shiitake mushrooms

Congee is always comforting. 

5 more soups to get you bowling!
Green goddess rasam

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!

Tunisian chickpea soup (lablabi)

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.

Argentinian-style pork, pumpkin and corn soup (locro Argentino)

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.

Roast garlic and bread soup (sopa de ajo)

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.

Pasta and beans (pasta e fagioli)

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.

 

Wok on!


 

16. Stir-fried lamb with leeks and coriander

Aromas of cumin will quickly flood your kitchen with this stir-fried goodie.

17. Korean mushroom and glass noodle stir-fry

This dish calls for sweet potato noodles, deliciously chewy and jelly-like in texture. You can buy them from most Asian supermarkets. 

You can still make a (positive) difference to the planet without going full-time vegan.

18. Stir-fried shredded roti

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. 

19. Stir-fried sesame chicken noodles

This quick and healthy bowl will soon become a weekly staple. 

20. Calamari stir-fry with glass noodles, garlic shoots and baby corn

Calamari cooks in no time, so fire up your wok and toss through your veg for this saucy number.

21. Stir-fried pipis with black bean, chilli and olive oil

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. 

23. Stir-fried lemongrass beef with warm vermicelli noodle salad

If you love a vibrant salad but want a little more winter warmth, Luke Nguyen's vermicelli bowl will do the trick.

Stir-fried lemongrass beef with warm vermicelli noodle salad.

24. Stir-fried hoisin pork and snake beans

Often the best stir-fries are the simplest ones and this recipe makes for an effortless dish. 

25. Dark hokkien noodles

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.

5 more reasons to stir-fry
Stir-fried orange pumpkin

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.

Black sesame rice noodles with pork and pickled mushrooms

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. 

Hakka stir-fry with pork and squid

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.

Stir-fried rice noodles with chicken, squid and Asian celery (gwi tio kua gai)

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.

Spicy Asian mushroom stir-fry with Chinese sausage and tomato

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.

 

Curry's up!


 

31. Vietnamese-style vegetable curry with peanuts

Inspired by a Vietnamese chicken curry, this vegetarian version is not too spicy and has a hint of sweetness.

32. Chicken tikka masala

The power is in this sauce, and you can thicken this base by using tomato, cream and nuts. 

33. Green curry of sin qua, pea eggplant and fried tofu

Fresh homemade curry paste without all the fuss. This vegetarian green curry can be modified to include chicken, beef or fish. 

Green curry of sin qua, pea eggplant and fried tofu

34. Cauliflower and potato curry

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. 

35. Green cabbage and coconut mallung

Turmeric gives this crunchy cabbage dish an earthy flavour and an excellent shade of yellow. Perfect to serve with your curry!

A quick curry trio
5-minute chicken curry
Super quick, super easy and super satisfying, this is one must-make curry.
Chicken kadai 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

Rogani kumbh

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?


 

39. Porcini mushroom and kale buckwheat risotto

Deliciously rich, this is a great recipe for those who need a vegan and gluten-free version.

40. Freekeh risotto with broccolini, lemon and ricotta

Popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, freekeh is similar to brown rice.

41. Broccoli pasta with anchovies, chilli and currants

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. 

42. Wholewheat fettuccine with kale, caramelised onions and marinated goat’s cheese

Use a marinated goat's cheese here for that little something extra on top.

How about these healthy-looking plates that pop?
Persian Gulf prawns with tamarind (ghalieh maygu)

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.

Turkish dumplings with yoghurt sauce (manti)

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.

Cauliflower frittata with herb salad (kuku with shirazi)

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.

Burmese grilled chicken with forbidden rice

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.

Kale and spinach with Indian cheese (kale palak paneer)

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.