Greek Trachanas Soup with Tomatoes, Lemon and Olive Oil

‘In these all-white courtyards where the south wind blows whistling through vaulted arcades, tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree that leaps in the light scattering its fruitful laughter with windy wilfulness and whispering? Tell me, is it the mad pomegranate tree that quivers with foliage newly born at dawn raising high its colours…

Symi Roast Tomato Soup With a Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

I first tried this beautiful interpretation of the classic roasted tomato soup on the island of Symi, a glorious island that elegantly lies in the Southern Dodecanese, north of Rhodes and close to the coast of South West Turkey. Although it’s a relatively barren place, the island’s rich merchant founders made the most of its…

Caldo Gallego, a Spanish White Bean Soup with Sherry Vinegar and Mojo Verde

A beautiful bowl of love for early spring evenings, this beautiful aniseed-based broth with lightly braised haricot beans, tomatoes, courgette and fennel is seasoned with a really good Spanish sherry vinegar, chilli and fennel seeds but it’s the punchy mojo verde – a garlicky green herb and garlic sauce originating from the Canary Islands –…

Umbrian Barley, Cavolo Nero and Lemon Soup with Pesto alla Genovese

High up in the hills of Umbria, winters can be long and very cold. A chilled silence wraps itself around the small towns and villages like a damp white cloak and the region falls into a kind of reflective slumber until Easter. Restaurants – at least those that choose to remain open after the feasting…

Minestra Aromatica, Potato and Arborio Rice Soup with Aromatics

This beautiful recipe is perfect for the early days of a new year when the desire for bright vibrant flavours vies for attention with the long walk towards the spring. This year, more than ever before, I have looked to silence and reflection these past few weeks, a quiet time in order to process everything…

Revithada, Greek Slow-roasted Chickpeas with Rosemary and Bay

Paros is calling me. It seems as if every magazine I open lands upon an image of the out-of-this-world beautiful Greek island sat within the glittering Aegean Sea, a radio presenter name checked it late last week and, this weekend, a postcard fell out of an old Greek cookery book upon which I had written…

Hawaij Spiced Cannellini and Borlotti Bean Soup with Spinach and Greek Yoghurt

At Carmel Market in Tel Aviv – Shuk Ha’Carmel – all life is laid out for you to savour. Hemp sacks overflowing with dried fruit and nuts, small mountains of ultra-fresh fruit, vegetables and bunches of herbs tied up with string, hundreds of tiny kiosks providing shade for spice masters, street hawkers, bakers, florists, fishermen and…

Minestrone alla Genovese with Pesto, a Lovely Soup for Spring Days

At the end of last week I took delivery of a large bag of amazingly fresh vegetables from Goodness Growing which I wanted to use quickly before their crunchy magic started to wain. Of course it’s too warm for heavy winter soups so I decided to make this (very loose) take on a classic Genoese…

Spicy Tuscan Borlotti Bean, Tomato and Cavolo Nero Soup

During the summer months, when it rains in Assisi, it pours. Literally. Narrow Medieval streets turn into warm fast-moving rivers as the water gushes down from the top of the hilltop town to the very bottom. I remember very clearly once standing atop the Rocca Maggiore, the ruined castle which has dominated, for more than eight…

Provençal Tomato Soup with Fennel and Vermouth

At last May is here, it’s my favourite time of the year. All the promises of summer – new opportunities, travel and the chance to spend quality time with far-flung friends – are tantalisingly close yet still delicious in their anticipation. Meanwhile, nature is popping up all over the place bringing new life and hope…