Tag Archives: Cook


5 Sep

Serves 6-8

I’m totally smitten with the Moroccan kitchen! After having travelled through Morocco’s mountains, desert, valleys and coast, been welcomed by amazing people, and tasted so many delicious dishes and soups, I’m happy I can finally share some great new recipes.

Today I like to start with Harira, one of Morocco’s most famous soup recipes. To master this soup, I did a cooking class at Atlas Kasbah, an amazing ecolodge in the region of Agadir. Hayat, the Berber chef, and Mbark gave me a great class and if you ever have the opportunity please, go and visit Hassan’s beautiful Kasbah.

Harira is traditionally served in nearly all households to break the fast at sunset during the month of Ramadan. However, a lot of families also enjoy this hearty soup year-round.

The soup requires some preparation and cooking time but if you have a pressure cooker you will be able to speed up the process.


100gr/ 4 ounces uncooked meat (lamb, beef or chicken), cut into 1 inch cubes

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

½ cup/15gr of coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

½ cup/15gr of parsley, finely chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely grated

1 tomato, finely grated

1 cup/190gr of chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 cup/170gr of fava beans, soaked overnight

1 cup of lentils/200gr, soaked overnight

2 tbsp. uncooked rice

3 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground paprika

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. white pepper

1 tbsp. salt

1 cup/150gr flour, dissolved in 2 cups/500ml (extra) water



The day before:

Wash the chickpeas, fava beans and lentils and soak overnight. Rinse well before using the next day.

The day of cooking:

Pick all the leaves of the parsley and coriander (cilantro) and chop finely. Chop celery stalks and leaves finely. Grate the tomato and onion finely and dice the meat into 1 inch cubes.

Heat the tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker please, read the stockpot method below for adjusted cooking time and water.

Cook the meat for a few minutes until brown on all sides. Stir in the grated onion and tomato. Add all the celery and only half of the parsley and coriander. Stir in the tomato paste, chickpeas, lentils, fava beans, salt, pepper and all other spices.

Add 2L/8 cups of water and close the pressure cooker so it can work its magic! Cook for 45 minutes on medium heat and remove from heat and carefully release the pressure.

Stir in the rice and cook for another 30 minutes with pressure. While the soup is cooking mix 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of warm water. Whisk till all flour is dissolved and it has a smooth texture.

Remove lit from pressure cooker, pour the flour mixture into the boiling soup. Make sure you keep stirring continuously while the soup is thickening. The soup has a velvety consistency but not over thick. You can make it as thick or thin as you like by not adding all the flour mixture or adding some more water.

Cook the soup for another 15 minutes; stir in the left over half of the coriander and parsley and season to taste.

Serve with flatbread, a wedge of lemon and dates on the side, an amazing combination.

Cooking Harira in a regular Stockpot:

Double the suggested cooking times and add approx. 4 cups of warm water after the first hour of cooking.

Bon Appetite 😉


Avocado Soup

20 Aug

Serves 6

Looking for a cool and refreshing summer soup? Then look no further. This velvety smooth and chilled soup is the perfect summer starter. It’s very easy and quick to prepare and allows you to store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.


2 large ripe avocados

500 ml/2 cups Chicken stock or Vegetable Stock

Juice of one Red Grapefruit

1 clove of garlic, peeled

2 tbsp. of yoghurt

sea salt

black pepper, coarsely ground

mild chilli powder


Cut the avocados in half lengthways and twist to separate into two. Remove the stone and with a spoon, scoop out all the flesh of the avocado.

Place the avocado flesh , chicken or vegetable stock, crushed garlic, grapefruit juice and yoghurt into the blender or food processor.

Purée until smooth, taste and season with salt, black pepper and mild chilli powder.

Refrigerator for a minimum of two hours. Serve chilled and with a colorful garnish on top.

Bon Appetite 😉

Cod & Vegetable Chowder

6 Aug

Serves 4

This week I like to share my recipe for a very tasty and nutritious chowder. The potatoes, vegetables and chunks of cod make it a rather filling soup and for us a perfect summer meal. I don’t use any cream or milk in this chowder, which makes it perfectly suitable for anyone who has lactose intolerance too. The combinations of ingredients makes it a very natural, healthy and flavorful dish, enjoy.


2 tbsp.  butter

2 white onions, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 carrots (medium-sized), peeled & diced

2 potatoes (medium-sized), peeled & diced

2 red peppers, diced

500g fresh or frozen cod, boneless and skinless

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 L/4 cups vegetable or fish stock

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried thyme

3 bay leaves


black pepper, coarsely ground

fresh leaf parsley, chopped


Melt the butter on medium heat in your stockpot. Sauté the onions and when they are about done add the garlic, ground cumin and dried thyme.  Once translucent add the diced carrots, potatoes and red peppers. Stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until lightly golden and soften.

In the meantime, lightly season the cod fillets with salt and black pepper and set aside.

Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and stock to the diced vegetables. Stir, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Lay the cod fillets on top of the vegetables and cover the stockpot. Simmer for a few minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Before serving, remove the bay leaves, and season the soup with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into the bowls and place flakes of the cod on top of the soup.  Sprinkle the fresh leaf parsley and serve immediately.

Bon Appetite 😉

Soba Miso Soup with Edamame, Shiitake & Tofu

31 Jul

Serves 3

Last week we moved to a new house, the fourth time since 2008. I love the exciting live we life, love the house but with a family of five, it’s quite a schlep!

To make sure we get the right nutrition in hectic times, this vegetarian soup is perfect. It truly is a superfoods soup containing lots of protein, minerals and vitamins. It’s not only healthy but simple delicious too.

So if you are busy but still want something good: this is the answer. Enjoy.


3 bundles of soba (buckwheat) noodles

1 tbsp. of sesame oil

2 shallots, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp. of ground ginger

3 cups/ 750ml Dashi  Stock

2 tbsp.  White Miso

½ block of firm Tofu, diced

2 Green Onions/Scallions, finely sliced diagonally

1 Carrot, thinly sliced

1 cup/ 155g frozen or fresh Edamame

100g /6 Shiitake Mushrooms, cut into big chunks

2 tbsp. of Soya


Set a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the sesame oil and heat for 1 minute. Sauté the shallots and when they are about done add the minced garlic.  Once translucent add the sliced carrot and one teaspoon of ground ginger. Toss the ingredients until the carrots are covered with shallot, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes.

Add dashi stock to pot and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat, and add the edamame, shiitake mushrooms and tofu. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook until tender. Drain with a colander and run under cold water, set the noodles aside.

Scoop out one ladle of soup and dissolve 2 tablespoons of miso in it by whisking it to a smooth consistency.  If you try to dissolve the miso in the soup directly, it might clump together.

Once the miso is dissolved return it to the broth and simmer for a few minutes. Be careful not to boil the soup after adding the miso.

Season the soup with some soya. Divide the soba noodles among the bowls, ladle soup on top and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetite 😉

Mom’s Great Gazpacho Soup

3 Jul

Serves 4-6

The first time I ate this delicious soup was over 25 years ago. At the time my mom made this soup it was a very exotic dish. Growing up in a family where all my ancestors originate from a different country our meals were not typically Dutch, but still this Gazpacho was something else! A soup which we ate cold and then garnished with all sorts of different toppings ourselves was special and very festive. The recipe of the soup is very simple, and to me it is perfect just the way it is. Please, choose ripe and flavourful tomatoes which are warmed to room temperature before you use them. The dicing of the garnish does require some time. If you’re a bit short on time, I would say go for the home-baked croutons (I promise you: after trying these you will never want them any other way) and garnish the gazpacho with some fresh basil. This amount of tomatoes yields 1.5L of soup or in my case after tasting 1.25L…. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do.


2 Kg plum tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime

3 cloves garlic, puréed with garlic press or minced

2 tsp. clear honey

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

3 tsp. ground paprika

1 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper


2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

½ red pepper, ½ yellow pepper & ½green pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ cucumber, diced

6 slices of regular white bread – for croutons (preferably a day or two old)



Wash the tomatoes thoroughly. Cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove it once the skin starts to peel, approx. 30 seconds. Place the tomatoes in the bowl of ice water and leave it there for a few minutes. Once the tomatoes have cooled off, you will be able to peel off the skin very easily.

Purée all the peeled tomatoes with a hand blender or regular blender. Pass the tomato purée through a sieve or a strainer to remove all the seeds. Stir in the tablespoon of olive oil, juice of the lime, the teaspoons of ground paprika and honey. Add the purée of the 3 cloves of garlic by using a garlic press or chop very fine with a knife. Season with sea salt, coarsely ground pepper and the leaves of the thyme. Chill in the fridge for a least three hours or even better, chill overnight. Please, don’t chill the soup with ice cubes as it will dilute the beautiful flavour.

To make the garnish, finely dice the onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper, cucumber and hard-boiled egg.

For the croutons, preheat your oven to 375 F or 190 C degrees. Cut the slices of bread into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes. Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil, sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper and toss until well mixed. Spread the bread cubes in a singly layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Keep your eye on them, to make sure they don’t burn, and turn to brown all sides evenly. Once golden brown, remove from the oven and let them cool.

I like to serve the gazpacho without the garnish. Instead, I place all the different kinds of garnish on the table and let everybody make their own creation.

Bon Appetite 😉

Sweet Potato & Pepper Soup

2 Mar

Serves 6-8 people

This super healthy and low-calorie soup is my Aunt Lisette’s favourite. It is very simple to make and a great starter or take-to-work lunch. This soup is bursting with vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre: a true super foods soup. When she shared her recipe with me, I loved the fact that this soup does not contain any stock. Once the veggies are cooked in water and blended, you add tomato juice instead.  This soup has a subtle sweetness, yet offers a variety of flavors.


2 tbsp. of Olive Oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 red chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

2 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped

3 large sweet potatoes, skin off and diced

1L of tomato juice

Salt & pepper

Cayenne pepper

Fresh Basil for garnish


Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the finely chopped red chili pepper and gently fry for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and red onion and fry without coloring until softened. Now add the chopped peppers and diced potatoes. Cover the ingredients with water, but do make sure that you don’t add to much water. It should be just enough to cook the vegetables.

Once boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and peppers are tender.

Now allow the soup to cool off for a minute. Carefully transfer all the ingredients into your blender or use a handheld blender to cream the soup. Return the soup to a clean pan and add the tomato juice. Bring back to a simmer, taste your soup and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Before serving, ladle into bowls and sprinkle some fresh basil on top.

Bon Appetite 😉 

Cauliflower Soup

16 Jan

Cauliflower Soup

Serves 6

Yes, you can! Maria’s favorite recipe is very easy to prepare and can be made within 30 minutes. The soup is very tasty: creamy without any dairy and very healthy. The only downside is the smell while cooking, but the cauliflower sure makes up in nutrients. Make sure you don’t overcook, to keep most of the vegetable’s vitamins. Go for an organic cauliflower with white heads, and crisp green leaves. The whiter, the fresher.


1 large cauliflower

1,5L chicken or beef or vegetable stock



truffle oil



Cut off the individual florets from the central stem of the cauliflower and cut again if necessary. The florets should be of the same size, so they all cook evenly.  Steam or cook the cauliflower in 5-10 minutes. During cooking or steaming you can test with the tip of a knife to make sure they don’t overcook.

Purée the cauliflower in a food processor or with a blender. Slowly pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, and return to a simmer.

Pretty it up with a swirl of truffle oil and scatter the croutons on top. Serve the soup immediately.

Bon Appetite 😉