Winter Warmers, comfort food for a cold night: soups, chilli and crumble…

Apple crumble

Think of this as a showcase of some of my favourite winter recipes.
Now the southern Hemisphere summer is officially over, I am pulling out the perfect winter recipes that comfort me when it is cold, raining and windy outside. Some of these you’ve seen before, but the highlight of this post is the Tunisian soup below.

Let’s start with soups…

This is my all-time favourite soup, no arguments, it  is simply the best…

Tunisian Lemon, Pumpkin and Chickpea soup

Tunisian lemon and chickpea soup

The title doesn’t explain how ridiculously tasty (and good for you!) this soup is. People have begged me for this recipe, it’s that good. It would be better described as Tunisian lemon, silverbeet, pumpkin, lentil and chick pea spiced soup.

The secret to the flavours when making this soup is the Ras El Hanout spice mix (Ras El Hanout’s literal translation from Arabic is “head of the shop” implying that it’s “the best or top of the shop” ). I have always used the Herbies brand (can be purchased online at However, you can make the mix yourself… I managed to find a great recipe below, which was delicious. You can then use this to make several batches of soup.

Don’t get put off by all the ingredients required for this soup. Once you have your spice mix the soup is super easy to make, and definitely worth the effort mixing up the spices, because the flavour is amazing!

Ras el hanout recipe

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground mace (I didn’t have mace in the pantry, does anyone? So I made it without this)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Once you have your Ras el hanout you can proceed with making your soup…

Soup Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 spanish onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Ras el hanout (see recipe above)
1 lemon, rind and juice
1 can brown lentils
1 can chick peas
2lt vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups silverbeet leaves, or more if you have it (with the white stalk cut out of the middle of each leaf)
400g butternut pumpkin, cut in small cubes (I sometimes put more pumkin)
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

– Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion, lemon rind and Ras el hanout until onion is softened and spices fragrant.
– Add garlic and cook for another minute.
– Add lentils, chickpeas, pumpkin ans stock and stir well to combine.
– Cover with lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until pumpkin is cooked.
– Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
– Add silverbeet leaves and stir until wilted.
– Add coriander and lemon juice.
– Serve with lemon wedges.

Spiced Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup

This soup is a winner… just that little bit more exciting than the usual pumpkin soup… I have already featured this soup, so Click Here for the recipe.

Spiced pumpkin soup

Moving onto the main affair…

Chilli Con Carne

This is easily the best Chili Con Carne you will ever taste…

Chilli con carne

I can say that because I have tasted all the experiments, over many years that have been undertaken by my husband to perfect this dish. Along the way he has stolen tips and secrets from top chefs to get this flavour right. One of the most unexpected is the addtion of dark chocolate to give it a richer flavour….

Now for dessert…

You can’t beat an apple crumble… for simplicity, and that homely feeling it gives you with every mouthful. I featured this a few years ago…

Apple Crumble

Click here for this recipe. The brilliant thing about this recipe is that you’ll usually have all the ingredients in the pantry, allowing a very last minute dessert to be made when required (especially if you have a can of pie apples – which can be used instead of fresh apples). It is essential to serve this with ice-cream and warm custard!

Apple Crumble

I hope you are inspired by at least one of these comforting winter recipes, and enjoy both cooking and eating them.




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