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Super soups


Warming, refreshing, delicious and simple to make, soups are a true one-pot wonder, and just as we embrace the cooler weatherof winter, it’s time to embrace creativitywith your winter soup repertoire.

Here is Metropol’s round up for some easy soup-spiration for the cooler months ahead.




Eating your greens is an imperative. Eating your green soups, on the other hand, may seem less appealing. Think again; green soups are a delicious way to deliver your 5-plus a day. Broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, herbs and kale are all green bases waiting to be boosted with other vegetables, spices, stocks and creamy bases.


A hearty pumpkin soup is, for many, the first flavour that springs to mind when the subject is raised. While a classic milky, stock-based version is a comforting favourite, it’s time to branch out. Use spices like chilli, ginger, turmeric and kaffir lime, bases like coconut cream and toppers like barley and roast nuts.


Lentils have had a bad rap in years past, but those who are converted to the power of the pulses will tell you how delicious a lentil (or grain, for that matter) soup can be. With the rise of plant-based eating, lentil soup recipes are abound, and rich in warming, flavours. Try a tomatoey Middle Eastern-inspired rendition with cumin, coriander and fennel seeds.


Apple & feijoa crumble

Grandma’s recipe for traditional apple crumble can be given a new twist by adding feijoas or other fruit to the mix.


Serves 4 | 25 to 30 minutes


4 apples, peeled and sliced
8 medium feijoas, peeled and sliced or pulped
1 cup water
½ cup lemon juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
Pinch of salt

½ cup standard grade flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup ground almonds
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
150g softened butter


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Put apple slices into a medium-sized saucepan, add water, lemon juice, sugar and salt, and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until apple is cooked, but firm.

Add feijoa slices or pulp, stir. Cover and cook for two minutes until lightly poached.

Strain the fruit and transfer to a greased ovenproof dish.

Mix the dry crumble ingredients in a bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture forms clumps.

Sprinkle crumble over the top of the fruit then bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the juices start to bubble up through the crumble.

Serve with fresh cream, custard or ice cream.


Thai red curry recipe: 100% NZ Pork

This silky red curry packs tonnes of flavour and is so simple to make.


Serves 4 | Pan Fry | 45 minutes



500g New Zealand pork loin cut into strips
2 tbsp peanut oil
¼ cup red curry paste
400ml coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup green or red capsicum, sliced
1 cup green beans.


Heat the peanut oil in a large pan before adding the pork loin strips. Cook for two minutes.

Add the curry paste and fry for five minutes before adding coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce and brown sugar. Cook for five minutes or until the brown sugar has dissolved.

Add the sliced capsicum and green beans and simmer for five minutes.

Serve over freshly steamed jasmine rice.




Green goodness lemon and parmesan risotto

Gluten-free | Serves 4 | Vegan | Ready in 45 minutes


3 tbsp butter or neutral oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1½ cups risotto rice
½ cup white wine
6 cups hot gluten-free
vegetable stock, plus a little extra if needed
1 tsp salt ground black pepper,
to taste
4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup grated parmesan
Finely grated zest and
Juice of 1 lemon
Pea tendrils or rocket (arugula),
to garnish

1⁄2 packed cup fresh parsley, watercress or rocket (arugula)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt


Puréeing frozen peas and adding them to a risotto just before it’s ready provides this wonderful zing of freshness. You can also purée lightly cooked broccoli, zucchini or spinach and use them in place of the peas.

Heat butter or oil in a large, heavy-based pot, add onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until softened but not browned (8 minutes).

Add rice and stir for 1–2 minutes to lightly toast.

Add wine and allow to evaporate fully, then add hot stock, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Simmer gently, stirring now and then, until rice is creamy and just tender (about 18 minutes). If the mixture dries out during cooking, add a little more stock or water—it should be wet enough to fall from the spoon.

While rice is cooking, make herb oil by puréeing herbs with oil and salt, adding a little water if needed to thin to a pouring consistency.

Boil a jug of water. Place spinach and peas in a bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 2 minutes. Drain, then purée with a hand wand blender or in a food processor. Add to risotto with parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste and warm through.

To serve, divide risotto between heated serving bowls and top with a drizzle of herb oil and pea tendrils or rocket (if using).



Extracted from Bella: My life in food by Annabel Langbein. Food photography by William Meppem. RRP$49.99. Published by Allen & Unwin NZ.


Chocolate & almond butter swirl brownies

Makes 12



For the chocolate batter
200g dark chocolate, chopped into 5mm chunks (150g for melting, the rest for the top)
100g coconut oil
100g white spelt flour
100g golden caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
2 organic eggs, or 8 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

For the almond butter batter
75g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 organic egg, or 4 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
100g smooth almond butter


Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper.

For the non-vegan brownies:
For the chocolate batter, melt 150g of the chocolate (saving the rest for the top) with the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour in the melted chocolate and give the batter another stir until the chocolate is mixed through. Make the almond butter batter by whisking together the sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, whisk again, add the almond butter, stir until well combined and set aside. The batter will be thick.

For the vegan brownies:
Follow the steps above, replacing the eggs with the flaxseed. For the chocolate batter, mix 8 tsp of flaxseed with 6 tbsp of warm water in a separate bowl. For the almond butter, mix 4 tsp of flaxseed with 3 tbsp of warm water in a separate bowl. For both mixtures, leave to thicken for 15 minutes before using.

Dollop alternate heaped spoonfuls of each batter into the tin. Once all the batter is in, use a butter knife to swirl it in figures of eight. Top with the remaining chocolate, pressing each piece slightly into the batter, then sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are just set with a little wobble and the almond butter swirls are golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely before cutting.


Recipe extracted from One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones. HarperCollins. RRP $54.99


“Dirty” bulgur with roast chicken (Red bulgur bi jara)

This dish was originally prepared in a clay pot, hence the term “bi jara”, or “from the clay oven” in the recipe’s name. My version differs from the original, not only in that I have used a regular saucepan instead of a clay pot, but also because I have ‘dirtied’ the rice. A friend of mine inspired me with his dirty rice recipe, where he mixed rice with vegetables and a lot of spices. The chicken is marinated first in the same Mediterranean seasonings that I would later use for the bulgur – each reinforcing the other.


Serves 4



2 chicken legs (drumsticks)

For the marinade
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
Salt and pepper

For the bulgur
200 g (7 oz) of coarse bulgur
Boiling water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 French shallots (peeled and whole)
2 garlic cloves (pressed)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
400 g (14 oz) of tinned tomatoes (cubed)
200 ml (7 fl oz) of chicken stock
Salt and pepper
200 g (7 oz) of tinned chickpeas (rinsed)
150 g (1 cup) of frozen peas

To garnish
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley


Put the chicken in a sealable freezer bag with the olive oil, tomato paste, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and rub all the marinade ingredients into the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Place the chicken in an ovenproof baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the grill (broiler) on, remove the foil and cook the chicken for another 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Make the bulgur while the chicken is baking in the oven. Pour the bulgur into a bowl and add boiling water to cover. Soak the bulgur for 5 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Fry the shallots for 3 minutes until golden yellow. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and ground cumin. Continue cooking the sauce until browned. This intensifies the flavour.

Add the cubed tomatoes, the soaked bulgur and the chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Check the bulgur regularly and add some more water or stock if the cooking liquid evaporates too quickly.

After the bulgur has cooked, stir in the chickpeas and the frozen peas. Warm the entire dish for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the burner, cover and let the whole dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve the bulgur warm in a dish with the roasted chicken. Garnish liberally with fresh parsley.


Recipe extracted from SUMAC: Recipes and stories from Syria by Anas Atassi, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $55.


Cardamom + dark chocolate “cheesecake” bars


Gluten-free | Makes 12–14 slices | Vegan


Start this recipe the night before to soak the cashews.

To make the cheesecake base, line a 28cm x 18cm slice tin with baking paper, overlapping the sides by 2cm. Put the pitted dates, almonds and melted coconut oil into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Press the mixture into the tin, using the back of a spoon to pack it in firmly.

To make the filling, place all the filling ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, finely grind the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle first, before adding to the blender. Pour the mixture over the base and smooth the top. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. To make the chocolate topping, place the dark chocolate into a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

Add the coconut milk and the maple/brown rice syrup and heat gently until melted. If it starts to look a little split (this can happen because of the coconut milk), whisk to bring it back together into a smooth sauce. When just melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, before spreading over the cheesecake. Return to the fridge until set. Once set, slice into 12–14 bars, using a sharp knife warmed under running hot water.


240g (1½ cups) dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
100g (⅔cup) raw almonds
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted

375g (3 cups) raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight in cold water + drained well
185ml (¾ cup) virgin coconut oil, melted
125ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
125ml (½ cup) pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp fine salt
seeds from 20 cardamom pods (or 2 tsp ground cardamom)

Chocolate topping
85g dairy-free dark chocolate, roughly chopped
60ml (¼ cup) coconut milk
2 Tbsp pure maple/brown rice syrup


Extracted from Every Day by Emma Galloway. HarperCollins. RRP $60.


Quintessential quiche

Quiche, whether served hot or room temperature, is a versatile vessel for abundant autumnal fillings. Packed for a picnic, prepared for a party or famished family, local seasonal ingredients come alive when encased in a flaky or buttery shell.



With origins in Germany and France, it’s the Kiwi-as ingredients that have revitalised the classic quiche. Think a juxtaposition of at least three, for texture and taste, with these autumnal pairing partners.

Butternut pumpkin, sage or fennel, with roasted pinenuts or hazelnuts, are synonymous with falling leaves.

Ripened pears are eagerly awaited this time of year. A local blue cheese becomes their ultimate bed partner atop pastry sheets and toasted walnuts complete the romance.

Whether you call them zucchini or courgettes, they make a fine filler in an autumn quiche. Mild in taste, yet adding zing with the likes of feta, mint, parmesan, and sweet little cherry tomatoes.

Autumn hails the arrival of foraged fungi, whether plucked from the woodlands, farmers markets or local deli.

Mealy field mushrooms, Italian porcini, paler-fleshed delicate oyster mushrooms, and meaty shiitake all add their magic.

Quiches are a wonderful way to sneak in the health benefits of April’s flourishing super greens, such as kale, parsley or even nasturtium leaves.

And laden with the piquancy of local cheeses, they will rival the South of France – banishing any preconception of eggy blandness. Even the burgeoning vegan versions are divine.

Go generous on fillings and flavours. Aotearoa’s autumn harvest is abundant. And thanks to the inspirations of our artisan foodies, a quiche is an epicurean open book to go wild with.


Jambalaya in a jiffy: United Fisheries

Recipe supplied by United Fisheries



Serves 4-6 | Prep 20 mins | Cook 30 mins


Cooking oil
4 rashers streaky bacon, cut into
2cm pieces
5 Hellers Spanish Chorizo sausages, sliced 1cm thick
1 large onion, roughly chopped
½ green capsicum, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 ½ cup long grain white rice
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Gregg’s Creole Spice
1 dried bay leaf
½ cup + 1 Tbsp white wine
1x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
1 ½ cup chicken stock
250gm Sea Cuisine Raw Prawn
Meat or Cutlets, defrosted.
250gm Sea Cuisine Squid
Rings, thawed.
Fresh parsley, to garnish



Heat a large pot over medium heat with oil. Add bacon and chorizo, cook until sausages turn golden brown.

Add the onions and cook until softened. Add celery, green and red capsicums and garlic. Cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add rice, turmeric, cayenne, and bay leaf and stir continuously for one minute. Add the ½ cup wine, tomatoes and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, season the prawns and squid with salt and pepper, and remaining wine. After the rice has simmered, fold in the prawns and squid. Cover again, continue to cook over low heat for another five minutes until prawns and squid have just cooked through.

Turn off the heat, keep the lid on to let everything rest for five minutes.

Fluff the jambalaya with a fork, garnish with parsley and serve with toasted garlic bread.


Choc-tail masterclass

While the Easter holiday means different things to everyone, there’s no doubt the long weekend as we know it is about indulging with loved ones. So, Metropol has gone on an Easter egg hunt for the chocolatey cocktails to try this long weekend.



The ultimate adult chocolate egg is here, thanks to culinary writer Sara McCleary’s Easter egg shots. All you need is 30ml Kahlúa, 30ml vodka, 30ml Irish cream liqueur, 30ml full cream milk, one cup of ice. Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately in hollow Easter eggs with the tops sliced off.

Put that chocolatey spin on a cocktail classic. Add 60ml vanilla vodka and 30ml crème de cacao into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake in a Bond-like fashion (not stirred) and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an Easter egg, and “salt” the rim with sugar and cinnamon (or chilli for an extra kick).

If you’re not so chocolate inclined, try a tipple inspired by the other Easter treat, a hot cross bun. Shake 40ml spiced gin, 15ml cinnamon and saffron spiced syrup, 60ml pressed apple and a lemon twist together. Pour into a martini or rock glass, leaving the lemon twist in, and garnish with star anise.