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Creamy Exotic Mushroom Soup

September 18, 2014 in Soups

Creamy exotic mushroom soup
I decided to make a luxurious mushroom soup for dinner last night with earthy, flavour packed Nouvelle Exotic Mushrooms. Since these mushrooms are rather special, using homemade chicken stock in this recipe is a must*. The majority of the sauteed mushrooms are blended with the addition of homemade flavourful stock and cream. When serving, I quite like topping the soup with some sauteed enoki mushrooms and a good drizzle of truffle infused olive oil.  Be sure to enjoy with warm brioche rolls – pure mushroom heaven!

nouvelle exotic mushrooms
Creamy Exotic Mushroom Soup

Serves: 4-6

500 g assorted exotic mushrooms (shiitake, enoki and king oyster)
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
50 g salted butter
A good pinch of salt and pepper
2 T (30 ml) Old brown sherry
10 g dried porcini mushrooms
+- 1/2 c (125 ml) fresh cream
Truffle infused oil for drizzling

In a large heavy based pot, saute the mushrooms and garlic in butter until browned and fragrant.  Remove and set aside a few enoki mushrooms for serving. Season well.
Add the sherry and dried mushrooms – allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the hot stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes . Use a stick blender and blitz until smooth, add the cream and blend once more. Heat through for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve soup topped with some sauteed enoki mushrooms and a good drizzle of truffle infused olive oil.
Enjoy with warm brioche rolls.

Creamed exotic mushroom soup

*Chicken stock: Saute a mirepoix of onion, carrot, celery and baby leaves in some olive oil until fragrant, then add a chicken carcass(I freeze mine for such purposes) or a few chicken wings and fry until browned. Add 1.5 L water and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Strain (discard chicken bones and veg) and season to taste.

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Smoked Pork, Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet

September 17, 2014 in Crush mag recipes, grains and pulses, Meat, Soups

smoked pork, bean and veg cassoulet, Crush magazine online, Carey Boucher Erasmus
We’re in for some cold and wet weather in Cape Town for the next couple of days and I’ve got just the dish to keep you snug as a bug. My smoky pork, bean and vegetable cassoulet. I use smoked pork rashers, they add such a wonderful flavour to soups and stews. I love this type of cooking, a few simple ingredients that simply work so well together to make an utterly humble yet mouthwatering meal. I particularly enjoy the use of fennel bulb in my recipe, it works a treat with pork and of course, a cassoulet ain’t a cassoulet if it doesn’t have wine and beans added to the mix. Pure heaven and cooked within 35 minutes, yay! Enjoy with garlic bruschetta to soak up all every bit of goodness. Keep warm and hold onto those soup pots, winter’s not over yet! *Carey does a little happy dance*.

smoked pork, bean and veg cassoulet, Crush magazine online, Carey Boucher Erasmus
Smoky Pork, Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet

Serves: 6

500 g smoked pork rashers, diced
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
3 fat cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 baby cabbage, shredded
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 c (250 ml) dry white wine
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 c (500 ml) chicken stock
1 x 400 g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
1 x 400 g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste

Heat half the oil and half the butter in a large heavy based pot.
Fry the pork until the fat until slightly crispy and fragrant.
Add the remaining butter and saute the onion, herbs, garlic, celery and carrots until softened. Add the cabbage and fennel and saute until wilted.
Add the wine and simmer until reduced by ½. Now add the tomatoes and stock and gently simmer for +- 40 minutes. Add the beans and heat through for another 10 minutes.
Season to taste.
Serve immediately with garlic bruschetta or crusty bread.
TIP: Add kale or spinach at the last few minutes of the cooking time.

Smoked pork, bean and vegetable cassoulet, Crush mag online, Carey Boucher Erasmus

 This recipe was published in Crush issue 42.

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Creamy Tomato Soup with Gorgonzola and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

July 20, 2014 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Snacks, Soups, vegetables


Cream of tomato soupI included this creamy tomato soup as one of my monthly “Midweek Meals” recipes for Crush online magazine’s Art Issue (41). This truly is my favourite soup of all time, so much so that I’ve been making it for years! In an attempt to shoot a stylish take on “soup and bread”, I served this soup with garlicky bruschetta topped with gooey gorgonzola and slow roasted assorted baby tomatoes. I think I achieved the “yum, I need to eat you now factor”, yes?

If you’re not a fan of gorgonzola, replace with mozzarella, creamy goat’s cheese or Fairview’s Cambozola. What I love about this soup is that it’s easy with no faffing involved. It’s thick, rich and creamy with just the right amount of sweet and tartness. Try this combo and let me know what you think.

Keep warm!!

Cream of Tomato Soup with Roasted Tomato and Gorgonzola Bruschetta

Serves: 6

4 large leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cans whole tomatoes
2 T (30 ml) tomato paste
1 large potato or sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 ½ (375 ml) chicken stock
1 T (15 ml) sugar
¼ t (1.25 ml) of freshly ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
handful of basil leaves, chopped
+- 125 – 250 ml cream or milk
Salt and pepper to taste

250 g assorted baby tomatoes
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 T (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 t (5 ml) brown sugar
1 t (15 ml) parmesan infused olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) chopped basil leaves
8 slices of ciabatta
Olive oil
1 peeled clove garlic
125 g creamy gorgonzola, sliced
basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a medium pot, sauté the leek and celery in butter until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, paste, potatoes and chicken stock. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simper for + – 40 minutes – or until potatoes are tender (will take longer due to the acidity in the tomatoes).
Place the baby tomatoes on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil and balsamic. Season and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for +- 25 minutes. Place into a bowl and add chopped basil leaves and oil. Season to taste.
Remove soup from the heat. Add the basil leaves and puree with a stick blender until smooth, add the cream while blending until you’ve reached your preferred consistency and creaminess.
Place back onto the heat to warm through.

Hop over to my Bits of Carey website to see how to prepare these delicious gorgonzola and slow roasted tomato bruschettas.

NYE nosh: Spicy prawns and gazpacho shots

December 30, 2013 in Crush mag recipes, Fish, Meat, Snacks, Soups

Wowzer! New Year’s eve tomorrow!  What a year it’s been!  Wishing you a happy, safe and blessed New year and may 2014 be a goodie for all of us!

For those of you that are hosting a NYE soirée, here’s some last minute inspiration. Easy, light and summery.

First up, Spicy smoked paprika prawns with gazpacho shots. There’s nothing better than tucking into whole prawns – sucking the juices out of the shells is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Washed down with an ice cold shot of gazpacho with lots of Tabasco. A bit of crusty bread is good too, mops up any juices you may not want to leave behind. Happiness.

Spicy smoked paprika prawns with gazpacho

Serves: 6
Difficulty: easy
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

500 g ripe baby tomatoes
½ red onion
½ cucumber or 1 small one, peeled
1 small red pepper, seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) red wine vinegar
200 ml ( 1 tin) tomato juice or tomato cocktail
200 ml chilled prepared vegetable stock
1 t (5 ml) sugar
handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Tabasco, freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

350 g frozen whole prawns(thawed), cleaned and deveined
2 T (30 ml) cooking oil
3 T (30 ml) butter
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
½ t (2 ml) cayenne pepper
1 t (5 ml) smoked dried chilli flakes
2 T (10 ml) smoked paprika
¼ c (60 ml) butter, cut into small cubes
Zest and juice
3 T (45 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients into a blender (except for seasoning) and blitz until smooth and well combined. Season to taste with tabasco, salt and pepper. Pop in to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.
Serve with spicy prawns and crusty bread.

Heat the cooking oil and 30 ml butter until sizzling, add the prawns and fry until starting to turn pink. Add the garlic, and spices and toss through for a ½ a minute. Add the 60 ml butter, juice and zest and heat through for +- another minute. Add fresh parsley and serve immediately with the chilled gazpacho and crusty bread.

For more ideas – check out my  Bits of Carey website. I’ve posted 2 other NYE nosh recipes, Meatballs kebabs – caprese style and beef sang choy bow.


These recipes featured in Crush online magazine

Chilled pea and avo soup

December 2, 2013 in Crush mag recipes, Meatless meals, Soups, vegetables

I just love this chilled Pea and avo soup. Such a delicious and vibrant combination with fresh lemon, mint and goats cheese. Just looking at this soup makes me happy. Serve with generously buttered seed bread or garlic bruschetta and you have one amazeball meat free meal. I’ve done this soup many times as a starter which goes down a treat before a lightly smoked salmon trout or lamb dish. Beautiful.

In other news, my website is almost ready!  In the meantime, hop over to my new facebook and twitter page to get a sneak peek of what’s to come! Serious excitement brewing here in the “Bits of Carey” kitchen.

Now, do yourself a favour and try this recipe. Enjoy! x

Pea and avo soup

Serves: 6
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: +- 10 minutes

500 g frozen petit pois (baby peas)
1 bunch of leeks, finely sliced
1 T (15 ml) butter
+- 2 c ( 500 ml) prepared chicken or vegetable stock
A handful of mint leaves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Flesh of 1 large ripe avo
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
100 g chevin or goat’s cheese
lemon zest


  • Pour boiling water over the peas and allow to stand for 2 minutes(no longer) then rinse immediately with ice cold water and drain. Set aside.
  • In a pot, fry the leeks in butter until soft and fragrant. Add stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Place the peas in a blender and blitz until pureed add the stock slowly until the desired consistency is reached. Add the lemon juice, zest, mint and avo and blend until smooth.
  • Season with salt and lots of pepper.
  • Serve warm or chilled topped with crumbled goats cheese and lemon zest.  Delicious with generously buttered seed bread.

Featured in Crush online magazine, issue 35.


Biltong, leek and sweet potato soup

November 26, 2013 in Meat, Soups, vegetables

Since the weather can’t seem to make its mind up here in Cape Town, I thought it’s only fitting to post a soup that can be served hot or chilled. A vichyssoise with a South African vibe! An idea sparked when my dear friend Mickel made a creamy roux based biltong soup for us one night. I figured I could do a leek and potato soup (using sweet potatoes mostly) with biltong and cream. I enjoy the subtle sweetness of the fried leeks and sweet potatoes – it balances beautifully with the salty biltong and the cream just ties it all together.

This soup is absolutely delish served hot sprinkled with blue cheese and mopped up with crusty bread. And for the hotter days try this soup chilled topped with micro watercress and garlic bruschetta. Oh my yumness!

Biltong, leek and sweet potato soup
Serves: 6

50 g butter
100 g finely sliced biltong
6 leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 t freshly ground coriander seeds
1 ml nutmeg
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1.25 L cold* vegetable stock
+- 125 ml cream
Salt and pepper to taste ( go easy on the salt)
Biltong shavings for garnish

In a large pot, heat the butter until bubbling. Add 1/2 the biltong, the leeks and spices and sauté until fragrant.
Add the cubes potatoes and sauté for a minute, then add the cold stock. Cover a bring to a gentle boil.  Simmer gently for +- 35 -40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Place in blender with the cream and remaining biltong and blitz until smooth. Add more cream or stock for a thinner consistency.
Season to taste.
Serve hot with crumbled blue cheese and crusty bread OR chilled with microcress and bruschetta. Garnish with some biltong shavings.

* Although cold stock takes longer to get to the boil, it draws out  the flavour from the ingredients(biltong, leeks etc.) into the liquid(stock) making a more flavoursome soup.

Enjoy!  C x

Rich red onion soup with Gruyere sticks

June 25, 2013 in Baking, Crush mag recipes, Randoms, Soups, vegetables

For years French onion soup did not appeal to me until J and I visited Paris. Of course, I had to give it a try!  My first french onion soup was served dripping down the sides of it’s bowl with a slice of toasted baguette topped with gooey melted Gruyere soaking away in this salty, yet sweet beef broth with a surprisingly subtle hum of “oniony” flavour .  I can firmly say that I fell in love with this popular “soupe du jour” and ate it every chance I could get – with lots of bread of course :-) . Check out my Paris in Pictures post from 2011.

Here’s a playful version of French onion soup. I use red onions and I make Gruyere cheese sticks out of all butter puff pastry.  I also top the soup with more Gruyere and pop under the grill, creating a fondue vibe.  Whatever works for you, as long as you soak these crispy cheese sticks or a slice of bread into the soup when serving. An absolute must!

Keep warm and enjoy!

Rich red onion soup with Gruyere sticks

Serves: 6

50 g butter
2 t (10 ml) olive oil
1 kg red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
¼ c (60 ml) old brown sherry
1 T (15 ml) cake flour
+- 1.2 L good quality beef stock (Nomu)
Freshly ground salt and pepper
juice of ½ lemon
1 c (250 ml) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Gruyere sticks
1 x 250 g sheet of all butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 t (10 ml) chopped fresh thyme
1 c (250 ml) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Heat the butter and oil until bubbling, add the onions and thyme. Fry for 5 minutes, then reduce heat slightly and gently sauté the onions for +- 25 minutes until soft and sticky.

Add sherry and simmer for 2 minutes then add the flour and mix until well combined before adding the beef stock. Cover and bring the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Gruyere sticks: Brush the sheet of pastry with egg and sprinkle evenly with thyme and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to gently flatten the cheese onto the pastry. Slice into 9 strips then cut in half making 18 strips. Twist the strips one by one and place onto a large greased baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy.

Set oven grill and move the oven rack to the top shelf.

Spoon soup into oven proof dishes. Sprinkle with a generous amount of cheese and pop under the grill until golden and bubbling.

Serve immediately with gruyere sticks.

This recipe featured in the latest issue of Crush online magazine , by Carey Boucher Erasmus.


Rich tomato and olive bread soup

June 3, 2013 in bread, Crush mag recipes, Soups, vegetables

I am a big fan of the food show, “Two greedy Italians” on DSTV. Not only are Gennaro and Antonio a laugh a minute with all their banter, I love their passion for traditional Italian food and everything they cook makes my mouth water. Watching this show makes me want to hop onto the plane and visit Florence again. Out of all the places we visited in Italy, I must say my heart is with Florence. It was there when I first came across a traditional Tuscan bread soup, ribollita. I loved the whole idea of creating a hearty soup from leftover vegetable/minestrone soup, bread and cannellini beans. The locals generally make different versions with whatever leftovers they have available to them, it’s quite the speciality and absolute comfort in a bowl.

This is my version of a ribollita, a rich tomato and olive bread soup. Feel free to add cannellini beans, a variety of veggies and streaky bacon (or pancetta), either way this soup will definitely warm the belly and soul. I enjoy my soup served with loads of grated pecorino, fresh basil leaves and a good drizzle of grassy extra virgin olive oil. YUM! Enjoy and stay warm xx

Rich Tomato and olive bread soup with fresh basil and pecorino
Serves: 6

Ingredients                                                                                                                                                                         45
45ml (3Tbs) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, chopped and seeds removed (optional)
3 x 400 g cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice
+-750 ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock
45 ml (3Tbs) tomato paste
30 ml (2Tbs) balsamic vinegar
30 ml  (2 Tbs) brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of stale ciabatta, broken into pieces
A handful of roughly chopped basil
A handful of roughly chopped parsley
1 pkt Calamata olives, pitted and halved

To serve:
Grated pecorino cheese (as much as you like!)
Extra virgin olive oil

Sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in the heated olive oil until soft and aromatic.
Add the tomatoes and heat through briefly.
Add the stock, paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Place the bread pieces into the soup, cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If too thick, add more hot stock.
Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs and olives.
Serve topped with plenty pecorino and drizzle with olive oil.

This recipe was published in Crush online magazine



Comforting chicken, mushroom and leek soup

April 2, 2013 in Chicken, Crush mag recipes, Soups, vegetables

Oooh, it’s cold and rainy here in Cape Town and I am in my element. This soup will definitely be bubbling away in my kitchen tonight. I can smell it already! Rich creamy chicken soup with a sweetness that only leeks can provide with loads of “mushroomy” flavour – truly comfort in a bowl. Mop up with generously buttered crusty bread and be taken to a happy place.

Clearly, I’m a lover of soups and all things comforting so I just have to share my other 5 favourite soups of all time:

Creamy tomato soup – The best ever!
Roasted butternut soup – sweet and intense colour and flavour
Dr Chicken soup – for the flu-ish and overindulged
Creamy chicken soup with lemon – mouthwatering deliciousness
Thick ‘n creamy cauliflower and cheese soup with bacon bits – need I say more!

Creamy chicken, mushroom and leek soup
A family favourite of note. Hearty, flavourful and comforting.
Serves: 6- 8

3 chicken breasts on the bone
2 L water
2 T (30 ml) chicken stock powder
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
50 g butter
2 bunches leeks, trimmed and chopped
400 g brown mushrooms, chopped
¼ c (62 ml) cake flour
1.5 L reserved chicken stock
1 c (250 ml) cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Place the chicken in a large pot. Add the water, stock powder, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaves. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from the stock and allow to cool. Strain the stock and discard the veggies. Set aside. When chicken is cooler, remove skin and bones and shred into small pieces.

In a medium pot, heat the butter and sauté the leeks until soft and glossy, then add the mushrooms and cook until softened and fragrant. Stir in the flour until veggies are well coated, then add 1.5L chicken stock, heat through and continue stirring until it starts to thicken. Add the shredded chicken and cream and heat through for 15 minutes to allow all the flavours to combine. Add some parsley and season to taste.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Enjoy and keep warm! xx

This recipe featured in Crush online magazine Issue 21.




Smoked ham and mushroom soup

November 4, 2010 in Soups

Yay! It’s cold and rainy in CT and I have an excuse to share this soup recipe with you…

You can make it as thick as you like, but personally, I don’t like it too thick as it tends to feel and taste like a pasta sauce – so mine’s a bit more “brothy” and light so to speak. Served inside a roll – check out my soup “bunny chow” below! ha ha!

You will need:

Serves 4

30 ml olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 sick celery, finely chopped

250 g brown mushrooms, chopped

+ – 150 g smoked ham, thinly sliced

30 ml cake flour

500 ml prepared vegetable stock(Nomu or Ina)

250 ml reduced fat cream

Salt and pepper taste

4 crispy round portuguese rolls or potjie rolls

Fresh parsley

Saute the onions and celery in the oil until soft, then add the mushrooms and fry until also softened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, coating all the veggies.

Place back onto the heat and add the stock, cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Add the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Hollow out the bottoms of each roll and fill them with soup. Garnish with fresh parsley.

I suggest putting them into a bowl, after about 4 minutes, the bottom starts to get soggy and may leak, it’s looks cool, but not practical. It’s quite cute serving it this way, you eat the soup first and then you are left with flavour soaked bread at the bottom! Comfort at it’s best!

Alternatively, serve with slices of ciabatta


Other suggestions:


Not a fan or ham? Replace with more mushrooms

Want it thicker? Increase the flour to 50 ml

Not watching the wasteline? Use full fat cream


Over and out from chilly Cape Town


C xx