Easy miso soup recipe

miso soup

Miso soup by adactio

Next time you come home from work starving, instead of eating lots of bread, why not make a quick miso soup? The following serves two:


oil (olive, sesame..)
1 small onion
1 carrot
1 spring onion
1 teaspoon of barley or rice miso paste (you can use instant/dried miso, but it’s not the same!) and a cup of water per person

1. Cut the onion and put in a pot with little oil.
2. Fry for a few minutes and add water (one cup per person)
3. Add the sliced carrot and, if you like, an greens you have (broccoli, kale, parsley).
4. Bring to a boil and cook for few minutes more.
5. Put the pot on a low heat and add one teaspoon of miso per person (the miso should not boil just simmer).
6. Cook for three minutes and add the green part of the spring onion (cut into tiny slices)

If you like, you can also add a sheet of Nori (which is the seaweed which used to cover sushi). Simply take half a sheet, tear into pieces and add to the top of the soup.

This is a great starter for when you come home, and a great alternative to having snacks/bread.

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Gooseberry Curd Recipe, by Bez

BezBez writes:

“Early Summer is gooseberry season and this is a lovely, easy way of turning those sour little berries into something sweet.”

“Great on toast, as a cake topping, on pancakes or muffins, in a pastry case as an easy pudding or straight from the jar with a spoon. Makes a nice present too.”


680g of gooseberries
340g sugar
300ml water
110g butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs, lightly beaten.

1. Put the gooseberries (no need to top and tail them) in a pan with the water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until pulpy. If you like you can use a blender or liquidiser to make them into a puree.
2. Push the pulpy mixture through a sieve to give you a gooseberry puree without the seeds and stalks.
3. Put the butter, sugar and gooseberry puree into a heavy bottomed pan and heat gently, strirring all the time.
4. Add in whisked eggs and keep stirring until the mixture begins to thicken to a custard consistency which coats the back of a spoon.
gooseberrycurd5. Pour into clean jars and seal before leaving to cool. Keep in fridge.

Disclaimer: I lied: this recipe is actually by (another) poet extraordinaire BezTa pal.

Images by: kyleplastock

(and Bez)

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Gooseberry on Foodista

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Food roundup – what’s everyone eating in London?

Are you classy? Then check out the Vogue-of-Cooking website, Epicurious’ collection of quick & easy recipes – my pick of the bunch is the Louisiana Devilled Crab Cakes, y’all.

Are you, well… not classy? You could do worse than checking out the Sun’s slideshow of the World’s Rudest Food, bringing Pee Cola, Shito Hot, Mini Dickmanns (pictured) and Cock Flavoured Soup mix to the masses.

Meanwhile, the Guardian challenged its readers to come up with two course menus costing less than £5 – downturn-tastic.

Finally, don’t miss the London Paper’s London’s top secret restaurants – top of the list is the mercurial Food Rambler’s Rambling Restaurant – for all the latest Rambling Restaurant news and dates, check out the Facebook Page.

This will def be worth checking out in future – you can book/find out more info by emailing


Bolognese sauce recipe – the simplest also the best?

Ah, Bolognese – the king of pasta sauuuce. Known as ‘ragu’ in Italy, here’s the London version…

bolognese 3

Beef or lamb mince
Passata or chopped tomatoes
Miso or soya sauce

1. Fry the meat in a little oil, breaking it up with a wooden spoon
2. Once brown, add the passata/chopped tomatoes and mix
3. Leave to stew on a medium/low heat, until the tomatoes are absorbed (leave on a low heat for 2-3 hours if you can, for added flavour)
4. Finally, add soya sauce to taste, or, if you have it, miso, which adds a really satisfying salty kick (NB – miso denatures if exposed to boiling sauce, so best to remove a little sauce into a bowl, leave to cool a sec, then mix with the miso. Also, miso is incredibly strong, so you might need only a tablespoon or two…)

As they say, “that’s ah-it-ah” (or at least they do if they’re part of an ad campaign for pasta sauces which encourages Italian stereotypes with the use of puppets.) Oops… Did I say that?

Amazing as it might seem to some Londoners, Italians actually know which pasta goes best with which sauces. Get the wrong one and you could be a laughing stock. For Bolognese/ragu, LondonCooking suggests you plumb for tagliatelle.

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How to get simple recipe ideas on Facebook

Sainsburys has gone all social with a Facebook page (Simple Food Ideas) you can ‘become a fan of’, and get some helpful recipe tips.

Launching at the start of April, it’s already amassed about 300 followers (not bad going, Jamie, John and co.) which would suggest the recipes aren’t bad at all… Here’s one of them –

Hearty barley chicken pot

Sainsbury’s 500g pack skinless chicken thigh fillets, 1 loose red onion, 4 loose carrots, 150ml pot single cream, 500g pack pearl barley, 410g tin cannellini beans in water. (Ingredients from your store cupboard: olive oil, chicken stock cube, dried herbs)

Recipe: Serves 4

Cook Time: 10 minutes
Prep Time: 35 minutes

1. Cut 1 x 500g pack of skinless chicken thighs into small chunks. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large flameproof pot and fry the chicken until it begins to colour.

2. Add 1 red onion and 4 carrots, all peeled and cut into chunks, to the pot. Stir in 200g pearl barley and 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs, and fry for a few minutes.

3. Add 750ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube, and simmer for 30 minutes until the pearl barley is tender.

4. Stir in a 410g tin of cannellini beans, drained, and 75ml single cream and heat through. Serve immediately.



What in the world is Shakshuka, and how do you make it?

What about a shakshuka for dinner tonight? This Tunisian/Moroccan tomato ‘n’ egg combo is a incredibly easy to make, satisfying and just a little different.


for 2
1  big/medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 tomatoes or can of chopped tomatoes
4 eggs
some yellow cheese (not necessary but great)
some salt and pepper
Bread/pitta (for ‘mopping’)

1. Cut the onion and fry in olive oil with halved garlic cloves.
2. Add the tomatoes the salt and pepper and simmer (about 5-7 min).
3. Once it’s all bubbling away, break 4 eggs into the mixture – if it’s hot enough, they should poach in the sauce.
4. When the eggs are cooked, you can add the crumbled cheese on top, waiting until it melts
5. Locate and throw out the garlic.

There’s something really satisfying about eating shakshuka by dipping bread into the mixture. I’ll call it ‘mopping’ for now (until I think of a slightly less gross term…)

You can add mushrooms, olives or peppers, hey – let your imagination run wild!

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If you thought “I’ve never heard of shakshuka, sounds a little odd to me”, just check out what they’re serving down at the Phantom’s MuchenTuchen:

‘America is Satan’ is a great strapline for a fast food joint, beats ‘I’m lovin’ it‘ hands down, eh?

This is a clip from ‘You don’t mess with the Zohan‘, almost definitely not as racist as it looks. Honest…

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Cold pasta with cousin Moni

Here’s an easy, delicious and quick cold pasta recipe, perfect for big dinners, buffets and picnics (well, it’s turning Spring, isn’t it?)

I made it with a kilo of pasta, and it went some way to feeding around 10 people (depending on appetites, you can usually go by 100-150g of pasta per person.)


1kg penne rigate pasta (‘tubes’)
3 packs of mozzarella
3 packs of cherry tomatoes
1 bottle of pitted green or black olives (unseasoned)
1 clove of garlic
Basil, salt and olive oil to taste

1. Cut the mozzarella, tomatoes and olives and mix together in a bowl with olive oil and some salt.
2. Cut up fresh basil (if you have it) or add some dried basil to the mix. Cut the garlic in half and add that too.
3. Leave to marinade (preferably at least half an hour).
4. Cook the pasta – make sure it’s ‘al dente’, ie not over-cooked – keep tasting it as it nears the predicted cooking time (usually around 8-10 mins.)
5. Drain the pasta, and run under lots of cold water (it’s important it cools down, so the cheese doesn’t melt when you add the sauce.)
6. Add a little more oil and basil to the sauce and mix it together.
7. Remove the garlic (if you can find it! Or else warn everyone – garlic looks remarkably similar to mozzarella!)
7. Mix the pasta and sauce, and bob’s your uncle!

Moni and I are second cousins, but I feel like we’re very closely related. My great-grandparents were also second cousins.

Not meaning to flatter myself here, but I’m sorry Cousin Moni, I’m just not ready for that kind of relationship.

You do make a mean cold pasta though.

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Sugar Puffs Vs. Spelt Popples – which is better?

honey-monster1Stupid question.

Everyone knows the honey monster wins everytime.

Still, spotting said ‘spelt popples’ in a local tofu emporium, I thought: “What the hell, can’t be all that bad?”

I should add I have fond childhood memories of sugar puffs, and was only allowed to eat them when I went to visit my grandparents up north (usually while watching kids TV classic Wackaday (another forbidden pleasure.)

LondonCooking Verdict:

The honey monster has nothing to fear from his vegan competitors.

Spelt popples are utterly bland, without a doubt more like styrofoam than anything else I’ve ever tasted.

Honey Monster Foods 1 – Amisa ‘Special Diet Nutrition’ – 0

More classic Sugar Puff ads, ooh… and buy the T-Shirt (you know you want to – it’s just £2, and for charidee, after all.)

On the other hand, the less said about Honey’s rap duet with Samanda (‘Honey Love’) the better.

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Devilled beans (for Sophie C.)

OK, this isn’t, but it’s come to LondonCooking’s attention that no matter how easy, simple, basic we try to make our recipes, some people (ie – my friend Sophie H., née C.) still won’t go anywhere near them.

With this in mind, here’s a recipe even the most fervent pulse or legume-dodger can make in about 5 minutes flat. No excuses, S.C.!


1 can baked beans
1 onion
Cumin, to taste

1. Chop the onion into small pieces and fry in a little oil.
2. When ready, add the beans, and cumin to taste.
3. You can put this on toast…duh!

If you’re really fancy, you could consider buying whole cumin seeds, and crushing them into powder yourself (let’s face it though, you’re making a baked bean curry. This isn’t going to happen.)

On an unrelated note, I see that the website URL (listed under ‘EXTREME BRANDABILITY’ – nice caps) is available for just $24,000 – bargain!

NB – ‘Brandability’ is definitely not a word. Whoever coined it needs a big slap.

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LondonCooking coins a new nickname for London (with a little help from Red Dwarf)

London Cooking’s raison d’etre is to serve you regular lashings of delicious, quick, healthy recipes (plus a little bar/pub/restaurant tips on the side.)

On the odd occasion, however, we like to veer off topic.

There was a piece in London-based newspaper the Economist lately on the various different nicknames the capital has earned over the years:

Manhattan-on-Thames, Londonistan and, lately Rekyavik-on-Thames, to name a few. But where does the Economist say our fair city is headed now? In essence:

‘London will simply resemble the less prepossessing city it was in the 1970s and 1980s, before the excesses and excitements of the New Labour epoch’

So, as we journey to the past (not necessarily a bad thing?) LondonCooking would like to suggest the following as a fitting, affectionate new nickname for ‘the big smoke’:


This links us to the classic episode of Red Dwarf in which the crew lands in an alternate London where everything plays out backwards. And as they too discover, it’s not all bad…

What do you think? Does the name fit? And will it stick?

It’s got to be more cheery than ‘the Abyss’, or ‘the Empire of Hunger’, right?

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