It’s the perfect time of year to cosy up on the sofa with one of Alex James’ winter warmers

THESE soups are quick and easy to prepare and to make, and – unlike most fast foods – you can enjoy them without suffering all that annoying ‘bad food’ guilt.

Here the Blur bassist and souper chef puts a fresh new spin on two traditional recipes.

Green Minestrone with shredded chicken

Serves 4

Kris Kirkham

Green minestrone with shredded chicken[/caption]

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Cals: 415

Sat fat: 4g

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
  • 1 small leek, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic (2 finely chopped)
  • Handful rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1.2L chicken stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 75g miniature soup pasta
  • 100g cavolo nero, finely sliced crosswise
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 4 slices sourdough

To serve:

  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated
  • Basil leaves
  1. Heat 2tbsp olive oil on a medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid. Add the onion, celery and leek and cook for 10 minutes until very soft, stirring throughout. Add the 2 cloves chopped garlic and the rosemary and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock, stir to combine then place the chicken breasts into the liquid. Put the lid on and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes to poach the chicken.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked through, carefully remove it from the liquid and place it on a chopping board. Use two forks to shred the meat, then add it back into the liquid.
  4. Tip the pasta into the soup, cook for 4 minutes before adding the cavolo nero and peas, and cook for a further 3 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Meanwhile, toast the sourdough, then drizzle with the remaining olive oil and rub the whole clove of garlic over the top.
  6. Season the soup to taste. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and top with the grated Parmesan and basil leaves. Serve with the garlic sourdough.

Pumpkin soup with poached eggs

Serves 4

Kris Kirkham

Pumpkin soup with poached eggs[/caption]

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Cals: 464

Sat fat: 18g

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Small piece ginger, grated
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 700ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 1 pumpkin (approx 1kg), peeled and flesh cubed
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 medium eggs

To garnish:

  • Chilli flakes
  1. Heat 2tbsp olive oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan with a lid. Add the onion and cook for 6 minutes until soft, stirring throughout. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and tip in the cubed pumpkin. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring a few times.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1tbsp oil on a medium-high heat in a small frying pan. Add the pumpkin seeds and cumin and stir for 3 minutes until the seeds are golden. Season, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. When the pumpkin is soft, remove from the heat and use a hand-held blender to blitz the soup until smooth. Season and keep warm.
  5. Heat a large saucepan of boiling water with the white wine vinegar. Once the water is boiling, turn it down slightly to more of a bubbling simmer. Carefully crack the eggs into the water and poach for 21/2 minutes until cooked but soft.
  6. Pour the soup into 4 serving bowls, Remove the eggs from the water using a slotted spoon and place one on top of each bowl of soup. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds and chilli flakes.


Las Falleras Red, £5, Marks & Spencer

  • Food styling: Liberty Fennell
  • Prop styling: Jenny Hodges
  • Stockist: Marks & Spencer (


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