Nostalgia is a strange thing and it was only my time spent at the Fat Duck that really made me appreciate the link between nostalgia and food. Although I live in UK now, I am from Cape Town and grew up in Johannesburg. Winters were bitterly cold in Joeys, and there was no such thing as central heating to help you through those months. Soups were standard and my favourite one was a creamy tomato soup my mother made (from a packet!). I attempted a homemade one the other day and was delighted that it was just how I remember (even better that I knew exactly what went into it). Its a hefty 9.8g carbs per cup, but worth it since its so filling and moreish. I used the gluten-free Knorr chicken stock pots, but you can use your own homemade chicken broth for an even cleaner soup.
You wouldn’t think that such simple ingredients could create a soup that would pack such a punch like this one can – and its all thanks to the Poles who brought us delicious Kielbasa (a smoked sausage found in the deli meat aisle; for my South African readers, these are what we have come to know and love as ‘Russians’.) This recipe is a great example of what we refer to as Dirty Keto: it’s a low-carb soup (only 10g carbs per hearty bowl), but the small amount of wheat and soy found in the sausages are considered highly frowned upon with the keto police. And they are correct: wheat is inflammatory and the Kielbasa itself is a processed meat. However, if you are flexible to give this a go on your low-carb journey, you will love the homely, hearty flavours.
Backpacking around Vietnam with Funnyman in 2010 was one of our best holidays ever! I recall having pho bo (pronounced “fuh” – not “foo” or “foh”) for the first time in Hanoi – and I was blown away! I happily slurped it down numerous times as we travelled from north-to-south over those 3 weeks! Now, many years later and hardcore into my low-carb lifestyle, I wanted to relive those awesome memories. I created a quick 15-minute low carb pho bo using the (konjac / shirataki) ‘noodles‘ from the UK company Eat Water’s range to make it low-carb friendly. I LOVE THIS.
Inspiration for this courgette and brie soup recipe came from my darling friend, Little Debbie Bryson who makes something similar at her sop-en-dop* birthday party every winter in Cape Town. Since moving to UK, I have sadly missed so many of them. This is for you LDB, I know it doesn’t compare to yours – but I slurped my version up with a longing lump in my throat. The recipe makes two hearty bowls, filling enough as a main meal, but you could make it stretch to 4 servings and enjoy it as a late-afternoon light meal (cup-of-soup) and halve the macros accordingly..