Warm the cockles of the heart with these delicious recipes.
BEAN SOUP WITH PARSLEY pictured on left below

200 g or 7 oz or 1 cup navy beans

1 onion     2 carrots    2 leeks    2 sticks celery
4 tabs. olive oil     sea salt, 7 black pepper
225g or 8oz or 1/2 lb tomatoes
1.5 litres or 2 1/2 pints or 6 1/4 cups chicken stock
6 tabs. chopped parsley

Before cooking, soak beans in water for 3 to 4 hours.  Using fresh unsalted water, cook them till tender, about 45 minutes.
Drain, reserving water.  Peel onion and carrots, leeks and celery.  Chop vegetables.  Heat oil in saucepan and cook onion till softened, add carrots, leeks, celery and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
Skin and chop tomatoes and add to other vegetables.  Cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes, then heat the stock and pour it on.  (if you do not have enough stock use some cooking liquid from the beans).
Bring to boil, and simmer for 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft.  Add beans and reheat.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in chopped parsley.
This will feed 6 to 8 people.

225 g or 8 oz or 1/2 lb  each of carrots and turnips
40 g or 1 1/2 oz or 3 tablespoons butter
1 litre or 1 3/4 pint or 4 1/4 cups chicken stock
seal salt and black pepper
2 tabs. sour cream
2 teas. ground coriander
1 teas. ground cumin
1 tabs. finely chopped coriander leaves.

Clean and slice carrots and turnips.  Heat butter in saucepan and stew carrots and turnips gently for 6 minutes, stirring now and then.  heat stock and pour it on to vegetables. Bring to the boil, add salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
Put through a coarse food mill and return to clean pan.
Reheat, adding more salt and pepper as needed, and stir in sour cream.  Add spices and chopped coriander leaves, mix well, and stand for 5 minutes before serving.
CELERY CONSOMME WITH LOVAGE (right in above photo)

1 large head celery,       lemon juice to taste
1.2 litres or 2 pints or 5 cups beef stock
sea salt and black pepper
2 tabs.  chopped lovage

Scrub celery and chop roughly, root, leaves and all.  Put in pan with cold stock and bring slowly to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until well flavoured.
Strain the stock and return to clean pan.  Reheat, adding salt and pepper (if desired), with a little lemon juice.
Stir in chopped lovage and stand, covered, for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.
TOMATO SOUP with Basil (left )

1 large mild onion, salt/pepper,
50 g or 2 oz or 1/4 cup butter
675 g or 1 1/2 lb tomatoes
600 ml or 1 pint or 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
pinch sugar
3 tabs. chopped basil.

Peel and chop onion.  Melt butter in saucepan and cook onion gently.  Add chopped & skinned tomatoes to onion.
Stir for few minutes in butter then pour on the heated
Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, adding salt, pepper and pinch of sugar.
Puree briefly in blender, or pass through a medium food mill.  Cool, and chill well.  10 minutes before serving, stir in chopped basil.
JELLIED CUCUMBER & MINT SOUP (pictured above left)

1 shallot     1 cucumber   salt & pepper
900 ml or 1 1/2 pts or 3 3/4 cups chicken stock
2  tabs lemon juice & lemon quarters to serve
1 packet gelatine         3 tabs. chopped mint

Chop and peel shallot finely.  Remvoe about half the skin of the cucumber and discard.  Grate remaining cucumber coarsely, squeezing out all juice.  Heat stock and cook the chopped shallot for 4 minutes.  Add grated cucumber and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in lemon juice.
Dissolve gelatine in a little of the stock; when dissolved, strain and return to rest of the soup.  Leave to cool.
When half-set, stir in the finely chopped mint.  Chill again.
To serve - spoon into cups and serve with lemon quarters.

(Its not meant to be a firm jelly)

100g or 4 oz or 1/2 cup lentils, red or brown
1.2 litres or 2 pints or 5 cups stock - veal, chicken or beef
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
100 g or 4 oz or 1/4 lb spinach beet, or silverbeet
sea salt and black pepper
50 g or 2oz or 1 1/2 cups chopped mixed herbs - sorrel, parsley,   chervil, tarragon, lovage and lemon thyme
juice of 1/2 small lemon
150 ml or 1/4 pint or 2/3 cup yogurt or buttermilk

Wash lentils and put in large pan with stock.  Bring to boil and simmer till soft - 30 minutes for red and about 45 minutes for brown.
Peel and chop onion.  Heat oil in frying pan (skillet) and saute onion till soft and golden, adding finely minced garlic halfway through. Wash spinach and cut in slices and add to lentils when soft, with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until spinach is cooked (about 8 minutes), then add onion/garlic and roughly chopped herbs. 
Simmer for a further 2 to 3 minutes, then cool slightly.  Puree in a blender and add a little lemon juice - about 1 tablespoon - and the yogurt/buttermilk.
Serve immediately.  This soup can be served cold.
This is part of a Cooking with Herb Recipes series. Be sure to check
out the other titles.
Series begun July 2000
revamped and upgraded 3 January 2004