Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food And Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero

Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero

Welcome to Carol’s Cookery Column where taste and nutrition go hand in hand and can be cooked in a trice…

Soup can be eaten whatever the weather as a starter or as a snack even as a main meal if it is a substantial one served with lots of fresh crusty bread or with the addition of rice or noodles as it is served here…

I know for many of you… Autumn is here which although often brings some lovely sunny days it turns a tad cooler in the evenings….

However for those of us (me) who are experiencing warmer weather soup is eaten a lot here and is a staple in the Thai diet…think Thai chicken noodle soup or Tom Yum…it seems that no matter what the weather many people enjoy a bowl of soup…Don’t you???

Soup can also be so quick to make when we are busy and these two recipes I am giving you today are filling, tasty and nutritious…

Soup has gone through many revivals over the years I remember my mother making soup from chicken or turkey carcasses or as a treat we had Heinz tomato soup…

This saw an increase of packets and cans of soups of many varieties and tastes some memorable and some best forgotten…

Then came the gourmet soups along with of course a higher cost to the consumer….Some very tasty…

But I think this also prompted a revival amongst cooks to recreate these in their own kitchens and we have been treated to some marvellous soups from around the world…Ingredients we have never tried or thought to add to our soups but it has opened up a whole new world of soups.

The base for many soups is tomatoes and herbs…I always use fresh tomatoes as they are plentiful here and anything imported is expensive. I avoid canned foods where possible as leaching is a concern of mine…But if you use canned then that’s fine. I use fresh herbs where possible, but also dried when required. So again use what herbs you have, and in the quantities that you like, as obviously dried herbs have a stronger flavour so less are required.

Also personal taste comes into the equation…

I do tend to use tinned beans, as I have a problem, that however I cook them, soaked overnight, without added salt and cooked well covered in water, they are never as soft as the tinned varieties…I don’t have a pressure cooker so maybe that is the way to go in the future.

Both these soups are tasty and quick to make…

Cannellini Bean Soup with Cavolo Nero…

Cavolo Nero is a very dark green cabbage with a nutty flavour it is rich in nutrients, with high levels of iron and vitamins A and C, however although it has similar properties to regular kale it has a softer taste but any dark cabbage can be substituted. Cavolo Nero is also known as Italian Kale regular curly Kales tall, dark cousin…


• 250 gm cavolo nero
• 2 x 400 gm tins chopped tomatoes or finely chop 800 gm fresh tomatoes
• 400 gm tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• A large bunch of fresh mixed herbs, picked to include rosemary, thyme, basil, dill or any herbs of your choice.

I always use far more herbs than any recipe recommends as we love food which is heavy on the herbs but of course you don’t want to overpower the taste of the lovely Cavolo Nero…

Let’s Cook!

  1. Saute the garlic being careful not to burn then add your tinned or fresh tomatoes season with salt and pepper bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer…
  2. If using tinned chopped tomatoes then add a can of water. If using fresh tomatoes squeeze out some of the pips and finely chop the flesh.
  3. Roughly chop the cabbage leaves and add to the pan with your fresh herbs…If you don’t fresh herbs then add some dried mixed herbs and or some oregano. Partially cover and simmer gently for about 15 mins or until the tomatoes have reduced and the cabbage is tender…
  4. Add your cannellini beans and cook for a further few minutes to warm the beans through.
  5. Check the seasoning and adjust if required.
  6. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with some olive oil to serve…Chilli oil is also quite nice…
  7. Sometimes I also add a little crumbled feta or blue cheese…
  8. This serves 3-4 people depending on serving size.


My next quick soup uses smoked mackerel fillets…which have had the skin removed and any little bones and just break into large pieces.

Smoked Mackerel and Tomato Soup…


• 200 gm smoked mackerel fillets either plain or if you like a spicier soup then peppered mackerel fillets add a touch more spice.
• 4 Tomatoes
• 1 lemongrass stalk very finely chopped
• 2 in piece of galangal finely diced
• 4 shallots finely chopped
• 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
• 3 tbsp thick tamarind juice made by mixing tamarind paste with warm water.
• Small bunch of green onions or chives to garnish
• 4 cups of fresh vegetable stock
• ½- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
• 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
• 1 tsp light brown sugar

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out most of the seeds then finely dice the flesh and set to one side.
  2. Add the stock to a large pan and add the garlic, galangal, lemon grass and shallots. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the remainder of the ingredients and simmer for 4-5 minutes until both the fish and the tomatoes are heated through.
  4. This soup serves 3-4 serving depending on portion size…
  5. Serve garnished with the green onions or chives either as it is or with noodles for a more substantial meal…

Two lovely soups which are quick and easy to make…Enjoy!

We are definitely coming into soup season and have stock pot on the go all the time.. I had not thought of adding smoked mackerel but will do so in the future.. thanks to Carol for another great idea to jazz up everyday favourites.

 ©Carol Taylor 2019

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes:

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

26 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food And Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…weekly roundup…Health, Recipes and more…so much more… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2…weekly roundup…Health, Recipes and more…so much more… | Retired? No one told me!

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Jazz, Winter Soups, Chocolate, New books, reviews and funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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