Soup is one of those things that everyone loves. What’s not to love about velvety deliciousness and fresh bread?

This roast tomato and cannellini bean soup is as close to perfection in soup as you can get. The tomatoes add a robust depth and the beans make it creamy.  This also makes it ideal for either a starter or a light mid-week meal. You can serve it as is, or pep it up as we did here with buffalo mozzarella and basil pesto.


Roast Tomato and Cannellini Bean soup  with melting mozzarella and pesto

For 6 portions


1 x bag ripe tomatoes

2 x whole garlic cloves

3 – 4 sprigs of thyme

1 x red onion

1 x tin cannellini beans (drained)

1 x lt chicken stock

250 ml dry wine


To serve

Mini mozzarella balls

Basil pesto


Roast tomatoes halves with olive oil , salt and pepper, garlic cloves and thyme

Cook red onion ( roughly chopped) in a little olive oil until soft

Peel hot tomatoes and add to onion

Add the tin of drained and rinsed beans

Add the chicken stock

Add wine

Taste and season accordingly


You can add a little fresh chili, if you want a bit of heat




  • Heat soup bowls
  • Spoon in the soup
  • Drop one mozzarella ball into soup
  • Garnish with teaspoon of pesto
  • Serve quickly with toast or warm bread


Scones with jam and cream are an enduring favourite. This particular recipe takes a few minutes to whip up and only produces 6 scones – more than enough for an easy afternoon or breakfast treat. Serve them with double thick cream and a berry jam.

on plate


Makes 6

 225g self-raising flour

½ tsp salt

55g butter

30g caster sugar (to make cheese scones, replace with 30g grated mature cheddar, and only use half the butter)

150ml milk

1 egg, beaten, to glaze

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. flour a baking sheet
  2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl
  3. Rub in the softened butter to resembles breadcrumbs. Add sugar if using, or cheese
  4. Make a deep well in the flour, and pour in the milk. Mix to a soft spongy dough with a knife.
  5. Knead the dough very lightly on a floured surface until just smooth. Roll of press out to 2.5cm thick and stamp into rounds with a pastry cutter.
  6. Brush the scones with beaten egg and bake at the top of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and well-risen.
  7. Serve warm or leave to cool on a wire rack

Above_with jam

Mother’s day is coming up and every mum loves (and deserves) flowers. Some people, though, aren’t quite sure where to begin when making an arrangement. We got our resident floral expert, Heidi, to share her tips to help you put together a beauty of a Mother’s Day bouquet.

Working with a budget?

Different mums like different flowers and first you’ll need to think about what you would like to spend  and then choose flowers accordingly. The cost of a bouquet is very dependent on the flowers you choose, some bunches of blooms are a R120-00 a bunch and others not such pretty flowers are R29-00 a bunch. So, a medium sized bouquet with nice flowers could cost between R200-00 and R400-00

Bouquet 4

What to choose?

To make a bouquet special, always choose flowers and colours that complement each other and either wrap them in cellophane or brown paper and tie a beautiful silk ribbon around it.

If you use roses or lilies as your focal flower, you can’t go wrong. We can always get beautiful roses and lilies, because they are often imported from places like Kenya. We are just coming to the end of Hydrangea season and they are always so beautiful, the colours are spectacular and range from Sky Blue, Mauve, Deep Pink, Baby Pink and Snow white ones. The tulips at the moment are absolutely stunning!!


Forever lasting

If you want them to last for ages think about including some Stargazer lilies, roses, lisianthus and sprays last pretty well. Before buying check the stems and leaves. If the stems are soft and mushy, the flowers are old. And if the leaves are going brown and brittle then you know the flowers are old as well. With roses, the head (the flower) must be firm to the touch, not all soft when you squeeze it. Lilies that are still closed or about to open are the ones to buy.


Building your bouquet

Constructing a bouquet is not very easy, it takes a lot of practice. You need to lie the stems in one hand and then add flowers by crossing the stems, but you also need to keep looking at whether you have placed the correct flower next to the last one for a good visual effect.

On the other hand get the young men that work at the flower shop to make the bouquets for you, because they are brilliant!


This is Nikki’s recipe – she posted it on social media and everyone went crazy for it! Obviously banting has taken South Africa by storm. The LCHF diet advocated by Tim Noakes makes a lot of sense to some people and is incredibly easy to follow. Especially when you include delicious treats such as this banting cheesecake. When a diet involves cheesecake what’s not lo love?

full cake

Banting cheesecake


2 large eggs, beaten till frothy

½ cup almond flour

½ cup coconut flour

1/3 cup xylitol

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup water (use less or more – you are looking for a wet mixture that spreads easily)



750g cream cheese – 2 x 250g mascarpone, 1 x 250g low fat cream cheese

½ cup xylitol

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 large eggs



  • Place oven rack in centre position and preheat to 180 deg C
  • Grease a 28cm round springform tin with butter
  • Combine all crust ingredients except water and mix. Slowly add water until you have a spreadable mix. Pour into tin, spread and bake for 15mins
  • Cool for 5 mins
  • While base is cooking, beat cheese, xylitol and vanilla in mixer/with electric beaters until combines
  • Add eggs and mix until just smooth
  • Pour filling on cooled crust and bake for 40-60mins (longer for non-fan ovens) – centre must be just set
  • Cool for 30 mins, demould and refrigerate for 4 hours
  • Serve with berries and cream


April heading into May is always perfect weather here in Johannesburg. And there’s the added bonus of lots of public holidays and long weekends, which means family time. Long outdoor Sunday lunches are definitely called for. This grilled salmon with spice rub is definitely the dish for those times. It’s light (yet filling), easy and full of flavour.


 Grilled salmon with spice rub and lime chili cream

Spice rub

3 x tbsp olive oil
3 x tsp cumin powder

3 x tsp coriander powder

½ cup tightly packed chopped coriander

¼ cup mint

2 green chilies

1 tsp chopped garlic

6 fresh lime leaves chopped finely

2 tsp lime zest

Juice of 2 limes

2 chopped spring onions

Put all ingredients in a food processed and blitz for a minute.


1 x large side Scottish salmon

Smooth the paste over the fish allow to stand for up to 2 hours

Place under the grill for about 8 minutes.

Do not turn the fish.

Serve with chilli cream and baked potatoes.

Paste on fish

Chili Cream

1 cup good mayonnaise – I use the Hellman’s Low Fat (the Lite is too sweet)

¼ cup plain yoghurt

3 tbsp lime juice

5 tbsp chopped coriander

¼ peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber

1 chopped chili

Add a 1 tbsp of the rub from the fish

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tsp fresh lime zest

Juice of limes

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients


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