Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Old Fashioned Pea & Ham Soup

On a cold winters night all you need is a bowl of hot soup to keep you warm! This pea & Ham soup is so nutritious, you won't want for more.

Ps: This soup needs to be made a day in advance, so don't get home from work and try and rustle up this soup, it is cooked in the old fashioned way - patiently and gently. The quickest route is in a pressure cooker.

Old Fashioned Pea & Ham Soup

500 g dried peas
1 Smoked Hock
2 Big Potatoes
4 Celery Sticks
5 Leeks
2 Onions
Salt and Pepper

How to make it

Soak the peas overnight - drain them and rinse with cold water until the water is clear.
Chop the onions and celery.
Peel the potatoes and chop into little blocks.
Heat your pot and add a lump of butter.
Lightly fry the chopped onions, then the leeks and then the  celery - fry until almost soft.
Add potatoes, drained peas, the whole Hock on the bone, 3 liters of water - salt and black pepper.
Gently boil for about 2 hours until the meat is soft- add more water if needed.

(NOTE: If you are using a pressure cooker, bring to pressure for about 10 minutes. Switch off - and go to work or do your shopping. When you come back open the pressure cooker and everything will be soft and ready - we much prefer that, you really don't have 2 hours to watch a pot!)

When the meat and peas are soft, you are ready to go.
Remove the meat from the pot - let it cool and them remove fatty bits for your dogs.
Chop the rest of the meat off the bone in small chunks and keep separate.

Liquidize the rest of the soup until it becomes a lovely smooth texture.
Re-heat and add more water if you don't like it thick.
Test your seasoning and add more salt and pepper.
Add chopped smoked hock and stir through whilst heating - just heat, do not boil.

Serve with herbed croutons, garlic bread or fresh brown bread.
Garnish with fresh green peas or just croutons.

  • You can buy croutons, or make your own - it is as easy as pie. (Heat oven to 180 degrees. Take sliced bread, white or brown. Slice of crusts, and cube. Put bread in flat oven pan - grind salt over, sprinkle with dried parsley or any dried herb you fancy. Drizzle with olive or cooking oil and bake. Toss every now and then. Keep your eye on the oven - one moment they are white the next moment they are black! Takes about 10 minutes. When the cubes are golden brown - remove and serve with your soup. Can be made in advance, and kept in airtight container.)
  • Pea Soup freezes very well. Freeze small containers for another chilly night.
  • Smoked Hock we normally find at Seemans’s, or ask your butcher. You can also use the Smoked Pork Steaks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grating Pretty

There are many reasons why I love my fiancé… And one of them has to be his impeccable taste when it comes to kitchen appliances. I was spoilt with this stunning Eva Solo Grating Bucket – so pretty there is no need to hide it in your cupboard when guests arrive!

Not only is it fabulous to look at but super practical too. No more veggie juices running all over your kitchen top or bits of grated cheese sticking to everything. It even serves as a bowl for a freshly grated mixed salad!

For more inspiring Danish design, visit

PS I want EVERYTHING on their site! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Feast

What better way to celebrate our amazing Dads than with a Sunday Roast? The fiancé and I treated our parentals to a three course meal, starting off with Duck Liver Mousse served with sweet and sour cherries (recipe below). We just love kitchen gadgets, and one of our newest additions is a cook’s syringe that we filled with a rosemary and garlic sauce and injected into a Lamb Roast – sublime! Dessert was a yogurt Panna Cotta with citrus jelly, the perfect subtly sweet end to a great meal.

Cheers to our fantastic Fathers!

Best Roast Lamb ever! 

After-lunch Cognac

Duck Liver Mousse with Sweet & Sour Cherries


Yogurt Panna Cotta (before we added the citrus jelly)

Duck Liver Mousse with Sweet & Sour Cherries
Serves 6 - 8


500g Duck Livers (cleaned and trimmed)
6 Tbls Butter
1 Shallot, finely chopped
3 Tbls Sherry
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp White Pepper
125ml Thick or Double Cream

1 Can pitted Sweet Cherries
250ml White Wine Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
4 Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
5 Black Peppercorns
2 Star Anise

How to make it

Duck Liver Mousse
Sauté shallot in 1Tbls butter over a low heat until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
Melt another Tbls butter in the same pan and sear Duck Livers over a high heat, about 90 seconds on each side (they must still be pink on the inside).
Add the Sherry and flambé.
Combine the Duck Livers and Shallot in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Tip mixture into a sieve and gently press the mixture through with the back of a wooden spoon. Scrape the bottom of the sieve and add to the bowl.
Soften 4 Tbls of butter and add to the mix. Season with the salt and pepper, set aside to cool.
Whip the cream until it forms peaks and fold into the liver mixture.
Cover tightly with cling film (to prevent discolouration) and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with cherries and Melba toast.

Sweet & Sour Cherries
Drain cherries but reserve water and set aside.
Add cherry juice, vinegar and spices to a pan and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Combine Cherries, liquid and spices in a jar and refrigerate until needed (this should preferably be done a week in advance for optimal flavour, but a minimum of 5 hours will do)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vaal River Team Building with North-West University

Last week we hosted a delightful team building day for the Faculty of Economic & Management Sciences from the University of the North West.

Although the winter weather on the Vaal River didn’t exactly ‘play nice’, we warmed up around wood burning fires sipping on Gluhwein and hot coffee. The morning kicked off with tummy fillers like mini Feta & Spinach Frittatas, Bacon & Cheddar Pitas and Meringues. After settling in, the team participated in a Sushi rolling demonstration, and we have to say that they made sushi like pros!

The rest of the afternoon was filled with Soup, Chicken Curry and Rose Martinis, and the bad weather even cleared up enough for our guests to meander around the property and spend some time by the outside fire. After wrapping up their day with a river cruise, we are sure that all our guests went home with full tummies and loads of new ideas for the kitchen.

Thanks to all of you for a wonderful day - you guys were a great group!



Monday, June 13, 2011

A LekkerBek Wedding

So where do LekkerBekke host an intimate wedding party where the focus is on superb food and carefully selected wines?

Roots Restaurant at Forum Homini Boutique Hotel in the Cradle of Humankind. 

We were treated to one of the most memorable meals I have ever eaten at Roots a few weeks ago. The menu included Salmon & Apple Tartar, Melon & Cucumber Soup, Smoked Foie Gras, Duck Bobotie and Beetroot Sous Vide Fillet – it was so good that we decided to host our wedding there in 2012.

Roots has won numerous awards over the past few years, including being in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa for the fourth year running.

We can’t wait to treat our guests (and ourselves J) to an extraordinary culinary experience!


Nothing like planning a wedding with a bottle of bubbly :) 

WOW food!

The Venue

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beer, Braai & Biltong for Dad

There is nothing that South African men love more than Beer, Biltong and Braai! So celebrate the special dad in your life with these gift baskets, perfect for Father’s Day on Sunday 19 June.

Baskets start from R160.00 – R320.00, click here for more info.