Snert (Split Pea Soup)

I bet you could win over many a Dutch person with Snert. Snert (with an e as in elephant) is one of those fantastic winter-warming soups synonymous with icy weather and skating in the Netherlands. (Rather like in Britain where parched peas, treacle toffee, bonfires, and fireworks are synonymous with Guy Fawkes night on November 5th.) […]

Peruvian-Style Aguadito Soup with Coriander

Sometimes we are invited to Peru where Ryusho Sensei and his family live. It’s also the home of Zen River Lima who organise an annual event for Tenkei Roshi. They often invite us to do some sightseeing before flying home so this time we found ourselves staying in a lodge overlooking the Amazon! Over breakfast […]

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

After preparing a little too much cauliflower for lunch, what on earth was I going to do with the rest of it? Soup? Apparently so. We live in the The Netherlands after all and cauliflower is a happy staple that smiles at you all year round. Rather than bond it with a roux sauce – […]

Water Melon Gazpacho

An international favorite this one was. Not just because of the taste but because the colour was blooming amazing. The August heatwave was still in full throttle so a chilled soup was most definitely in order. Sitting zazen in the sweltering heat for sesshin were participants from twelve nationalities, including quite a few members from […]

Courgette Soup

It’s summer time, it’s hot and dry, and the sky refuses to rain. All the potential storms keep missing the garden. Even our new cat is taking shelter under my desk as it’s the coolest place in the house. (Although he might still be feeling a little shy.) In spite of the heat, standing over […]

Burdock Root Soup

“Ah, monastery soup!” exclaimed Shuho-san.  It does indeed taste like soups served in Japanese training temples. The signature flavour of this recipe is burdock, a long skinny root that grows wild in Europe but has seemingly fallen out of culinary use. In the UK it is more commonly known as a fizzy beverage; Dandelion & Burdock or […]

Tomato Basil Soup

Chorba Vegetable Soup

Always searching for different soups to serve in oryoki, I stumbled upon this one. Chorba is a lovely spiced soup that comes in infinite variations all across the Balkans, North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. This is a vegetarian version, of course. Sadly I didn’t have any vermicelli, but […]

Beet & Apple Soup

In 1991, we vacated the Zen Center in Bar Harbor US with the intention to help Kanzeon Sangha and Genpo Roshi set up an international Zen Center in Europe. Each of us carried a large cardboard box filled with inventory and delivered it to Brussels. While waiting for the next step we, along with several other sangha members, travelled to Poland to a beautiful grand […]

Cold Melon Summer Soup

Cold Melon Summer Soup came about after having recently tasted something like this in Alicante.  Marisa and the Zen River Madrid group had invited me to join them for a couple of days and Baruc had prepared it for a late lunch. It was divine; a sort of Ajo Blanco. The recipe intrigued me, almost as much as it […]