Salmon and Brown Rice Soup

Comforting, wholesome, heart-warming bowl food – that is what this dish is about. It is unfussy, easy and pretty good for you – no washing up and ready within 20 minutes. We love this sort of cooking, a pot bubbling away on the stove while you potter about at the end of a long day before curling up in the arm chair with a decent glass of red wine and putting on a movie. It is feel good food. Food to nourish you from inside out. The concept of bowl food is a lovely one, Georgina Hayen’s book Stirring slowly is dedicated to it. The book celebrates foods power to restore, revive and rejuvenate and the process of cooking, as much as the eating. It is nice to think that comfort food doesn’t have to be a burger or a 4 cheese pizza but it can be good for you. You don’t have to feel guilty, you can sit back and fully enjoy every moment. Meals should be that way, we all live pretty hectic lives in London, rushing around from meeting to meeting, being squished on the tube or nervously waiting in terrible traffic, grabbing a sandwich if we have time and eating on the go. To be able to come home and have a moment to yourself, to shut out the noise of beeping taxis and to switch off before bed with a delicious bowl of something warming – nothing is more important for this. If you can achieve this then you are well on the way to a happy, balanced life. This dish is a good one for kids too, a decent weeknight dinner and don’t feel that you need to add the egg, it is just as good without. If you are unsure on making a good poached egg then you can just make a soft-boiled egg and peel it – a safer option.


    Serves 2 large bowls or 4 small 

    Knob butter 
    1 leek, shopped 
    3 garlic, chopped 
    1 fennel, chopped 
    100g brown rice 
    1 large glass white wine 
    750ml chicken or vegetable stock
    3 bay leaves 
    450g salmon, chopped into large chunks
    small bunch of dill, chopped
    juice and zest of 1 lemon
    salt and pepper

    green sauce-
    4 tbsp crème fraiche 
    1 tbsp olive oil
    small bunch parsley
    small bunch dill
    small bunch chives
    handful watercress 
    1 lemon zested, half juice
    1 garlic 
    salt and pepper

    2 – 4 eggs (depending on how many you are serving)
    1 tsp white wine vinegar


1. Make the green sauce. 2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the leek, garlic and fennel, sauté for 5 minutes till starting to caramelise, add the rice and coat in the mixture. Pour in the wine and the stock and add the bay leaves, place the lid on and cook for about 15 minutes (check the timings on the rice packet). When just about cooked add in the salmon, cover and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, till just cooked. Take off the heat, season and carefully stir in the dill and the lemon juice. 3. For the green sauce- simply blitz everything in a blender until smooth. Season to taste. 4. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add the vinegar, crack an egg and add to the water and poach for a few minutes, remove and add to a bowl of cold water, repeat for the rest of the eggs. 5. Divide the mixture between the bowls, drizzle over the green sauce and add a poached egg, season with salt and pepper and dust with a little lemon zest and serve.