Sunday 11 September 2011

The Madhouse creates a potential New Covent Garden Soup of the month !

I received an email that made me smile last week, as well as get my culinary thinking cap on. It was from the lovely George from New Covent Garden Soup who said : "I was checking out your blog and saw that you seem to be a bit of a food supremo and that there might be a chance that you’d like to help us come up with the next Soup of the Month recipe to hit the shops. Every month we’re running a different theme for people to use as inspiration for their recipes and this month it’s Valentine’s Day (I’ll spare you the details of why it takes 6 months to get the flavour from your head to the supermarket shelves – unless of course you really want to know - if so get in touch!). So back to Valentine’s Day. We want recipes dedicated to love. It could be inspired by the cuisine of the world’s most romantic places, made with the most potent aphrodisiacs or simply a recipe that your one true beloved would die for."

Well, having reviewed (and thoroughly enjoyed) many a variety of New Covent Garden soup here at The Madhouse, how could I turn down a plea like that ? After a bit of thinking, I've come up with :

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot Spicy Nacho Soup

500g minced beef
splash of olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
1 red pepper, roasted and peeled
500g roasted cherry tomatoes, squished through a colander if you have the patience
200g mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp Mexican seasoning
1 tsp chilli flakes
250g red kidney beans, presoaked and cooked
20cl crème fraiche
150g tortilla chips, crushed

In a large pan (or slow cooker), gently fry the garlic and onions in a little olive oil, stir in the minced beef and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until it's browned all the way through. Add the finely diced carrot and lower the heat.

Add the previously roasted cherry tomatoes and red pepper, as welll as the red kidney beans, stir in the Mexican seasoning and chilli flakes and allow to gently bubble away for 1  hour (topping up the water levels if necessary from time to time).

Just before serving, add the crème fraîche, crushed tortilla chips and cheese then blitz with a handheld blender, making sure you still leave it slightly lumpy.

New Covent Garden is offering its favourite bloggers the chance to become some of the first to enter the new ‘People’s Soup’ competition launching this month on the new brand website - All entries will go through to the main People’s Soup competition, where your soup recipe masterpieces will be judged by the New Covent Garden chefs and experts. The winning recipe could become a 2012 Soup of The Month. Imagine seeing your recipe on supermarket shelves across the nation – you will even get your face and name on pack!

I've added my recipe here ( so feel free to come over and give us a vote of confidence, as well as enter your own recipe ! Leave us a link in the comments box so we can check out your ideas too.

For more information or to enter, visit

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. sounds lovely - i love mexican food!

  2. Oh my gosh! I would SO buy your new flavour - our family love Covent Garden Soup!! If I could I would vote for you for sure! Haha! :)



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