coconut milk

tomato soup by Yasmin

8th November 2019

After being away from the garden for one month, I wasn’t sure what I would find on my return. Everything green was munched down by caterpillars, however, to my surprise, there were lots of cherry tomatoes hanging off dried skeleton branches and small but healthy bell peppers. I collected them all and made this comforting, nostalgic soup. Their flavour was enhanced by a month of neglect.

My daughter has been making her own version of this soup, it’s so simple and creamy, served with a big spoon of cooked barley.  The added coconut cream takes the edge off the acidity and softens the soup.

tomato soup by Yasmin

preparation – 35 mins

serves 2


2 Tbsp coconut oil

½ large fennel/2 sticks celery(70g), roughly chopped

½ medium/80g bell pepper, roughly chopped

few sprigs thyme

1 fresh bay leaf

400g/2½ cups cherry tomatoes

1 Tbsp tomato paste

¾ cup water

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ – ½ cup coconut cream

to serve


ghee/olive oil


1.   In a heavy-based pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil, fennel, bell pepper, thyme and bay leaf – fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.   Add in the whole cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, stir to combine, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3.   Add in the water, salt, jaggery and coconut cream, stir to combine.

4.  Remove the sprigs of thyme and bay leaf, then puree until smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasonings.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls with a spoon of cooked barley.  Garnish each with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves, a few rounds of pepper, and drizzle with coconut cream.

raspberry coconut ice cream & a childhood story

25th June 2015


My fondest memories are of eating bowls full of homemade ice cream.  My mother’s recipe was very different from this and was made with condensed milk and sugar, wickedly sweet.

When I was younger, we would spend our holidays in a hut on an island off the North Queensland coast. I call it a hut because that is what it was – corrugated iron walls and roof, wooden beams, a concrete floor.  It was an open plan with bunk beds lined up against one wall for us four girls and my parents to sleep in, and the kitchen and dining room on the other side. The windows were shutters held up by a wooden beam.

I remember coming in hot and thirsty from a day of rock-hopping, swimming, shell collecting or exploring, and sitting down to a cold bowl of homemade, sweet ice cream.  Replenished, we were up and out the door again.  The only way of getting to this island was by boat, and we would take all the supplies we needed for those two months, as there was no electricity or corner store.

We lived on fresh fish, oysters and crab caught and cooked over fires.  The light was by kerosene lamps, and we had two kerosene fridges to keep things cold.  In the later years, we had a generator.

Xmas was always spent with a large gum tree branch decorated with our own hand-made ornaments.  We had a rainwater tank that supplied our water.  Our shower was a tin hanging from the ceiling my parents would fill from the top.  To release the water from the holes made from nails, you pulled a wire lever and the water emptied. It was barely enough time to clean yourself. The hottest part of the day was spent climbing the enormous boulders and lying in its shade, watching and making shapes in the clouds.  Late afternoon was spent sitting on the beach after the tide went out, sifting through the mounds of shells washed in from the ocean, bagging them up to take home.

This ice cream reminded me of those holidays.  It was such a wonderful place where man and technology had not yet spoiled its beauty and peace. Today, there is electricity on the island, but much remains unspoiled.

IMG_8781IMG_8831 IMG_8774IMG_8776IMG_8829 IMG_8830

Cape Upstart Bay, North Queensland Australia

(I am the younger one, then my sisters Donna, Shelley and oldest, Kerry)


When making ice cream, a blender or food processor is necessary.  If you have an ice cream maker, follow the directions for use.  If you are like me and do not own one, making ice cream without a machine is possible.  It just needs a bit more time and work, and the results come out slightly less creamy but oh-so delicious.

a few tips 

  • Ensure all ingredients are cold before blending and freezing – this helps achieve a good texture.
  • To achieve a rich and creamy texture, it is very important to add fat.  Full-fat coconut milk and nut butter are a great addition to an ice cream mixture.
  • Covering the bowl or container in the freezer is essential to prevent ice crystals from forming.
 raspberry coconut ice cream

Serves 4 – 6

Inspired by this site  (I ended up buying their ice-cream e-book – for a lot more future ice-cream making!)

This was my first attempt at making ice cream, and I must admit I was surprised at how straightforward and easy it was and how delicious the result was.  A perfect welcome to these warmer days. I usually need to try a recipe twice or more before I am content with the final outcome, but there was no need to with this one.  I added a lot of berries as the coconut taste comes through, and the texture balances between ice cream and sorbet.  You could use this as a base and replace it with any berry you would like.


1 can full-fat coconut milk (place the can in the fridge for an hour or overnight before using)

¼ cup liquid sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup) + 2 Tbsp – divided

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups frozen raspberries – divided

Line a loaf tin with waxed paper on the base and sides.


1.  Place the cold coconut milk, ¼ cup maple syrup, vanilla extract and 1 cup frozen raspberries in a blender until smooth.

2.  Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover and place the bowl in the freezer – mix with a fork or a small beater every half an hour for three hours.  When mixing, make sure you bring the frozen outer edges into the unfrozen middle.


3.  Just before the last stirring session, add 1 cup whole raspberries and gently stir into the ice cream mixture.

4. Pour the very cold berry mixture into the lined loaf tin for easier scooping.

5.  Place the remaining 1 cup frozen berries and 2 tablespoons maple syrup into the blender or food processor – blend until smooth, then pour this onto the ice cream mixture.

6.  Swirl through with a fork, tightly cover with cling film and place in the freezer until frozen (3 – 4 hours).  Allow to thaw for 15 – 20 minutes before serving.


Goodness shared by Stacey

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