Serves 4 as a starter

2 large onions
3 cups of firmly-compressed mallow leaves
2 cups gently-compressed coriander leaves
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 for sautéing the onions
3 cloves of crushed garlic
salt to taste – probably about 2 teaspoons
sourdough bread – stale is best

  1. Sauté the onions until tender in large saucepan.
  2. Wash the mallow leaves, then chop roughly. Add to the pot along with the stock and salt. Simmer until the mallow is very tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir through the chopped coriander. Allow to cool a little then puree until smooth* – ideally let the soup rest until the next day at this point.
  4. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Spoon a quarter of this mixture into each bowl immediately before serving, and then add the hot or cold soup. Top with torn chunks of stale toasted good sourdough, lots of cracked black pepper, and drizzle with more olive oil.

Variations: Don’t puree, but instead leave this as a chunky soup – you could add quartered small potatoes at the same stage as you add the mallow leaves. No coriander? Replace with more mallow, and then add toasted cumin seeds right before serving to add that extra flavor dimension.