For anyone looking to act on a New Year's resolution to eat a little healthier, Mat Follas of Poundbury's Bramble Café and Deli shares a healthy soup recipe with us...

My favourite January days start crisp and clear, a frost in the morning and a hint of warmth by lunchtime to tempt us out ... only to chase us into our favourite café to warm up when we realise the sun's heat was only superficial!

This time of year makes us reflect, after time with family, on what is important to us, resolutions are made and we try to make this year a better one than last.

This can be a lonely time for many, so pop in on relatives or pick up the phone, five minutes of your time will mean so much to your loved ones.

One of my resolutions last year was to lose a little weight, a pound a month was my goal and I achieved about 10 pounds off over the year ...

I'm going to see if I can repeat this in 2019 which will get me close to my target weight, nice and steady for me, a few less crisps and fatty meals, a little bowl of fruit for snacking and meals like this month's recipe when I feel like a treat.

This Rockpool soup is a dish I often use at weddings and events, as it can be prepared and plated ahead of time and the drama of pouring a steaming hot 'pool' of liquid at the table gives the dish real drama and fun.

This dish should be reminiscent of childhood holidays spent rock pooling at the beach. Have fun with the presentation. Instead of squid, you could use razor clams or winkles, or even a crab claw. Buy dried seaweed online or at good delicatessens.





400g live surf clams

4 small squid or 2 large squid (cleaned & sliced)

800g mussels (cleaned and de-bearded)

60g dried seaweed

200g fresh samphire

200ml white wine

1L clear fish stock

2 large onions (finely diced)

4 cloves garlic (finely sliced)

50g parsley

4 green chillies (finely sliced)

Unsalted butter

Pinch of sea salt


To rehydrate the dried seaweed, place in a bowl of cold salty water in the fridge for two hours. Trim off any thick or coarse pieces and discard.

Put the clams and mussels into a hot saucepan, then add the white wine, cover and steam them until they have just opened.

Strain, reserving the liquid. Remove surf clams from their shells. Put the clams and mussels to one side.

Gently fry the onion and garlic in the butter until they are fragrant and translucent.

Add the parsley, chillies, fish stock and reserved clam liquid, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with sea salt, then strain to leave a clear, pale green liquor, or consommé.

Place the squid in a hot dry frying pan and cook for 30 seconds, turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add a quarter of the consommé, clams and mussels, then cover.

To serve, heat four bowls. Dress each bowl with the seaweed and samphire, then add the squid, clams and mussels.

You can either add the hot consommé to the bowls and serve, or for a more dramatic effect, put the consommé in small jugs and pour into the bowls at the table.