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Crayfish Tomato Soup with a Herb Forest

Crayfish Tomato Soup with a Herb Forest

This is unlike any tomato soup you have ever eaten. This is silken, smooth, and packed with heady flavour. I had the rare opportunity to go out onto Lake Naivasha to catch the crayfish myself. It was so still and beautiful out on the lake. So quiet and calm. Back in the kitchen, it was a revelation, cooking with the fresh catch, and experiencing the nutty flavour impact various dishes. If you don’t have fresh crayfish where you are, feel free to use shrimps, or perhaps even brown shrimps, to attempt to capture the character and dimension you need for this dish.


For the Soup:

4 cans (400g each) plum peeled tomatoes, blended

2 leeks, thinly sliced

6 cloves garlic

2 tsp smoked salt

2 tsp paprika

4 tbsp olive oil

½ cup stock


For the Crayfish: 

1kg crayfish, shelled

1 tsp fine sea salt

½ tsp cumin

Squeeze of lemon

50g butter

1 tsp garlic powder


For the Herb Forest:

1 big handful of coriander

1 big handful of parsley

1 big handful basil 

A few mint leaves

6 cloves garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

Squeeze of lemon juice

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp salt



  1. Start with the tomato soup. Blend the tomatoes and garlic together. 
  2. Heat up the olive oil in a pot and add the leeks. Let them soften and then add the blended tomatoes to the pot. Season with the smoked salt and paprika and then pour on the stock. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer gently until the soup is cooked, usually about 30 minutes. 
  3. While the soup is cooking, begin on the prawns. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Once it is bubbling, and almost pale nutty brown, add the crayfish. 
  4. Season with garlic powder, cumin, lemon and sea salt and cook on medium heat. After about 5 minutes the crayfish should be done and you can turn off the heat and set aside.
  5. Finally, make the herb forest.  Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until a uniform finely chopped texture is achieved. Pour this in a bowl and set aside. 


This recipe is from Season 1 Episode 11 of Minjiba Entertains, commissioned by The Africa Channel and showing on RealTime DSTV Channel 155, Emirates in-Flight Entertainment, Amazon Prime, and Demand Africa. 


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