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Warm Up With These Easy Winter Recipes

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

The time has come for us to gear up for colder weather, and with that of course comes the delicious, hearty meals that warm us up. If you are looking for some inspiration for what to serve up during winter - but don’t want to break the bank or spend hours in the kitchen - read on for three recipes that are sure to be winners in your home.

Hearty, tasty chicken soup

Chicken soup is great for winter. It’s easy to make and the ingredients are economical. It’ll warm you up and this is a soup that is known to help keep winter colds away. You can order most of the ingredients from Yebo Fresh, a Cape Town-based online retailer that delivers anywhere within 40km of the Cape Town CBD.


2 large onions, cut into slices

3 carrots, peeled and grated

3 sticks celery, washed and cut into small pieces

2 vegetable or chicken cubes

2,5 litres cold water

500g - 1 kg mixed chicken necks, livers and/or gizzards


Pepper to taste.


  • Saute onions in oil until they become translucent. Add celery sticks (not leaves) that have been cut into thin slices/rounds.

  • Peel and grate carrots. Add to pot.

  • Add cold water.

  • Add chicken necks, gizzards, livers.

  • Add celery leaves.

  • Bring to the boil.

  • Allow to boil until chicken is cooked through. About 45 minutes to one hour.

  • Add more stock and/or salt to taste.

“The quantity of chicken pieces is up to you,” says Faith Depa, Head of Customer Experience at Yebo Fresh. “If you add more chicken pieces, this can be served as a meal, rather than just a soup starter.”

Comforting Shepherd's pie

Cottage Pie. Photo: Maria Polna
Photo: Maria Polna

This recipe is courtesy of Chef Zola at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront. Ideal for cold, gloomy days when you need a comforting pick-me-up.


1kg beef mince

1 large chopped onion

2 tbsp tomato sauce

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

1 cup homemade beef stock or 2 cubes store bought

2 tbsp paprika

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

200g Cheese

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1/2 cup sour cream

800g potatoes for mash


  • Cook your beef mince and onion over medium heat until light golden brown. Add paprika, garlic, beef stock, and all the veggies, cover, and cook until vegetables are tender

  • Combine the cornstarch and 1/2 of water until well mixed, stir into the pot, let it boil over medium heat, keep stirring and cook until it's thick. Add your sour cream, salt, and pepper to taste

  • Mash your already boiled potatoes to create your mash. Chef’s tip: add a little butter to make it creamier.

  • Spread the mashed potato on top, sprinkle with cheese, bake until potatoes are well heated and cheese has melted. Grill until the cheese and mash peaks are golden brown - this creates a delicious crust.

The perfect sweet treat

One of South Africa’s most beloved chefs, Fatima Sydow, has become synonymous with comfort food that warms the soul. This recipe is a Sunday favourite among many in Cape Town - the koesister. With memories of her mother waking her up to a tray of tea and a bowl of warm, sugary koesisters, these delicious bites are perfect at any time of the day.


4 & ½ cups of cake flour

1 tsp of baking powder

10 grams of instant yeast

1 tbsp of caster sugar

3 tbsp of melted butter

1 tsp of salt

1 cup of soft mashed potatoes

3 tsp of naartjie peel powder or zest

1 & ½ tbsp of freshly grated ginger

1 tsp of mix spice

2 tbsp of aniseed

2 tsp of fine cinnamon

½ a tsp of ground cardamom seeds

1 & ½ cups of lukewarm water

1 large egg

3 cups of sugar

3 cups of water

5 pieces of stick cinnamon


  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Knead the dough for 10 minutes - the dough will be quite sticky so do not be tempted to add any more flour, just use some oil on your hands when kneading. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to rise for 90 minutes in a warm and dark area of your kitchen.

  • Next, knock down the dough and, using a little oil on your hands, shape little oblong shapes and deep fry in oil in a deep saucepan on a medium to high heat until brown on both sides. Remove from the oil.

  • To make the syrup, in a large saucepan, boil the water, sugar and cinnamon sticks until bubbling.

  • Dip the koeksisters into the warm sugar syrup and allow soaking for a minute. Using a slotted spoon place koesisters in a bowl and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.


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