food, Recipes

Fennel-and-tomato soup with amagwinya

Graeme Wyllie


Amagwinya, also known as vetkoek, give this dish an awesome local flavour.

For the amagwinya 

2T sugar

10g instant dry yeast

750ml lukewarm water

5 cups all-purpose flour

2t salt

Parmesan, grated, for dusting

sunflower oil, for frying

For the soup

25ml olive oil

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1kg fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tin tomato purée

1T brown sugar


To make the amagwinya, mix the sugar and yeast with some lukewarm water and leave to foam. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt. Pour the yeast mixture into flour and knead. Keep adding water and knead until you have a bread-dough consistency. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover. Leave to rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.

Pour the oil into a frying pan to a depth of 3 to 4cm and heat to about 200°C. Divide the dough into golf-ball-sized balls and flatten slightly. Place two or three pieces of the flattened dough into the oil at a time. Fry each side until golden. While hot, toss the balls in grated Parmesan.

To make the soup, heat a pot and add oil, onion and fennel. Fry on medium until soft and slightly golden. Add garlic and fry for a minute. Stir in tomatoes, followed by tomato purée. Simmer for about 20 minutes and season. Add sugar and stir. With a stick blender, blitz the soup until slightly chunky in texture. Serve with warm amagwinya.

Originally published in HL August 2016

Recipes and Food styling by Khanya Mzongwana.