Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Sorrel Soup

This is the sorrel soup from Rick Stein’s book, Secret France. It’s delicious and tastes just like soups we’ve had in France on our holidays, and are never quite sure what’s in them. We got bags of fabulously fresh sorrel from McNally Family Farm.

Sorrel soup – serves 4 to 6

  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 450g potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 litre chicken or veg stock
  • 250g sorrel
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp single cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onion, garlic, leek and potatoes. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes or until softened.

Add the stock and the sorrel and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Blend until smooth.

Season with salt and lots of black pepper, then stir in the honey. Serve in warm bowls with a drizzle of cream and the chives over the top.

(Original recipe from Secret France by Rick Stein, BBC Books, 2019.)

Read Full Post »

Green bean minestrone with fresh pesto

We make lots of pesto in the summer months and stash it in the freezer. Kids all love it and they seem to prefer vegetable soup with it too.

Green bean minestrone with fresh pesto – serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 70g pack cubetti di pancetta (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ l vegetable or chicken stock
  • 100g small pasta shapes, such as orzo or tiny letters
  • 150g green beans, cut into shortish pieces
  • 150g podded broad beans (frozen are fine)
  • 100g/4oz spring cabbage, shredded
  • 4 tbsp pesto

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then fry the onion ,garlic, carrot and celery, until softened but not browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Fry the pancetta in the same pan over a low heat until the fat renders, then fry until browned but not crispy. Tip the pancetta into a sieve to drain off excess fat.

Return the vegetables and pancetta to the pan and add the bay leaf, lots of seasoning and the stock. Bring to a simmer, then add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the green beans and broad beans to the pot and cook for 3 minutes, then add the shredded cabbage. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Spoon over the pesto before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Spicy fish soup

We often have fish on Fridays. It’s quick to cook and light enough that we’ve room for cheese afterwards. Mussels are a favourite too and they’re fantastic value. This soup by Nigel Slater is crammed with them, and full of flavour.

Wine suggestion:  an old favourite white wine, the always versatile ALLO by Quinta Soalheiro. Light bodied so it doesn’t overwhelm the delicate play of flavours in the dish, but textured and concentrated at the same time. A wine that is the sommeliers’ secret weapon for matching.

Spiced fish soup – serves 2

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, chuck any with broken shells or that don’t close when you give them a sharp tap
  • 2 large banana shallots, peeled and separated into layers
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g white fish fillet – we used hake – cut into 4 pieces
  • a handful of chopped coriander

Put the cleaned mussels into a large pan and add 500ml of water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook until the mussels have opened (a couple of minutes).

Remove the mussels from the liquid but keep the cooking water, you need to strain this through a fine sieve. Remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a deep frying pan, then fry the shallots over a gentle heat until softened. Add the mustard seeds, chilli powder and turmeric, and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour in the reserved mussel stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Lay the pieces of fish in the liquid and cook briefly until opaque (just a couple of minutes should do it). Return the mussels to the pan, season to taste with salt, and stir in the coriander.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

Read Full Post »

Mushroom, Cider & Blue Cheese Soup

We made this soup on the strangest St Patrick’s day ever. There was no parade, the restaurants have all closed down and city streets are virtually empty. There is lots of panic buying going on, the supermarket aisles for tinned goods and toilet rolls have been decimated. We’re not down though, we’re positive we’ll all get through this and hopefully be stronger and better people on the other side. We’re continuing to buy fresh food, there’s lots of it available, and cook nice recipes like this soup by Gill Meller.

Mushroom, cider & blue cheese soup – serves 4 to 6

  • 500g wild and cultivated mushrooms (we used all chestnut mushrooms as it’s not autumn and wild ones aren’t available)
  • 25g butter, plus an extra bit, for frying
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 750ml veg stock or chicken stock
  • 250ml dry cider
  • 100ml double cream
  • 75g blue cheese, plus extra to serve if you like
  • a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, to serve

Clean the mushrooms with a damp piece of kitchen paper and roughly chop them but keep about 100g over to fry and use as a garnish. The mushrooms for the garnish can be sliced.

Melt the butter in a large pan with a splash of olive oil, over a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the leek, potato, onion and garlic. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, cider and some seasoning, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Purée the soup until smooth (or smoothish if you’re using a stick blender).

Add the cream and blue cheese to the soup and gently return to a simmer. Season to taste and keep warm over a very low heat.

Heat a knob of butter and a splash of oil in a frying pan and sauté the reserved mushrooms for 8 to 10 minutes or until well cooked and golden brown. Season the mushrooms.

Serve the soup in warm bowls with the mushrooms and parsley sprinkled over. You can also sprinkle over some more crumbled blue cheese if you like.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

Read Full Post »

Curried Squash, Lentil & Coconut Soup

It seems like there’s a storm every weekend in Ireland at the minute. Stuck indoors again it’s an opportunity to make some soup. This is the soup we made for Storm Jorge.

Curried squash, lentil & coconut soup – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 200g carrots, diced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 100g red lentils
  • 700ml veg stock
  • a tin of reduced-fat coconut milk
  • coriander and naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the squash and carrots and toss around for a minute before stirring in the curry powder and cooking for a minute more. Add the lentils, the vegetable stock, coconut milk and some seasoning, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Blitz the soup with a hand blender or food processor. Check the seasoning and serve with the coriander over the top and some naan bread on the side.

(Original recipe by BBC Good Food).

Read Full Post »

Monastery Soup

The second Bulgarian recipe we’ve cooked from Black Sea by Caroline Eden and one of the best soups we’ve had in ages. We think it’s the combination of sweet peppers and parsnip with the spicy broth that makes it so good. Serve with a good slick of olive oil and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Monastery Soup – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large red or yellow pepper, diced very finely
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 parsnip, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thick rounds
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • a good pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 700ml veg stock
  • a tin of haricot beans, drained and rinsed
  • a tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • flat-leaf parsley & mint, chopped (to serve)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to serve)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or crème fraîche (to serve, optional but good)

Warm the sunflower oil in a large pot, then add the pepper, onion, parsnip and carrot with some salt. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

Add the paprika, chilli flakes, garlic and some black pepper and continue to cook for another few minutes. Add the stock and beans and turn up the heat. When the soup starts to boil, turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through (try one of the carrots). Remove from the heat and divide between warm bowls. Sprinkle over the herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. A spoon of sour cream on top is also really good.

(Original recipe Black Sea by Caroline Eden, Quadrille, 2018)

 

Read Full Post »

Carrot & parsnip soup with chorizo

A soup that looks like sunshine, perfect for grey days!

Parsnip & carrot soup with chorizo – serves 2

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 2 cooking chorizo, chopped

Fry the onion, garlic & cumin in a little olive oil in a saucepan until softened.

Add the parsnips, carrots and chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Purée the soup and loosen with a little water if it’s too thick, season to taste.

Fry the chorizo in a little olive oil until crispy.

Serve the soup with the chorizo on top.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, January 2013.)

Read Full Post »

Cauliflower & chestnut soup

Got chestnuts? We made this with a vac-pack we still had in the drawer from last Christmas. A really delicious soup and perfect for using a post- or pre-season chestnut surplus!

Cauliflower & Chestnut Soup – serves 4

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 250ml milk
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g pack vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 25g grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the cauliflower, milk and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

Add the cream, season well, and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chestnuts, then blend with a hand blender until smooth. Season to taste and serve with shaved Parmesan, lots of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Potato, Courgette, Chickpea and Rosemary soup

This is such a simple soup but it just tastes full of goodness. We loved it and we are loving Rachel Roddy’s cookbook – Two Kitchens – which is full of simple ideas that work perfectly.

Potato, chickpea, courgette and rosemary soup – serves 4 – Zuppa di patate, ceci, zucchine e rosmarino

  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 2 medium courgettes, diced
  • a pinch of red chilli flakes
  • 800g tinned chickpeas, drained
  • grated pecorino, we used lots but as you please

Warm the olive oil and onion in a heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat and cook until the onion is soft. Add the rosemary and cook for another minute or two.

Add the courgettes and potatoes to the pan with the chilli flakes and stir until everything is coated in the oil.

Add the chickpeas,  1 litre of water and some seasoning.

Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are beginning to fall apart. Taste for seasoning and serve with the cheese.

(Original recipe from Two Kitchens – Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Rachel Roddy, HEADLINE HOME, 2017)

Read Full Post »

Chickpea fennel & leek soup

We recently bought a copy of the Venetian cookbook, Polpo, by Russell Norman – it’s about 7 years since it was published and we’ve been coveting it ever since. This soup doesn’t sound exciting but it’s absolutely delicious and will fill even the hungriest of bellies (perhaps with some bread).

Chickpea, leek  & fennel soup – serves 6 to 8

  • 500g dried chickpeas
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 leeks, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, cut into 1cm pieces

Cover the chickpeas in water and soak overnight. Drain and put into a heavy-based pan with the chicken stock. The stock needs to cover the chickpeas by about 3 cm. Add the dried chilli and cook until tender (start checking after the first 30 minutes but they could take an hour).

Heat a little olive oil in another heavy pan and sweat the shallots, leeks and fennel until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the chickpeas and stock with the sweated vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove about a quarter of the veg and chickpeas and set aside (we forgot to do this!). Blend the remainder until smooth. Return the reserved veg and chickpeas to the pan and season to taste. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil.

(Original recipe from Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts) by Russell Norman, Bloomsbury, 2012.)

 

Read Full Post »

Aash-e reshte

This soup, from Yasmin Khan’s Saffron Tales, is delicious and also very filling – perfect for lunch on a cold day and a lesson in how to use dried herbs.

Aash-e reshte – serves 4 to 6

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g green lentils, rinsed
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 500ml water
  • 1 litre good chicken stock or veg stock
  • 100g spaghetti, broken in half
  • 200g spinach, roughly chopped
  • 25g bunch chives, finely chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the toppings:

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp dried mint

Heat the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onion and fry over a low heat for 10-15 minutes. When softened, add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, beans, lentils, turmeric, dried herbs and water. Stir, cover with a lid, and leave to simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add another cup of water if it shows signs of sticking.

Add the stock and spaghetti to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the fried onion topping. Dust the sliced onion with the flour and salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan until sizzling, then add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on some kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little more salt.

Add the spinach, chives, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper to the soup. Leave to simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt, the crispy onions and a sprinkling of dried mint.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

Read Full Post »

Turmeric Broth

We try and cook healthy mid-week, with some weeks being more successful than others. That said, we rarely eat anything particularly unhealthy, so we don’t beat ourselves up too much. This dish is low fat and low calorie – but it tastes really full-flavoured and restorative, almost medicinal, and you can’t help but feel better for eating it.

Turmeric broth with chicken & ginger dumplings – serves 4

  • 50g ginger sliced
  • 1.5 litres light chicken stock
  • 3 scallions, green parts and white parts separated
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-3 tsp ground turmeric
  • 200g baby leaf greens, chopped – we used pak choi
  • 300g cooked egg noodles
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:

  • 500g chicken mince or turkey mince
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • ½ red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • a handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 egg white
  • white pepper

Put the sliced ginger, chicken stock, scallion greens, star anise and turmeric in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook with a lid on for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop the scallion whites and put into a bowl with the mince, grated ginger, chilli, coriander, 1 tsp of sesame oil, the cornflour and egg white. Season with salt and white pepper then mix well and roll into balls.

Strain the broth and return to the pot. Add the chicken dumplings and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Add the greens and noodles for the last 2 minutes. Finish with the chilli and a drizzle of sesame oil.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, January 2017.)

Read Full Post »

Pea & Mint Soup

It’s getting close to that time of year when we start to really crave some daylight and spring veg. Fresh peas are a long way off yet but this hearty pea and mint soup is full of promise. Leave out the swirl of cream to keep it vegan.

Pea & Mint Soup – serves 4 generously

  • 80g yellow split peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 700g frozen peas
  • 2 handfuls of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp single cream (optional to garnish)

Put the split peas into a saucepan and add 800ml of water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until just tender. Remove any scum from the surface as they cook.

10 minutes before the split peas are cooked, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes to soften, add a splash of water if they start to stick. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain the split peas and add to the onions along with the vegetable stock. Bring the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in the frozen peas and chopped mint and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Whizz the soup with a blender until smooth (or smoothish if you prefer) – you might have to do this in batches.

Ladle into warm bowls and drizzle with cream if you like.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge, Absolute Press, 2017.)

Read Full Post »

Potato & leek soup with smoked Gubbeen cheese & chives

This is no ordinary leek and potato soup but rich and complex with a subtle smoky flavour from the cheese. We’ve been cooking from Gill Meller’s latest book, Time, and the recipes are stunning.

This is the kind of soup that goes well with Northern Irish Wheaten Bread.

Leek & Potato Soup with Smoked Gubbeen & Chives – serves 4

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 3 floury white potatoes (about 350g), peeled and cut into 1-2cm cubes
  • 3 medium-large leeks, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g smoked Gubbeen (Gill suggests smoked Cheddar or goat’s cheese), grated, plus extra to serve
  • a small bunch of chives, finely chopped

Bring the stock to the boil in a large heavy pan. Add just a third of the potato, bring the stock back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes, or until the potato cubes are tender. Add a third of the leeks and cook for a few minutes to soften, then drain the vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to catch the stock.

Return the pan to a medium heat and heat the butter and olive oil. When bubbling, add the onion, garlic and thyme leaves. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes, then add the remaining leeks and potato to the pan, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, then add the reserved stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook the soup for about 15 minutes or until the leeks and potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth.

Return the soup to the pan. Add the cooked leeks and potatoes from earlier, along with the cream, grated cheese and chopped chives. Season again, then put back on the heat and bring slowly to a simmer. Stir well, remove from the heat, and stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with some extra cheese, chives and seasoning.

(Original recipe from Time: A Year & a Day in the Kitchen by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

Read Full Post »

Spiced lentil soup

We have what you might call a well-stocked cupboard but the problem with bulging cupboards is that it’s easy to forget what’s in there. Every now and then we make a list and search for recipes to use things up which is how we came to make this soup – perfect for lunch on chilly days.

Spiced Lentil Soup – serves 4

  • a knob of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • a squeeze of lime
  • coriander leaves, to serve

Heat a little oil in a large pan and fry the ginger, cumin seeds and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes.

Add the onion and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the lentils are tender.

Blend until smooth or leave chunky, then stir through a squeeze of lime.

Serve with some fresh coriander leaves if you have them.

(Original recipe in Olive Magazine, November 2011.)

Read Full Post »

Ginger & Miso Soup

Pumpkins are everywhere and the evenings have got dark and chilly. This delicious soup by Melissa Hemsley looks like sunshine and tastes warm and comforting. Don’t omit the topping as it really brings the soup to life.

Ginger miso sunshine soup – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1.5 litres stock or bone broth or water – we used Marigold Bouillon powder
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • juice of 1 lemon

CHIVE TOPPING

  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Melt the oil in a large, wide saucepan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another minute.

Add the carrots & squash, followed by the stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 15-18 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl. Add the miso and lemon juice to another bowl and add a few tablespoons of the hot liquid from the soup and stir or whisk until you have a smooth paste.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the miso paste. Blend the soup until smooth and season to taste. Serve with the chive topping.

(Original recipe from Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley, Ebury Press, 2018.)

Read Full Post »

Summer Soupe au Pistou

A lovely fresh-tasting soup full of veg and basil – smells just like summer.

Summer soupe au pistou – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1.7 litres of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 225g green beans, chopped into short lengths
  • 225g drained tinned haricot beans (or use another white bean)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 bunches of basil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot and gently cook the leek, potato and celery for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, season well and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the courgettes, green beans, haricot beans and cherry tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, then add the parsley.

To make the pistou: whizz the basil and garlic with some seasoning in a blender then gradually add the olive oil.

Top the soup with the pistou and Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

Read Full Post »

Winter root vegetable soup

So here we are almost March and we are experiencing an artic blast. The snow is piled up at the back door and Dubliners have been advised to stay indoors tomorrow as more is on the way. Soup seems like our only defence. Nothing fancy here but full of fresh vegetable flavours. It will protect you against almost all weather eventualities, or at least both fill and warm you up.

Winter Root Vegetable Soup – serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 small celeriac, peeled and chopped

Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium to high heat. As soon as it has melted and started to froth, add the onion, leek and potatoes. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then cover and sweat over a low heat for 8 minutes.

Add the stock, the rest of the vegetables and some salt and pepper (white pepper would be our preference), then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, partially covered. Taste the vegetables to check that they are completely soft, then check the seasoning before serving.

(Original recipe from Fresh by Donal Skeehan, Hodder & Stoughton, 2015.)

Read Full Post »

Winter minestrone

We’re never in our own house for Christmas as we travel up north to be with family. That doesn’t stop us on insisting that the stock left in the pot in which the ham was cooked, goes into the freezer ready for us to take home and make minestrone with. The perfect foil for all the over-indulgence in the days preceding.

Winter Minestrone – serves 6

  • 500g cavolo nero, remove any thicker stalks and shred thickly
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced, with a few leaves
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g pumpkin/squash flesh, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 potato
  • 400g cooked white beans – we used a tin of cannellini beans
  • 1.5 litres of ham stock, water or bean broth (if you’ve cooked dried beans)
  • A parmesan rind (always good to keep in the fridge to add extra depth of flavour to soups)
  • A small sprig of sage
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

Wash the cavolo nero, strip any particularly thick stems from the leaves and roughly chop. Roll up the leaves and shred thickly.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan and slowly fry the onion and celery with a pinch of salt, until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add the pumpkin/squash to the pan along with the cavolo nero stems and a tiny pinch of salt, stirring until each chunk glistens with oil. Add half the cavolo nero leaves, half the beans, the water and the parmesan rind.

Turn up the heat so the soup is almost boiling, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the rest of the cavolo nero and beans. Taste and season, then add the chopped sage. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then serve with some freshly grated Parmesan.

(Original recipe by Rachel Roddy in The Guardian24th November 2017.)

Read Full Post »

Potato soup

An invaluable recipe especially in Ireland as we always seem to have surplus potatoes lying around. This is what we cook when ‘there’s no food in the house’ and it’s pretty good.

Potato and fresh herb soup – serves 6

  • 50g butter
  • 425g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 110g onions, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped herbs: parsley, thyme, chives
  • 850ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 125ml creamy milk

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Wait until it starts to foam, then add the potatoes and onions and stir to coat in the butter. Add the salt and some black pepper. Cover with a butter wrapper or some greaseproof paper and the saucepan lid. Sweat gently for about 10 minutes while you bring the stock to the boil in a separate pan.

When the vegetables are softened but not coloured, add the herbs and stock, then continue to cook until the vegetables are completely soft. Whizz the soup until smooth and season to taste. Thin with some creamy milk if necessary and garnish with some more herbs.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 2001.)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »