Feeling soupy

Sometimes if it’s warmish, i don’t feel much like eating lunch, but think I should otherwise I’ll be hungry before the next meal and be tempted to snack on something naughty… which is why soup is good – except of course if the weather really is lovely and hot, in which case maybe not soup!

Here are some soups I have made in the past which have been successful:

  • Root soup – The colour was sensational, the recipe easy, one small to medium beetroot, two parsnips, one medium to large carrot, one medium onion, stock… cook, blend, season, serve, enjoy!
  • Nettle soup – Nettle soup is the easiest thing to make – fry a few onions in butter, wilt down the nettles leaves which have been very, very thoroughly washed and pulled from the fibrous stems, add some stock (and  cooked potatoes if you want a thicker soup) heat through, don’t let the nettles lose their lovely colour, whiz in a blender and rub through a sieve, serve with a swirl of cream and some freshly grated nutmeg!
  • Smiley soup – Parsnip and leek soup, with cumin, coriander, dill, anis seeds, fennel, coconut and cheesy toast fingers!
  • Sunny soup – Miserable weather needs sunny soup, red, yellow and green peppers, tinned tomatoes, onions and garlic, roasted or  fried, blended, with a light stock, pour into bowls with chickpeas, finely sliced, blanched runner beans and orzo pasta, a tiny splash of chilli sauce, dabs of crème fraiche, some roasted baby tomatoes… sunny soup!
  • Strange-looking soup – Onion and dill soup with cumin, – gently fry loads of onions and a little garlic in a mixture of oil and butter; when really soft, blend and extra vegetable stock. Garnish with fried onions and pine nuts… it looks a strange colour but is really tasty
  • Lentil soup – While the lentils were cooking I fried a very small amount of chopped up smoked bacon and about an inch of finely sliced leek in some olive oil. When the pulses were soft, I blended them and the onion then poured them onto the bacon and leek. I added salt, a splash of sweet chilli and garlic sauce, and sprinkled some dill seeds… and there was soup!
  • Beetroot soup – I peeled my raw beetroot –  it looked as if murder had been committed, red everywhere, but I prefer the flavour of the roots boiled without their skins. I used the red cooking  liquor for the soup which I made in the ordinary way, with gently fried onions, herbs, spices and seasoning. I rubbed it through a sieve, added a little extra vegetable stock thickened with cornflour, and garnished with coriander
  • Cauliflower soup – I sliced some onion and fried it with quite a lot of butter and olive oil and also some grated root ginger; I added freshly ground nutmeg and black pepper, a couple of allspice berries and a couple of hot chillies. I added some finely sliced cauliflower leaves and stalk and cooked for a few minutes until they were soft. I added about a third of the cauliflower head chopped up, sweated it a little then poured in about a pint of vegetable stock. When it was just cooked I blended it, and rubbed it through a sieve, added some cream blended with cornflour, and reheated it and voilá!

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