Following from last month’s Ledbury Big Soup event, here are some soup recipes from our recipe wizard for you to try…
CARROT, PARSNIP AND LENTIL SOUP
50g. (2ozs.) Green lentils
100g. (4ozs.) Chorizo sausage or peppered salami
150g. (6ozs.) Each of carrots and parsnips
275g. (10ozs.) Onions
30ml. (2 tbsps.) Oil
5ml. (1 level tsp.) Ground cumin
1 litre (2 pints) vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
A few thyme sprigs
Salt and ground black pepper
Croutons to garnish if desired
- Cut the chorizo into cubes. Roughly chop the onions, carrots and parsnips.
- Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the chorizo or salami and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the carrots, cumin, parsnips and drained lentils and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Cool slightly, remove the herbs and puree the soup in batches in a food processor or liquidiser.
- Return to the pan, bring back to the boil and correct the seasoning. Serve with the fried chorizo or salami, garnished with croutons.
CARROT, HONEY & GINGER SOUP
60g. (2 oz.) Butter
750g. (1½ lbs) carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
10cm. (4 inches) piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
Salt, black pepper
1 litre (1¾ pts.) Hot vegetable stock
1 tablespoon honey
1 bay leaf
125ml. (4 fl. Ozs.) Double cream
Chopped fresh parsley or coriander, to garnish
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the carrots, onion, garlic and ginger, sprinkle with ½ tsp. of salt, cover the pan and leave to sweat over a low heat for about 20 minutes, when the carrots should be thoroughly buttery, gingery and very soft.
- Pour over the hot stock, stir in the honey, the bay leaf and a pinch of pepper, and simmer until done, about 10 minutes.
- Fish out the bay leaf and discard. Put the soup in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth – you may have to do this in batches. Push the soup through a sieve into the rinsed out saucepan.
- Thin the soup with more stock if necessary. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the cream and reheat gently until piping hot but not boiling. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warmed soup bowls, then drop a spoonful of the remaining cream into the middle of each serving and swirl with the point of a knife. A sprinkling of chopped green herbs completes this soup.
CREAM OF CELERIAC AND SPINACH SOUP
1 litre (1¾ pts.) Water
250mls. (8fl.ozs) dry white wine
1 leek, thickly sliced
500g. (1¼ lbs) celeriac, diced
200g. (7ozs) fresh spinach
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
25g. (1oz) pine nuts, to garnish
- Mix the water and wine in a jug. Place the leek, celeriac and spinach in a deep saucepan and pour the liquid over. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Pour the celeriac mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, in batches if necessary. Return to the clean pan and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Reheat gently.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan (do not add any oil) and add the pine nuts. Roast until golden brown, stirring occasionally so that they do not stick. Sprinkle them over the soup and serve.
CHEESY LEEK SOUP
700g (1½ lb) trimmed leeks
225g (8oz) onions
225 (8oz) cheese
50g (2oz) butter
15ml (1 level tbsp) plain flour
1.4 litres (2½ pts.) Turkey or chicken stock
142ml (5fl.oz.) Carton double cream
10ml (2 level tsp.) Grainy mustard
Salt & ground black pepper
Oven baked pesto croutons to accompany
- Roughly chop the leeks and finely chop the onions. Cut the cheese into small dice.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook for 15min. or until soft. Add the leeks and cook for 15min. stirring from time to time.
- Add the flour and mix until smooth, stirring continuously, then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 min.
- Reduce the heat until the soup is bubbling gently, then stir in the cream and mustard. Add the cheese in batches, allowing it to melt between each addition. Season well with salt and black pepper and serve in warmed soup bowls. Accompany with Oven-baked Pesto Croutons and garnish with stilton.
Oven baked Pesto Croutons – Cut four slices of day-old bread into 2.5cm (1in) cubes. Toss the cubes in 45-60ml (3-4 level tbsp) ready-made pesto mixed with 15ml (1tbsp) olive oil. Cook on a baking sheet at 200C/400F/Mark 6 for 10-15 min. until golden and crisp. Store in an airtight container for up to two days
FRENCH ONION SOUP
15ml (1 tbsp.) Oil
30g. (1oz.) Butter
1kg. (2lbs) onions thinly sliced
25g (1 ½ tbsps.) Soft brown sugar
60ml (4 tbsps) plain flour
1.5 litres (3pts) beef stock
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 french bread stick
100g. (3 ½ oz) grated cheese
- Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onion and stir over a low heat for 1 minute. Cover and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and ½ tsp. of salt and increase the heat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is golden brown.
- Gradually add the flour. Cook for 3 minutes over a medium heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually add the stock.
- Over a medium heat bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Partially cover the saucepan, lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
- Mix some oil with your garlic. Cut the bread into thick slices and toast both sides until lightly browned. Brush on the oil and garlic and sprinkle with cheese. Grill until melted and serve on the soup.
PARSNIP IN A PEAR TREE – SPICY PARSNIP & PEAR
800 mls. Vegetable stock
3 large parsnips (about 500g.) Peeled & chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 pear, peeled & diced
3 tbsps. Olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1cm. Piece ginger, chopped
1 tsp. Garam marsala
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Ground Coriander
100mls. Whipping or double cream (buy when serving)
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add the garam marsala, cumin, coriander and ginger, then stir well and fry for 1 – 2 minutes. Add the parsnips and stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the pear and blend until smooth.
- To serve, add the cream and stir well. Serve with parsnip or beetroot crisps if desired. Simply peel and slice very thinly into rounds, then pat dry. Heat some vegetable oil in a saucepan (approximately 2cm. deep) until smoking, then fry the vegetable slices in small batches for 2 – 3 minutes each until golden. Drain on kitchen paper, allow to cool, then serve in piles in the middle of the soup.