It’s suddenly got cold (not least because my heating’s on the blink) which makes my thought at lunchtime turn to soup. I’m not a fan of wimpy thin broths with lumps of sad looking veg bobbing about, I like my soups to be able to stand on their own as a meal with nothing more than a hunk of bread to mop up with. So here are some easy to make but interesting soups that which will keep you warm and full until tea time.
School dinners killed a couple of things for me, rice pudding and cauliflower being the two main ones, but as with my baked black cardamom rice pud (keep an eye out for that one) a decent recipe can excorcise some of those demons. This is that recipe for cauliflower soup:
1 tbsp butter
approx 1 kg cauliflower (this is roughly 2 small heads or one big one)
150g ground almonds
1 litre stock
2 tsp tumeric
1. cop onions and saute in butter for approx 5 min, then add diced cauliflower and saute for a further 5 min.
2. Add tumeric and stir well for a couple of minutes, coating veg then add stock.
3. Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, blitz in a blender and then season to taste.
Leek and white bean soup
This recipe is from a lady called Marmaduke Scarlett which has to be one of the all time best names I’ve ever heard.
2 garlic cloves
1 can of white beans (cannellini/ butter etc NOT chickpeas)
900ml veg stock
2 bay leaves
sprig of fresh thyme
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar (I’ve never seen this so just used what I had and it didn’t mess too much with the colour)
1. Saute (gently cook not fiercely fry brown) the onion in butter for 5 min before adding the leeks and garlic, then continue to saute for a further 5 min.
3. Add beans, stir thoroughly then add stock and herbs. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for approx 20 min.
4. Remove the herb stalks and blitz in a blender, stirring in the lemon juice, vinegar and season before serving.
I have 3 entire shelves in my fridge dedicated to jars of stuff, approx 1/3 of these have been used for one recipe and then I haven’t any idea what to do with them so they stay and languish, this recipe will ensure that chipolte isn’t one of those. This chilli heat is offset by a smoky flavour which perfectly balances the sweetness of the sweet potato.
750g Sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 tbs Chipolte paste
1.5 litres of stock
Coriander to garnish
1. Chop and then saute onions for 5 min, then add sweet potato, saute for a further 5 to 10 and then add stock, cover and simmer until tender.
2. Blitz in a blender until smooth, return to pan, add chipolte paste and season. At this point personal taste comes heavily into play, add more chipolte paste if you like and you may well need to add more stock if you doing like the rib-sticking texture of this soup.
PS All these soups freeze well, are easy to make in large batches and are relatively cheap and as long as you go easy on the seasoning totally suitable for weaning, just add half the stock before blitzing, remove a portion or two for your little one then add the remainder of the stock.by