Soups are back on the menu:
Homemade soup is simply one of those proper, winter comfort foods that will not only fill you up but warm you up from that horrible English weather. It fills the room with amazing smells and goes great with a hefty slice of bread and butter for dipping. So, here are three scrummy soup recipes to try out this winter, when you need something to cosy up your day.
Leak, Onion & Potato Soup
This hearty soup is an English classic, the recipe of which gets pulled out and dusted off each winter.
4 large leeks
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes
850ml vegetable oil
Salt & Pepper to season
2 tablespoons cream or crème Fraiche
First things first measure out your butter into a big saucepan that has a lid and melt it over a low heat. (Turn off once melted – you don’t want it to burn!)
Whilst that is melting you can be getting your potatoes peeled and chopped into chunks.
TIP: If you want to have a chunky soup at the end, leave the potato chunks bigger as they won’t get blended so easily when blending at the end.
Secondly the leeks. Don’t be fooled, they make your eyes water just as much as onions do! To start with you’ll need to wash them before you chop them.
TIP: An easy was to do this is by inserting your knife near the root, and running it all the way up to the top and out. Run the leeks under the cold tap, peeling back each layer to make sure there is no dirt hiding away.
Once your leeks are clean you can chop them and throw them in the big saucepan along with the chopped potato chunks.
TIP: don’t worry too much about the size you’re chopping them as they’ll get blended later anyways
Peel and roughly chop your onions and put them in the saucepan with the butter, leeks and potatoes. Give the pot a good stir so everything is coated with a thin layer of butter and put the lid on.
Cook on a low heat for roughly 15 minutes to let the vegetable sweat. Stir every 5 mins or so to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom (burnt leeks don’t taste very nice!)
Whilst your vegetables are sweating you can make up your stock so that is all ready for the next step.
TIP: Remember to read the stock package as you may need to use more than one stock cube.
After the 15 mins of sweating, add in your stock and milk and give everything a good stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper (you won’t need too much salt as the stock will be quite salty.)
Bring to a simmer, and then place the lid on and leave for 20 mins stirring occasionally.
Once your potatoes are softened you can either blend your mixture to make it a smooth creamy soup or leave chunky, it’s personal preference.
The beauty of this soup is it is adaptable and 100% freeze-able!
A simple and nutritious crowd pleaser that can be adapted depending on your vegetable preferences or what vegetables you have in the house.
1 clove Garlic
1 large Potato
1 Red onion
1 x 400g tin of Cannellini Beans
2 rashers of smoked Streaky Bacon
2 sticks of Celery
½ teaspoon dried Oregano
1 litre Vegetable Stock
2 x 400g tin Plum Tomatoes OR chopped tomatoes
1 small Leek
1 fresh Bay Leaf
100g wholemeal Pasta
1 large seasonal green [savoy cabbage, kale etc.]
½ bunch fresh Basil
Firstly, peel and chop the garlic and onion. Trim and roughly chop the carrot, celery and courgette. Add all the chopped vegetables to a large bowl.
Half the leeks and wash them before cutting the ends off. Roughly chop the leeks and add them to the bowl of vegetables.
Wash and dice the potatoes and drain the cannellini beans before setting both aside. Next finely chop your bacon and fry off gently for 2 mins in a large saucepan/large pot.
Add the garlic, carrots, onion, celery, leek, courgette, bay and oregano and cook slowly for roughly 15 mins stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened.
Add the potatoes, cannellini beans, plum tomatoes and pour in the vegetable stock. Stir well and use the back of your spoon to break up the tomatoes.
Cover with a lid and bring everything to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins until the potato is cooked through.
Whilst that is simmering away remove the tough stalk bits from the greens and chop roughly.
When the pasta is still in the bad, or wrapped in a tea towel, use a rolling pin to bash the pasta into small pieces.
Once the potatoes have softened add the greens and the pasta and cook for a further 10 mins until the pasta is al dente.
Sprinkle in the basil leaves and stir through, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve with grated parmesan and a slice of bread.
Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup
This cosy soup can be adapted, chop and changing your choice of winter squash to personalise the soup.
1 Butternut Squash peeled deseeded and diced (keep the seeds)
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
2 Carrots, peeled, trimmed and sliced
6 Shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 Fennel, trimmed and chopped
1 Vegetable Stock cube
1 Garlic clove, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp chopped parsley
This is a great quick and simple soup, no tricky steps, no faff, just good simple cooking with a yummy outcome.
Firstly, bring a large pan half-filled with water to the boil and add the squash, sweet potato, carrots, shallots, fennel and stock cube and bring back to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer the pot for roughly 10-12 minutes.
Remove your pot from the heat and add the garlic. Allow the content to cool, then remove the vegetables and place into a bowl.
In a blender, pulse together half of the stock and all the vegetables. If you want a chunkier soup keep some of the vegetables back and add them back in once the rest of the soup is blended. Personal preference.
Give the squash seeds you’ve kept aside a wash and them place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with oil and paprika and place in the oven at 180C for 10 mins before giving a shake.
These can then be sprinkled over the top of your soup for a crunchy texture. Sprinkle your chopped parsley over the top of your soup also.
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Words: Lona McGregor-Nelson
Tags: #wintertime #soupmenu #souptime #wintergoodness #homemadeheaven #foodie