All posts filed under: Soups

Once Through the Garden Summer Soup

Every global culture has some kind of a vegetable soup with a bit of meat thrown in for flavour. The differences between the soups depend on the kind of vegetables which grew locally. Minestrone in Italy is full of tomatoes, lentils and small petals of pasta with a few bits of bacon thrown in. The core ingredient in the Belgian “Hutsepot” is brussels sprouts and a bit of smoked sausage. “Eintopf” (literally translated “One Pot Soup”) is so common in Germany I can hardly believe I have never made this soup at home before. The smell, the taste and the look whisk me straight back to my childhood where we ate this soup at least once a week. It’s not exactly haut cuisine or joyful festive fodder – it’s just a plain, simple, vegetable soup. That all said it still tastes pretty good and my highly picky children ate at least three soup bowls. This simple summer soup used to to be known as“once through the garden” soup. My Grandmother would go into the garden with her …

Traditional Asparagus Soup

The best way to make asparagus soup is to keep it simple. Four ingredients and a food mill is all you need. I use a chicken stock since it complements the light, delicate flavour of asparagus. If you buy asparagus from the market you may find the farmer or trader has sorted some of the fatter, bent and otherwise ugly spears from the more elegant, pristine ones and is selling them at a cheaper rate since they are too fibrous and woody to eat as a vegetable. These are real stars – packed with flavour and cheaper than the show models. Last week 1 kg of asparagus cost EUR 10 – but 2 kg of the woody, fatter spears cost only EUR 6. As is usual with soup recipes I don’t give exact measurements and amounts. Decide how much you need for the people you are preparing the soup for. Any uneaten soup can always be frozen. Ingredients Older asparagus being sold off cheaply Chicken stock An onion Butter Potatoes (optional) Salt and Pepper Chives Directions …

Winter Soups

Nothing beats a thick winter soup. It is the quintessential warm food for cold days. Add enough potatoes, stock, vegetables and a small cut or two of some left-over meat and you will be left with a satiating balanced meal not just a snack or starter. Served alongside a crust of bread, butter or cheese – what more could the family ask for? Soups are an excellent way to eat all those famed vegetables we are told we should be eating more of.  The very best thing about a thick winter soup is that they are so easy to prepare even for the busy, hard-pressed parent. I always double the amount I need so that I can freeze left overs.   If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen and have been making soups for years then perhaps a posting on soups is a dull affair. Soups are not exactly haute cuisine – but who needs that every day of the week? The most important thing is that soups taste good – good enough to make …

Traditional pea & ham soup

Pea and ham soup is the quintessential, traditional winter soup – comforting , filling but above all tasty. Fresh pea soup  served with mint and a light chicken stock is often associated with summer – but a hearty dried-pea soup with some smoked or cured ham is a real winter treat. It is such a traditional winter soup for the simple reason that peas are easy to dry and store. Like other dried legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, red beans or broad beans the dried variety provide an abundance of nutrients to keep populations fed and nourished at a time when it is impossible to cultivate fresh crops. Peas boiled in water with a pinch of salt would be tasteless and unappetising. They require a savoury punch and the best companion to a winter pea soup has got to be some kind of cured ham – yet another traditional source of winter food. Fresh pork would have been rare since pigs were typically slaughtered in the late autumn and the various cuts and pieces brined, salted or …