Friday, 16 October 2009

Leek, Potato and Arugula (Rocket) Soup

I love leek and potato soup but I decided to try a new recipe which also includes some arugula. I found the recipe from 'The New Soup Bible' by Anne Sheasby.

Comments and substitutions
1. I used a new potatoes - I like them and I had a bunch of them.
2. I used less liquid but that's because I like thick soups
3. I replaced the cream with milk
4. I didn't use croutons
5. I didn't really taste the arugula... maybe I didn't add enough or the leaves weren't peppery enough.
6. I don't a have a food mill and I didn't think the vegetable would go through the sieve so I processed the lots...

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 leeks, chopped
  • 2 medium floury potatoes, diced
  • 900ml stock or water
  • 2 large handful of arugula
  • 150ml heavy cream
  • garlic flavored ciabatta croutons to serve
  • Salt & pepper

1. Melt butter in heavy-based, add onions, leeks and potatoes and stir until vegetables are coated in butter. Heat until sizzling the reduce to low
2. Cover and sweat the vegetables for 15 minutes. add stock/water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
3. Press soup through the sieve or through a food mill and return to a clean pan
4. Chop rocket, add to the soup and cook gently for 5 minutes
5. Stir in cream, season to taste, reheat gently.
6. Ladle the soup to bowls and garnish with croutons.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Spiced Lentil Soup with Parsley Cream

I love red lentils but I've never had the processed in a soup so I was curious to try this recipe. It makes for a very heart soup and the colors are lovely.

Comments and substitutions
1. I'm not a big fan of cumin so I put less of it. I think next time I'll forgo it completely...
2. I used less liquid but that's because I like thick soups
3. I didn't use the smoked bacon hock as I'm vegetarian
4. I didn't use shallots
5. I blitzed the parsley with the yogurt. I also think that cilantro would work really well.

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 smoked bacon hock
  • 1.2l stock
  • 275g red lentils
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
For the parsley cream
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 150 ml Greek yogurt
  • salt & pepper
1. Heat frying pan and add coriander & cumin seeds. roast over high heat, moving them over until they start to smell. Crush in mortar and pestle and add turmeric
2. Heat oil in pan, add onion & garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes till soft. Add spice mixture and cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
3. Place bacon in pan and pour stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add red lentils and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils and bacon are soft.
5. Stir in the canned tomatoes and add another 5 minutes

6. Remove bacon from soup. Let it cool and then remove the meat from the hock, discarding skin and fat.
7. Meanwhile puree the soup until almost smooth. Return the soup into a clean pan and add the meat.
8. Heat oil in frying pan fry the shallots for 10 minutes until golden and remove using a slotted spoon.
9. To make the parsley cream mix the chopped parsley and the yogurt. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.
10. Ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of parsley cream to each and pile some crispy shallots on top. serve at once.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Peanut and potato soup

This one is also a new recipe that I took the recipe from 'The New Soup Bible' by Anne Sheasby. I was curious about the combination and you know what? It works

Comments and substitutions
1. If you're a sissy when it comes to hot stuff I'd advise adding less chillies
2. I used a new potatoes - I like them and I had a bunch of them.
3. I used peanut butter instead of peanuts (I don't really have a food processor...)
4. I used less liquid but that's because I like thick soups
5. I processed the stock and vegetables together

  • 60ml peanut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 200g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 150g cups of unsalted peanuts
  • 1.5l stock
  • 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro to garnish
  • salt & pepper
1. Heat oil over low heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes

2. Add garlic, pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, and chillies. Stir well until coated. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until softened

3.meanwhile toast peanuts by cooking them in a large dry frying pan. Move them around until golden

4. Set 2 tbsp aside and process the rest in food processor until finely ground. add the vegetables and process until smooth.

5. Return mixture to the pan and add stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Pour in bowl and garnish with cilantro and peanuts

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Portuguese Garlic Soup

This is one of the cases where I didn't exactly follow the recipe because I was just a bit lazy (it was the third soup of the day).

The results sort of reminded me of Bridget Jones' blue string soup... It was not a bad soup but I have to admit I'm not keen on thin soup - I'm more of a hearty-so-thick-the-spoon-can-stand-on its-own kind of gal.

Comments & Substitutions:
1. I was too lazy to separate leaves and stalks so I cooked the cilantro whole in the water - which after processing turned the liquid into a very bright green...
2. I didn't removed the crust from the bread - I like the crust!
3. Use good olive oil

  • 25g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks separated
  • 1.5l of broth or water
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 6 eggs
  • 275g day old bread, most of the crust removed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 90ml olive oil
1. Boil cilantro stalks in water or broth. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes then process in blender and strain.
2.Crush garlic with 1tsp of salt, add a cup of the hot broth then return to the pan.
3. Meanwhile poach eggs in a pan of simmering water for 3-4 minutes until set. Remove and reserve on warm plate.
4. Bring soup back to the boil, adjust seasoning, add cilantro leaves and remove from heat.
5. Place bread in six soup bowls, drizzle olive oil. Ladle the soup and stir. Add the poached eggs and serve immediately.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Irish Potato Soup

This one is also a new recipe that I took the recipe from 'The New Soup Bible' by Anne Sheasby. I admit it doesn't look very exciting but it was surprisingly tasty!

Comments and substitutions
1. I used new potatoes instead of regular potatoes and i didn't peel them
2. I used less liquid because I like my soups to be thick
3. I didn't have chives so I garnished with scallions
4. It was really easy to do!

  • 50g butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 675g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1.75 stock
  • salt & pepper
  • a little milk if required
  • chopped fresh chives to garnish

1. Melt butter in heavy pan, add onions, mix well so they're well coated. Cover and leave to sweat over low heat for about 10 minutes
2. Add potatoes and mix well with onions, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for about 10 minutes over gentle heat. Don't let the vegetable color
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit then puree. Reheat the soup and adjust the seasoning. If the soup is too thick you can add some milk
5. Serve the soup very hot with pepper and chives

Friday, 9 October 2009

Pear and Roquefort Soup with caramelized pears

I know what you're thinking - she's crazy! I mean honestly pear and Roquefort??? But hear me out - you have to dare to do (cook) something different from time to time, and this is certainly different! And I like pears... And I like blue cheese (in small doses).

I also wanted to remind you all to actually read
the recipe before cooking - I didn't, so I sort of changed the directions a bit. It wasn't a big deal and it still tasted good so who knows, maybe I've improved the recipe!

I took the recipe from 'The New Soup Bible' by Anne Sheasby

Comments and substitutions
1. I used Danish blue instead of Roquefort (actually any strong blue cheese will do)
2. My pears were quite small so I used 4 of them
3. I omitted the paprika just because and the watercress because I forgot to buy it
4. I didn't read the recipe carefully enough so instead of adding the stock and pears at the same time, I cooked the pears with the onions and then added the stock.
4. It was really good!

  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 150g Roquefort cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • watercress sprigs for garnish
  • 50g butter
  • 2 pears, halved, cored and cut into wedges


1. Heat oil in pan and sweat onion until soft.
2. Add pears and stock and bring to boil for about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in paprika, lemon juice, cheese. Stir to melt cheese and incorporate.
4. Allow soup to cool slightly and puree until smooth.
5.Strain soup through fine mesh strainer, back into pan. Let set.

6. Meanwhile caramelized pears by adding to hot butter in pan. Cook, turning occasionally, until pears are golden.
7. Place soup back on heat and heat gently,
8. Ladle into small bowls and add a few pears to each.
9.Garnish with sprigs of watercress.

The end result

Thursday, 8 October 2009

BB - cheddar Corn Chowder

October's first recipe was chosen for us by Jill from My next life. While I admit I was thrilled not to deal with cakes I can't say corn chowder got me very excited as I'm not that fond of corn (dating back to the camping days where's we'd eat tinned corn cold) and I don't really like creamy stuff either.

Comments and substitutions:
1. I halved the recipe and still had enough to feed a small army. Actually I more than halved the recipe as I didn't have a pot big enough so I used only 4 cups of stock (instead of 6) and only 1/2 cup of milk (instead of 1)
2. I replaced the half and half with milk
3. Veggie here so no bacon and I replaced the the chicken broth with vegetable broth
4. I always add the salt at the end and I'm glad I did because it was salty enough
5. It was surprisingly good!


  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
  • 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated


In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.