Results tagged “soup”

Early summer minestrone with pesto

This recipe is adapted from one in The River Café cookbook.  It is a fresh green soup, perfect for late spring or early summer.  I actually prefer it luke warm to hot, or even chilled.


Mum's chilled pea soup

My mother sent me her favourite pea soup recipe in time for one of my Secret Kitchen dinners, assuring me everyone would adore it.  I played with it just a bit, and the result was absolutely delicious.  Thank you mum!

smpoddingpeas0003.jpgIf you’re making your own vegetable stock - simmer chopped carrots, onions, leeks and celery with bay leaves, parsley stalks, a sprig of thyme, several peppercorns and a pinch of salt for an hour or more until its flavour has really developed. 

You can serve this soup hot or chilled.  I like it chilled, in early summer when English peas are in season.  Buy a big bag, find a friend, pour yourselves big G&Ts, and get podding. (Add the pods to the stock pot.)

Jerusalem artichoke soup with prawns and piment d'Espelette

We had something like this at Mon Vieil Ami, an excellent bistro in Paris, during the first week of our culinary travels.  Jerusalem artichoke has to be one of my favourite soups; it’s just so delicious.  This combination with sweet shellfish, fresh herbs and slightly hot, bright chilli is a winner.  In the bistro they performed some table theatre for us by pouring the soup over the garnishes artfully placed in the bowl.  You could just put the garnishes on top, as usual; the prawns will just about stay on the surface without sinking.  

Smjartichokeprawn0002.jpgPiment d’Espelette is a red chilli grown in a small area in southern France, traditionally northern Basque Country.  The dried flakes have a small amount of heat and almost smoky flavour with some acidity.  You could substitute a mix of hot and sweet paprika, perhaps with a dash of smoky Spanish ‘pimentón’ if you have it.  Piment d’Espelette has its own AOC status and was all the rage in Parisian bistros when we were eating our way round them in February 2008.

For a much simpler Jerusalem artichoke soup, simply omit all the garnishes - it’s still fabulous.  Or see the variation at the bottom which is from my Chez Panisse intern days - a perfect marriage of celery and ‘sunchoke’, as they call it there.  This soup also featured on our road trip: the owner of Lalla Mira organic restaurant and hotel in Essaouira agreed for her chef to teach me the Moroccan speciality ‘pastilla’ on condition that I reciprocated by teaching her some new dishes.  I found some lovely Jerusalem artichokes in the souk, and this soup was a big success.

From the people who brought you yoghurt

Smyoghurtwithsesameseeds0001.JPGYou might not associate Turkey with dairy products in the way that you might France or Italy.  But dairy is big business in Turkey, the country which invented yoghurt and exported it to the world.  There are also numerous cheeses and some very special butters and creams, and an ice cream you eat with a knife and fork.

Delta fishy deal?

Smshinyfish0001.JPGWhy would anyone want to drive for hours through flat soulless countryside, spend a night in one of Romania’s more ugly towns, then six hours on a small, open boat in the freezing cold wind, in order to have one dinner of fish, followed by sour fish soup, followed by fish, in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, and a night in a room so icy cold you can’t sleep, then back on the boat, and another night in the ugly town (and all for more Euros than you’d care to mention)??

Well, despite asking ourselves this question several times, we are extremely glad we spent two days visiting the Danube delta in Romania.  If we hadn’t, we’d never have seen what an incredible landscape the delta forms.  Nor would we have learnt how to make the unusual and delicious, traditional delta fish soup.

Corn and courgette soup

This soup might sound too plain and simple to be very interesting, but it is very delicious.  It is the first soup I was asked to make at Chez Panisse, and I've made it several times since at work and at home.  (It was not the soup that ended up in the compost, so you can trust me on this one.)  It is creamy, sweet and delicious.  The trick is to get a good balance between corny and courgettey flavours.  You might be tempted to substitute tinned corn for cobs, but please don’t.

Smbobscorn0001.jpgWe are still getting corn here, but I guess the season may have ended in the UK - ?  Judging by the Halloween decorations ALREADY out on our neighbours' houses, it must be 'fall', so I guess recipes will be moving over to the celeriac/potato/roast meat variety quite soon.  I'm going to have to send you one more corn recipe first though, as there are just too many important corn facts I feel compelled to write up.  For instance, did you know that one quarter of the c.45,000 products sold in the average American supermarket contain corn?  Find out more about corn's domestication of the human race next week...


Culinary Anthropologist