Tag Archives: soups

Recipe: Super Easy Tomato Soup

Hello!  It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  Sorry about that.  I got back from overseas, and dove straight into election mode, which meant a heap of work on my politics blog, and then I slept for several days, and then I went back to work, and then I got sort of low level sick for about a week and a half and then horrible things happened around the world and I got depressed about it, and then I had fiction writing to do, and then it was suddenly August.  I shall try not to go on such a prolonged hiatus again, but I make no promises – politics happens, work never stops happening, and I’m really enjoying writing fiction on my Stories Under Paris site at the moment, more than I’ve enjoyed writing anything for years, so a lot of my energy will be focused there.  I’m trying to reduce my hours at work, which should help a little, and I want to use some of the time I recapture to work on a cookbook, but I have to do things that aren’t writing sometimes, too, especially as my wrist is still not great…

Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of very easy cooking recently, and I’ve made this soup a couple of times (without once managing to photograph it, alas), and really like it.  I’m not going to claim that it is a work of genius, and it does rely rather on things from the pantry, but it’s a tasty soup for a winter night, especially when served with a toasted jarlsberg cheese sandwich.  I like the combination of tomato flavours from passata, chopped tomatoes and freshly roasted ones – I think you get an interesting balance of tomatoishness from the different treatments the tomatoes have received.  (But mostly I like it because it feels like a healthier version of my childhood comfort food of Campbells Tomato Soup from a tin…)

Your Shopping List

1 kg roma tomatoes
1 red onion
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegarolive oil, salt and pepper for roasting
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 bottle (500-700ml) passata

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Recipe: Split pea soup with Tandoori Masala and Spiced Cauliflower

soup2Kari at Bite-Sized Thoughts posted a recipe yesterday for split pea soup with caraway seeds. It looked gorgeous and warming and wintry, and I did have split peas needing to be used up, so I decided that would be lunch today.

Only then I woke up very late, and letting a soup simmer for an hour didn’t seem like a good way to get lunch on the table at, well, lunchtime.  And then I realised I didn’t have caraway seeds or cabbage.  No worries – I have a pressure cooker! 

Also, I wasn’t dressed yet, which meant that Andrew would be the one doing the shopping, and he hates cabbage.  I can sneak it into things and he will eat it (even if he knows it’s there), but blatantly making him go out and buy it seemed a bit unnecessarily confronting.  So I started thinking about what I could put in instead, and whether I even wanted caraway seeds, really (I mostly don’t like them, except when I do), and then I needed to look up how long split peas needed in a pressure cooker, and Lorna Sass had a recipe for split pea soup with sweet potato and apples, and I had apples to use up, and then I thought, really, split peas are my favourite kind of dal, and I also have all these Indian spice mixes and…

… well, basically, it was suddenly a very different soup.  Almost a stew, actually. Also, it makes enough for 6-8 people, so lunch for the next few days is basically sorted.  Also, it’s really, really satisfying and good, especially in this chilly weather.  Not bad for something that cooks in twenty minutes…

Your Shopping List

1 tablespoon of butter or sunflower oil
2 small onions
3 celery sticks
2 cups yellow split peas
4 cups water
2 cups stock, any kind that appeals (you can use a couple of extra cups at the end to thin the soup, but don’t use them for the main part of cooking if you are using a pressure cooker, as split peas can misbehave if their level is too high)
1 big sweet potato – about 650g
1 apple
1 tsp mint
1-2 tsp tandoori masala spice blend
pinch of salt and pepper
1 cauliflower
2-3 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1 tbsp panch poron spice mix
1/4 tsp chilli flakes

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Recipe: Tortellini Soup for a Sick Day

I am a sad, sick little Catherine today.  Worse still, I woke up with no voice at all, which is most distressing, because I am supposed to be singing solos in three different performances this weekend, one of which will be my first ever go at doing a collection of solos from an oratorio.  Or anything. Assuming I have a voice.  Though I’ve been steaming it assiduously, and staying scrupulously silent, and it’s beginning to feel as though there might be a voice there after all. Fingers crossed…

Anyway.  If I’m going to spend half my time leaning over a bowl of steaming water, I figure it might as well be soup.  And since I had all this lovely, rich chicken stock left over from slow cooking a chicken last weekend, chicken-noodle soup seemed like the way to go.  I did a survey of the fridge and discovered beans, onions and carrots, and then toddled out to the supermarket for corn and tiny pasta… which is where I found that they had cheese tortellini on special. 

Tortellini in brodo (broth) is generally more of a celebration thing than a sick day thing in Italian culture, but given my Nonna’s penchant for feeding us eggy things and chickeny things when we were sick, it seemed appropriate.    So a miniaturised, more vegetable-oriented tortellini in brodo is going to be my lunch today…

Your Shopping List (serves 1-2)

olive oil
1 small onion
2 baby carrots (teenaged, really) or one adult carrot
100 g green beans
100 g corn – either in a tin or off the cob
2 cups of broth, any kind so long as it is actually tasty, because it’s the main flavour of the soup.
100 g dried tortellini (Barilla is a good brand)

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Recipe: Onion Soup for a Sick Day

Beautiful onions!

The Christopher Robinish breakfast didn’t work, so  it’s time to resort to my ultimate virus-fighting weapon: onion soup.  What what could be stronger, heartier, or more pungent? No virus would dare colonise a body with this many allicins in it, or at least, that’s my theory.  Plus,  hot liquids are fabulous  for soothing a sore throat. 

I’ve based this soup on a beef stock, but you can also use the vegetable stock from my Three Roasted Vegetable Soups post – but add a few dried mushrooms, or a spoonful or two of porcini powder if you have it; you want your stock to have a good, strong, ‘brown’ flavour. 

Best of all, you can make this soup in steps, with long rests in between, during which you can stagger back to bed: first the stock, which needs to simmer for an hour, and is even better if it simmers for two; then the sliced onions, which need to cook, slowly for another hour or so without much attention from you; then the combination of both, which simmers on the stove until you are ready to eat.  That virus won’t even want to enter the *house

Your Shopping List

For the stock
1kg beef bones, with some meat on them
1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
2 celery sticks, with their leaves, chopped into large chunks
4 cloves garlic
a few black peppercorns
a teaspoon or two of dried rosemary
salt, to taste
porcini mushroom powder, if you have it, or throw in a few dried mushrooms
125ml white wine
For the soup
50g butter
75g brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 kg of onions, approximately – use a mix of red, white and yellow,  and maybe some shallots if you can find them
2 leeks
6 cloves garlic
salt, pepper and porcini powder (optional, but yummy) to taste

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Recipe: Three Roasted Vegetable Soups

Three recipes in one post today, because it’s the same (very easy!) method, but with markedly different flavours.  I’ve given recipes for a very simple but delicious pumpkin soup, a subtly perfumed beetroot soup and a creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup, but you could use this method to make a soup out of any root vegetable you liked (though you would need to change the roasting times and the seasoning accordingly).  Myself, I think it’s crying out for a good sweet-spicy roast carrot incarnation, perhaps with maple syrup and ginger, but three soups is enough for one evening!  Don’t be tempted to buy stock.  The stock recipe below takes all of 5 minutes of hands-on cooking time and it will taste far better than anything you could buy at the supermarket.  And your soups deserve a good stock.  Trust me.

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Your Shopping List…

olive oil
800g pumpkin (buy 1kg, because you’ll lose some of the weight in seeds and skin)
2 brown onions
rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper

1 large carrot
1 large onion
2 celery sticks
2 roma tomatoes
5 large sprigs of parsley.  Or more.
1 bay leaf
1 sage leaf
1 small sprig rosemary
pinch of saffron

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