Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Resolution 1 - Make More Soup

This was obviously going to be an easy resolution if I wanted it to be – I mean, how hard is making soup, and if you love it, won’t you be motivated to keep making it? Maybe – but sometimes you can get into little procrastinatory and demotivating cycles where it’s the tiny things that you allow to put you off – the blender is on too high a shelf for me to reach without getting a ladder; the fridge is too full to stock up on soup ingredients; I don’t know when I’ll have time to eat it up; I can’t be arsed with all that chopping. So this resolution was just a gentle reminder to myself to get to it, and so far anyway this has been successful.
Soups made so far:
  • Spiced squid, scallop and chorizo – mostly following a recipe in a new fish book, I was fully planning to make this with fresh squid and let it simmer away for ages to tenderise, but Waitrose fish counter had none in stock; so a compromise of some fresh scallops was used instead, with some pre-cooked squid meze from the deli counter added. It worked out grand, with lovely warming flavours, but I’d make sure of the fresh squid supply first if making again.
  • Brie and Courgette – a stalwart recipe from the New Covent Garden Soup Company Book of Soups – that I’ve made time and again and it’s never let me down. Saved some in the freezer so that's my weekend lunch sorted.
  • Chestnut mushroom with garlic & parsley – for some reason I’ve never made a mushroom soup before – I think possibly because I once ate the most perfect, textured mushroom soup in a Paul Rankin café in N Ireland, and I know I’ll never be able to replicate it.
  • Celery - nice and simple, had some leftover celery to use up, so just put in a pan with one potato, onion and some stock, and that was it!
  • Irish broth – a strong contender for my favourite food in the world – but I rarely make it as you just can’t get celery leaf – a major ingredient – in any quantity in England. So I was reduced to hunting through the celery stick bundles in supermarkets, furtively pulling off any leafy bits, stuffing them into a single pack, and buying it. I reckoned I wasn’t depriving anyone of it – most people probably put the leafy part in the bin – and the end justified the means. If anyone knows of a source of celery leaf, PLEASE let me know, so I no longer appear on security cameras ‘messing with the celery’. I was also going to use a turkey drumstick I picked up at a Farmers’ Market for stock & meat, but it didn’t smell quite right, so I just used some good chicken stock cubes and added shredded chicken later.
Soup making next:
  • Don’t know! But I know I need to get on with it and keep up the momentum, so I’ll have a think over the next few days and see what inspiration hits me. Something hearty for lunchtimes perhaps, with the onset of this colder snap. Or maybe I'll be inspired after I come back from Belgium to make a beer and cheese soup, yum ...


  1. some of my usuals:
    carrot and ginger
    "green" soup: brocoli and spinnach with chickpeas

    love rocket and mushroom too

    I intend to try making a beetroot soup somewhen

    brie and courgette sounds intriguing, think I'll hjave to try that!

    1. As long as you have a decent blender the brie & courgette is a fab soup. If making beetroot soup, will it be borscht? Or something else?

      Just had really great broccoli, cauliflower and Stilton soup for lunch, maybe cheese-in-soup is the way forward!

  2. cheese in everything is the way forward ;)

    Got a decent enough blender. looks easy

    not sure with the beetroot soup, had a recipe somewhere

  3. When the weather turns nasty, like what it's going to do this weekend, I crave Squash & Chorizo soup. Roast chunks of squash drizzled with olive oil with plenty cloves of garlic until slightly blackened. Scrape all the good bits into a soupy base of sauted onion, celery and diced Chorizo. Top up with water/stock, seasoning, and maybe some Paprika Picante, and blend till smooth. Proper scientifically proven medicine against sniffles.

    1. Mmm that sounds good, I do like roast squash or sweet potato with paprika. Need to eat up the brie & courgette from my freezer to make space for a batch of something new!

  4. I made chicken and lemon soup yesterday, as well as some nutty bread. Cant wait for lunch today!! I will blog about this later and will also blog the recipe for the chilli and chorizo broth....FINALLY i hear you cry :)

    Love the blog - keep it up xx