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June 17, 2020
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June 20, 2020

Winter soups

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Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 750 g jap pumpkin diced
  • 250 g potatoes diced
  • 2 onions diced medium
  • 3 chicken stock cubes crumbled
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 250 ml thickened cream
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper *to taste

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the cream, into a large saucepan.
  2. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Blend with a stick blender until smooth.
  5. Add cream and stir through (do not boil after adding cream).
  6. Season to taste.
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Cream of Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium Spanish onion 
  • 2 stalks celery (with leaves) 
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour 
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 3/4 cups cooked diced chicken
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 12 minutes.
  2. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes more.
  3. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil while whisking constantly.
  4. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the soup.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chicken and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  7. Whisk the heavy cream, sherry, and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Remove and discard the herb bundle.
  8. Divide among soup bowls, sprinkle the top of each soup with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
  • olive oil
  • 2 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 1 litre organic vegetable stock
  • 1 large handful of seasonal greens, such as savoy cabbage, curly kale, chard
  • 100 g wholemeal pasta
  • 1⁄2 a bunch of fresh basil, optional
  • Parmesan cheese

Method:

1. Finely chop garlic and onion. Chop the carrots, celery and courgette, then add the vegetables to a large bowl.

2. Cut the ends off the leek, quarter it lengthways, wash it under running water, then cut into 1cm slices. Add to the bowl.

3. Scrub and dice the potato. Drain the cannellini beans, then set aside.

4. Finely slice the bacon.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry gently for 2 minutes, or until golden.

6. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, courgette, leek, oregano and bay and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.

7. Add the potato, cannellini beans and plum tomatoes, then pour in the vegetable stock. Stir well, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

8. Cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through. Meanwhile…

9. Remove and discard any tough stalks bits from the greens, then roughly chop.

10. Using a rolling pin, bash the pasta into pieces while it’s still in the packet or wrap in a clean tea towel.

11. To check the potato is cooked, pierce a chunk of it with a sharp knife – if it pierces easily, it’s done.

12. Add the greens and pasta to the pan, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. This translates as ‘to the tooth’ and means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of a bite and firmness to it. Try some just before the time is up to make sure you cook it perfectly.

13. Add a splash more stock or water to loosen, if needed.

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