The clocks have gone back, and there is no turning back for us either; Winter is well and truly on its way and we’ll be needing a little help from our soups to warm ourselves up. Here are my top 5 ideas to see you through soup season. These won’t be recipes as such, as essentially, to me, soup is about three easy steps:
- Get the most flavour out of your ingredients – this could be through roasting, frying, or the way you chop/prep them
- Boil them up in a decent stock
- Blend (or not!) and top up with cream, cheeses, herbs, croutons… whatever you fancy.
Speaking of stock, this video from the Happy Pear will give you some great tips to make your own:
This year’s favourite soups
- Crocodile Soup
The name itself is a great way to get the younger ones in the family to get behind this deliciously creamy soup.
All you’ll need is courgettes, garlic, shallots or onions and a few triangles of Laughing Cow cheese… If you want to make it in the more grown up way, use melted Emmental or another Swiss Cheese instead, but trust me, it won’t be the same. For this soup, I usually fry the courgettes together with the garlic and shallots until lightly charred before popping them in the stock. I melt the cheese and chop the herbs in after blending.
- Nutty Soup
This is a brand new discovery, inspired by this recipe from Directo Al Paladar which I more or less followed. In this case, they use carrots, potatoes and an apple to form the base and lightly fry them with finely chopped toasted hazelnuts. What this has inspired me to think about and try are to make more soups with nuts. I can easily imagine adding Walnuts to a Broccoli and Blue Cheese soup for example.
- Pumpkin / Winter Squash soup
The best way to soup these up is to roast them in lightly oiled chunks with nutmeg, salt and pepper before blending with a generous helping of cream and topping with roughly chopped curly leaf parsley… (Remember, if you’re in the UK, NEVER buy the flat stuff from a supermarket!)
- Tagine Soup
This is perhaps a bold title for what is essentially adding stock to leftover Tagines before blending. Alternatively, the use of warm spices and spice blends (Ras El Hanout, Ginger, Cinnamon etc.) to root veg will probably give you a nice twist on some familiar classics.
- Midnight Soup
If you read this blog regularly, you might have read something about The Midnight Soup before… Winter soup among winter soups, it blends your leftover vegetables together with stewed tomatoes, beans and smoked paprika in a filling, comforting one pot meal best served shared. My story of this dish and something of a recipe are detailed in this book you can now order. As Hive & Hob readers, we can offer you a special price of £5 + P&P when you request your copy via the contact page of this site before 5th December 2016.