Cream of Onion Soup

The thought of this soup really didn’t appeal to me at first, but then I do really love french onion soup so felt I should be more open minded about this one…

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I halved this recipe as was making this for lunch for me and my daughter. I ended up with 2 large onions and was using some chicken stock I’d made and again I just made up a bouquet garni with the herbs in the garden..

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I wasn’t a fan of onions when I was younger but even my daughter thought the smell of the onions cooking was great! I left them to cook for the full 45 minutes and by then they were really soft. I opted to blitz rather then sieve and it did look a decent consistency at this point before I added any milk and flour.

I don’t really think my butter and flour really ended up like a smooth cream but I added it anyway, and then after a bit of boiling it was even thicker.

I always expect a cream of soup to have more than just a couple of tablespoons of cream!

Half of these quantities made enough for one big bowl and one child sized bowl but I wasn’t sure how much my daughter was going to enjoy this!

I think even I was surprised how nice this was, it was a really lovely consistency and the flavour was fab, definitely not an overpowering oniony flavour! I had put the large bowl down for me and the smaller bowl for my daughter, but she loved this so much that she switched the bowls and she polished off the lot! Has to be a good sign?!?

Would I make this again? Yes, was way better then I expected

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Cream of Asparagus Soup

I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this recipe. It’s maybe a bit warm for soup!!

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So I had bought the asparagus for this soup and despite not being in the mood for hot soup I carried on anyway! I would say I had a medium sized bundle, and the others in my house did not want soup so I halved this and made just for me!

It’s quite an unusual method to put the butter, onion, stock and asparagus straight into the pan and leave to simmer. Once I added the flour with the stalk it thickened up really quickly. I opted to blend rather than sieve.

I attempted to garnish with the tips but they sunk! Also the photo makes this look almost white but it was actually a really nice pale green.

We’ll I was pleasantly surprised. This is delicious, I just loved the flavour of this soup! The texture was good as well, lovely and velvety and not too thin! Overall I really enjoyed this and was really easy to make.

Would I make this again? Yes I most definitely would!

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Bortsch

I believe this is a Ukrainian soup, but any other recipe I found kept the beetroot in the soup and didn’t involve the whole straining thing..

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What a mess I made grating the beetroot. I fished out the grater attachment for my mixer that I don’t think I’ve ever used, but despite using that I made one heck of a mess! It looked liked I butchered something in the kitchen and my hands were a lovely shade of pink!

One of the things I like about soup is that it tends to just involve one pan and a blender. Well to make this I used 3 pans, 2 sieves and a mixer. I used three pans as every time I strained it I used another one! Way way to much washing up for my liking!

Also I hated straining off all the veg, and I ended up eating some of it straight from the sieve and it was really yummy!

I’ve never used egg white in this way, and I do think it did make the soup a bit clearer. I’m pretty sure I saw a chef in TV do this last week and he made some comment about the boiling stage, so not sure if I over boiled or under boiled as the soup didn’t look completely clear. Have to say the egg white looked utterly revolting as it was being strained off so I had no problem putting that in the bin!

So how did this taste? I actually really liked this. I put a spoonful of sour cream in the soup and had hoped that would make a pretty photo – it didn’t, it looked seriously awful but tasted great!

Even my daughter ate this and think at first she found the colour amusing, but then after half a bowl had had enough. It’s just very thin, and can’t help but think how good it would’ve been if I had left all the veg in..

Would I make this again? Just like this, no probably not, I would make a beetroot soup again but wouldn’t waste all the tasty veg

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Cream of Cucumber Soup

I really can’t imagine a cucumber making a good soup. I had real reservations about this recipe. I do like cucumber, but cold just as it is, I’m not sure about this one…

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As you can see there’s no other veg in this, it’s just the cucumber! I usually have onions and potatoes in my soup for flavour and thickness. This recipe is using the egg yolk trick for thickening and I suppose that will keep the calories down in this one. Yes there is cream but only a couple spoonfuls!

I was a bit stumped at the first step, how on earth do you scald a cucumber! There is a whole chapter on cooking terms so here’s the definition of scalding..

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This doesn’t actually help, the cucumber isn’t hairy, dirty and I assumed I’m not trying to remove the skin? So no idea what the purpose of that stage was!

I was using ham stock for this and I still have a supply of mace.

So boiled cucumber doesn’t look terribly appealing, hence the lack of photos. When I added the egg yolk the whole texture changed and it became very velvety looking. Still didn’t look thick enough for me but was looking a bit more appealing!

Well I was pleasantly surprised! I actually enjoyed this, and even my 6yr old daughter enjoyed it, although she was convinced it was pea soup! It’s certainly not a strong flavour, but it’s very pleasant. I definitely like my soups much thicker, I had to throw a slice of bread in to soak it up a bit!

Would I make this again? Maybe, I’d need to add a potato or two to make it thicker!

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Mulligatawny Soup

So this recipe is a bit of a contrast to last nights, it took about 10 times a long to make! To be honest there are some nights when that suits, if you have something else to get on with then this can simmer away in the background..

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This does seem like quite an extensive ingredient list, but once you’ve got all the veg chopped it’s not that bad. I don’t know why but I had it in my head that mulligatawny soup had pumpkin in it! For that reason I had been flicking past this recipe and thinking I would wait and make in October. Wasn’t until I clocked a can in the supermarket that I realised is more like a curry flavoured soup.

For this I didn’t use chicken, I had a solitary piece of steak in the freezer that wasn’t really enough for anything, so I used that. Also I think instead of cooking the rice separately you could add it towards the end of the cooking time and let it cook actually in the soup.

As for the cooking time, it is ages! I’ve no idea quite why it has to cook so long, the other references to this didn’t have such a long cooking time. It did suit me as I had other stuff to do so left this simmering away.

So when I read I was to sieve the soup I couldn’t believe I was to throw away all that veg I had chopped! I had assumed that if I really was meant to throw it away then the recipe wouldn’t have been quite so exact about finely chopping the veg. So I am admitting to a slight deviation because I could not face sieving off all the veg!

So after all that time how did it taste? Amazing! I really loved it and it was well worth the wait. I had opted for the 2 tablespoons of curry powder and it had a brilliant heat to it. I’m also really glad I left in the veg as they are all soft, but not mushy, and really tasty.

I made the full quantity of this and it does make a lot, but I had two bowls of this, and I think it’s one of those soups that will taste even better tomorrow..

Would I make this again? Yes but I’d cut back the cooking time to see if that really makes a difference

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Pea Soup

I think I’ve only ever made pea soup once before and that was a pea and mint one which was a bit watery. The recipe says to use a little turnip, I had a whole turnip so I scaled up this recipe to use up the entire turnip

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I’m not happy yet with the recipe photos; I am finding it easier as I don’t have to type it all out but I just need to play around and get a style that I’m happy with. I think in the meantime it does what I need it to do!

I started soaking the peas this morning, so they did get just about 11 hours. I didn’t add any bacon or ham, I was tempted but I wanted to try this just with the peas first. I reckon I had this boiling for closer to 2 hours, and I did blend it which resulted in a really velvety consistency.

I was expecting quite a bland soup but was really surprised how appetising it was. We had this with some crusty rolls and it’s really filling. I didn’t expect the dried peas to create such a strong flavour! If you wanted to keep the calories down you could omit the milk; I tried it before the milk went in and was equally as tasty.

I have made loads of this so will be having again tomorrow and will freeze some.

Would I make this again? Yes, will try with some bacon next time
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Herb Dumplings

I have neglected my blog for the last two days while we were away for a post Christmas break. We returned today to some pretty bare cupboards, and after perhaps a slight overindulgence we were looking forward to a healthy bowl of soup for dinner. There is no bread in the house so though I’d have a go at these to serve with the soup. This recipe comes from the soup chapter and is a suggested accompaniment for any meat or vegetable soup.

Ingredients

4 oz self raising flour
2 oz suet
Half an onion grated
Half a tsp mixed herbs
Seasoning
Water

Mix the flour, suet, onion, herbs together. Add seasoning and sufficient water to make an elastic dough. Divide into approximately 16 portions, roll into small balls using a bit of flour. Add to the soup and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

I was making a parsnip and carrot soup as that’s all the veg we had in the fridge, I also threw in the other part of the onion and the last of the potatoes.

I halved this recipe for the three of us, so only ended up grating a quarter of an onion, but the rest was going in the soup anyway. I just used dried oregano but think you could use whatever dried herbs you have in the cupboards.

My soup had been simmering for about 20 minutes then blended, and then the dumplings were added. At first they sank to the bottom but gradually made there way back to the surface and started to puff up. I think my soup was maybe a touch thick, I think I ended up cooking the dumplings for over 20 minutes.

These were a great addition to the soup and a nice change from just bread. My daughter found it amusing that there was a dumpling in her soup, and she did enjoy them. Overall the soup was great and the dumplings were a perfect accompaniment.

Would I make these again? Yes
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Cream of Artichoke Soup

I know I’ve made this before but that was way back in the first few weeks and I was not well versed on the complicated topic of artichokes! I had used a can of artichoke hearts when the recipe asks for Jerusalem artichokes and they are different, a Jerusalem artichoke isn’t even an artichoke apparently; it’s a root vegetable!

So am going to give the recipe over again

Ingredients

2-3 bacon rinds
1.5 lbs Jerusalem artichokes
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 onion chopped
2 pints of chicken stock
Half oz of butter if needed
3 tbsps flour or cornflour
Quarter pint milk
Parsley
Tbsp cream

Fry the bacon to extract the fat. Cook the artichokes, celery and onion in the fat for 5 minutes, until soft but not coloured; add the butter if necessary. Add the stock and seasonings, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Blitz the soup. Blend the flour and milk to a smooth cream, stir in a little of the hot soup and return the mixture to the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until it thickens, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Re-season if necessary and add the parsley and cream.

I came across the artichokes by accident. I was in the butcher and about to walk out the door when I noticed a basket of them out the front window, so had to buy them and make this again!

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When I say after every recipe that I am going to make something again, I don’t plan on re-blogging it; but I did want to post this one again as felt it was important to make it with the correct artichoke.

As the last time it is easy to make, and it smells good when cooking. I used cornflour and I didn’t need any extra butter.

Taste wise this was even better! The last version was good but this just had a much deeper flavour. It really was delicious, and the consistency was lovely. I really enjoyed this, even more than the last version!

So would I make it again with the Jerusalem artichoke? Oh yes!
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Cream of Celery Soup

I’ve had a whole head of celery in the fridge for a while, I do quite like to snack on raw celery sticks, but any recipe I’ve made with celery as the main ingredient has not been popular with my family! I was aiming to make them change their opinion!

Ingredients

1 head of celery chopped
1 onion chopped
1 oz butter
2 pints white stock or milk and stock mixed
A bouquet garni
3 tbsps flour
Quarter pint of milk
2-3 tbsps cream
Chopped parsley

Lightly fry the celery and onion in the butter for 5-7 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the stock or milk and stock mix, seasoning, bouquet garni and simmer for about 1 hour until the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet garni. Sieve the soup or put it in an electric blender then return to the pan. Blend the flour and milk to a smooth paste. Stir in a little of the hot soup and then return the mixture to the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until it thickens. Cook for 2-3 minutes, re-season if necessary and add the cream and parsley before serving.

Before I started cooking soups from this book I always used to put potato in every soup. That’s what I used to thicken it. Most of the soups from the book use the flour mix to thicken, and it does work ok, although none have been quite as thick as I would like.

For this recipe I used a stock and milk mix, I had planned to use all stock but I didn’t defrost enough, so made it up with milk. I used the little inside leafy sticks of celery to make a bouquet garni; I filled it with a bay leaf and parsley stalk. If you don’t have any fresh herbs then you could use dried.

I find that celery really looses it’s colour when it cooks, so after boiling for an hour it looked really pale. After blitzing with my hand blender it was almost like mint green colour. I don’t really think it needs the cream but for sake of consistency I added it anyway.

I’ve mentioned before that celery is a negative calorie food, but it’s also an anti-oxidant so makes a good healthy soup! There’s not too much cream in this so that doesn’t add too many calories.

I really really enjoyed this! I remember my mum used to make celery soup when we were young and it was one of the best soups she made! This was lovely and smooth but just not quite thick enough for me.

Would I make this again? Yes I would, and even my husband enjoyed this despite his initial reservations!
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Cream of Leek and Potato Soup

I quite often make leek and potato soup, is one of our favourites. To be honest this is no different from what I usually do except this has cream added!

Ingredients

4 medium leeks sliced
1 small onion chopped
3 medium sized potatoes chopped
1oz butter
2 pints stock
2-3 tbsps cream

Lightly fry the veg in the butter for about 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the stock, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the veg is cooked. Sieve or put in an electric blender and return to the pan. Re-heat, season and add the cream.

Really straightforward to make this. I use chicken stock that I made the last time we had chicken, I freeze it in portions of about 300ml so I know how much I’m defrosting, could just as easily use cubes, which I do when there’s no stock left in freezer. Usually when I make soup I don’t measure the liquid, I usually just put in enough to cover the veg and hope I end up with a nice thick soup. I did measure this volume, and at first I thought it seemed like loads and I was going to end up with a watery soup, but once I poured it in the pot it looked like the amount I’d usually use, however it was a bit thinner than I’d normally like by the time it was blended. I don’t normally leave my soup to simmer for 45 minutes, usually 30 minutes max. I stuck with the recipe and by the time 45 minutes had passed the potatoes had practically disintegrated! Just made it quicker to blend!

There’s not much to say about this really, all three of us love this soup anyway so knew this was going to be tasty. The cream just adds an extra richness that was nice. I was going to try and be arty and attempt to drizzle a shape with the cream, didn’t look good! We had this with some homemade bread and butter, delicious!

Would I make this again? Yes, make this often anyway but adding the cream was a nice addition!
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