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Soup

April 24, 2016
By

I’m about to lunch on the leftovers of the soup I made for my friend Annie on Saturday. It is my own invention – a broccoli and Camembert soup – which I cannot get enough of. It is utterly delicious and incredibly easy to make.

I bought my first soupmaker back in 2012, as detailed in my personal blog (before I started this food blog). Back then, the reactions I got from friends and family were pretty much “You need a machine to make soup?”. But I like gadgets, and I did find that I made soup a lot more often than in the old saucepan days.

Morphy-Richards-501014-Saute-and-Soup-Maker-2016Recently, that machine gave out; and when I replaced it with a new Morphy Richards machine, the more common response I got from folks was “Hey, that’s cool”. I guess that they are more commonplace, now.

The machine cannot be easier to use – just pile your ingredients in, with some stock – and set it working. Within 20-30 minutes, the soup is hot and ready to eat.

Many soup recipes seem to start with a chopped onion. I prefer to use a leek, as I find it less harsh. The model of soup maker I have has a sauté function, which lets you lightly fry your choice of Allium before adding other ingredients – while not essential, I think it makes for a better flavour.

So here are my current 3 soup favourites. All of them are cooked on the machine’s smooth setting, which takes just 21 minutes to process. I have yet to use the chunky setting, but will experiment with that soon. All of these recipes should also work with a saucepan and stick blender, although you’ll need to figure out your cooking time yourself.

Broccoli and Camembert Soup

  • Chop a leek (or an onion) and fry it in a little oil until soft and transparent – don’t let it brown.
  • Cut up a whole head of broccoli (225g approx), including the stalk. Add to soupmaker.
  • Take half a Camembert (125g approx), and cut into 5-6 chunks. Add to soupmaker.
  • Fill soupmaker to fill line (1.6 litres, including ingredients) with either a vegetable or light chicken stock. Or add a stock cube (or “stock pot”), and fill to line with boiling water.
  • Season with salt and pepper (pepper only, if using a stock cube).
  • Start soupmaker on Smooth, and wait for 21 minutes.

(Note: Of course, Stilton is more traditionally paired with Broccoli; just replace the Camembert with the same amount of Stilton)

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

  • Chop a leek (or an onion) and fry it in a little oil until soft and transparent – don’t let it brown.
  • Cut a butternut squash in half (450g approx), peel an chop into inch-size pieces, discarding any seeds. Add to soupmaker.
  • Peel and chop a large sweet potato. Add to soupmaker.
  • Fill soupmaker to fill line with either a vegetable or light chicken stock; or a stock cube and boiling water.
  • Season with salt and pepper (pepper only, if using a stock cube), plus 2-3 teaspoons of sweet paprika.
  • Start soupmaker on Smooth, and wait for 21 minutes.

This works really nicely with sour cream added when serving.

Pea and Ham Soup

  • Start with 300g of ham lardons, add to soupmaker and saute, adding some oil only if necessary. When ready, remove them and put them to one side.
  • Add 1 chopped leek or onion, and cook in the lardon fat until soft and transparent.
  • Add 1 small peeled and chopped potato, to help the soup thicken (optional).
  • Add 450g frozen peas.
  • Then add back 2/3 of the lardons, reserving 1/3 for a garnish.
  • Fill soupmaker to fill line with either a vegetable, ham or pork stock; or a stock cube and boiling water.
  • Start soupmaker on Smooth, and wait for 21 minutes.

Garnish with remaining lardons and either cream or creme fraiche.

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