My favourite winter lunch is home-made soup with a slice of toasted, buttered sourdough, a slab of mature cheddar and a dollop of chutney or a beetroot salad.
What could be more simple and more warming on a winter’s day?
The base of the soup is the same for the different soups.
- 1 onion
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 1/2 leek (optional)
- 1 tbls of olive oil
- 1 litre of good stock (chicken or vegetable bouillon)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the onion and garlic and cook in the olive oil for five minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and then add the chopped celery and carrot (sometimes I substitute a leek for the carrot and sometimes I use both).
Then add whatever vegetable the soup will be that day before adding the hot stock.
Beetroot top Soup
As I love beetroot salad in the winter, I make sure I buy them with their leaves, which make a lovely earthy tasting soup.
- One good bunch of beetroot tops
- 2 tbls of creme fraiche.
Chop the stalks of the beetroot tops and add to the base vegetables before adding the stock, cook for five or ten minutes to soften, then add the stock and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Add the chopped beetroot leaves and cook for five minutes.
Whiz the soup with an immersion blender or a food blender. Serve with a tablespoon of creme fraiche.
Carrot, Orange and Cardemon Soup
- 1 bunch of carrots, chopped
- 1 orange, organic
- 10 cardamon pods, seeds removed
- 1 dried chilli (optional)
- Dukkah spice mix and olive oil to serve
After sweating the onion, garlic and celery, add the chopped carrots and cook in the olive oil until starting to soften.
Add the juice and zest of the orange.
Add the cardamon seeds and chilli if using and then add the stock.
Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are cooked
Whiz with an immersion blender or in a food blender and serve with Dukkah spice mix and a swirl of olive oil.
Chard and Chive Soup
- One bunch of Chard, (you could also use Kale or Spinach)
- 1 medium or 2 small potatoes
- Chives chopped
- 2 tbls Creme fraiche
After sweating the onion, garlic, add the carrot, celery and chard stalks, along with the potatoes cut into cubes (you can leave the peel on). Cook for five to ten minutes until softening.
Add the hot stock and cook for twenty minutes until the potato and carrots are soft.
Add the chard leaves and cook for a few minutes (Don’t over-cook as you want to keep the green colour).
Whiz in an immersion blender or in a food blender and serve with a tablespoon of creme fraiche and some chopped chives.
- One bunch of beetroot (leaves removed to make the soup)
- 2 tbls of olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- t tsp caraway seeds
- Salt and pepper
Wash the beetroot, but do not peel.
Put into a cold pan of water and bring to the boil, then turn down to a low simmer.
Cook for 45 minutes, or until soft, depending on their size.
Drain and when cool enough to handle, peel.
Slice and add the olive oil and red wine vinegar and sprinkle with the caraway seeds, salt and pepper to taste.