Soups

HOT SOUPS

MUSHROOM CAPPUCCINO

A rich, rib-sticking soup with a shot of frothy milk or whipped cream at the end to lighten things up. Use a mixture of cultivated and wild mushrooms – whatever you can find in the forest or shops. The dried ceps are soaked in water to plump them up – be sure to use the soaking water in the soup, which pumps up the flavour no end.

Makes 6 large or 10-12 small portions

25g dried ceps
25g butter + 1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed
600-700g mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp flour
500ml vegetable or meat stock
500ml milk
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
150ml milk or whipping cream

  • Soak the ceps in a cup of hot water and allow to soften (about 30′)
  • Heat the butter and oil in a medium saucepan, cook the onion and garlic gently without allowing them to brown
  • Add the fresh, sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, cover and stew gently till juices are rendered (10-15′)
  • Uncover the pan, raise the heat and cook hard, stirring, till juices are concentrated and evaporated
  • Stir in the flour and cook a little more
  • Strain the ceps, reserve the liquid and strain it again through muslin
  • Add the stock, milk, ceps and reserved soaking liquid, season to taste, add a grating of nutmeg and bring to a boil, stirring
  • Simmer the soup for 15 minutes – take care it doesn’t boil over!
  • Liquidize the soup (hand-held blender goes well) and check seasoning
  • Froth up the milk in the coffee machine (or whip the cream)
  • Ladle the soup into 6 heated bowls (or 10-12 small coffee cups) and top with frothy milk or whipped cream

BEAN SOUP WITH BACON AND TOMATOES, PUMPKINSEED AND PARSLEY PESTO

A robust and delicious soup of mixed beans (flagelots, haricot, kidney beans etc.) with bacon and tomatoes, topped with pumpkinseed and parsley pesto.

Serves 4-6
100 g lardons (bacon, diced small)
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed
a piece of celery root peeled and chopped or 1 stick celery, chopped
2 carrots
400 g tinned tomatoes and their juice
a sprig of thyme + a crumbled bay leaf
3 x 400g tins of beans (flageolets, haricots, kidney etc.), drained
1.5 litres stock or water
Pesto
25g pumpkin seeds
1 clove garlic
50g flat-leaf parsley (a huge bunch), leaves only
2 fresh goat’s cheeses or 25g grated Sbrinz
a pinch of salt
5 tbsp olive oil

  • Fry the bacon cubes in a heavy pan until their fat is rendered and they are lightly golden
  • Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots, cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until slightly soft
  • Raise the heat, add the tomatoes and their juice and the herbs
  • Cook hard, mashing the tomatoes into the vegetables, until the juices are somewhat evaporated
  • Add stock or water and drained beans, simmer for about 30 minutes or until well flavoured
  • For pesto, put pumpkin seeds and unpeeled garlic clove in a small heavy pan and heat till seeds are lightly toasted (take care they don’t burn), the garlic skin a little browned and the flesh soft
  • Slip garlic out of its skin, put in blender/processor with parsley leaves, cheese and salt and blend till smooth
  • Pour the olive oil in a steady stream through the hole in the lid and continue blending till smooth, scraping down if necessary
  • Serve the soup with a splodge of pesto on top

BEETROOT, CARROT AND CELERIAC SOUP

Serves 6

A great winter warmer, ideal for stress-free entertaining. Use sweet potatoes in place of the celeriac if you like them and can find them.

beetroot, carrot and celeriac soup25g butter or 1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed
250g carrots
250g celeriac or sweet potato
2 litres water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
500g cooked, peeled beetroot,
juice of 1 orange

  • Heat the butter or oil in a large pan and soften the onion and garlic without allowing them to brown
  • Add the diced carrots and celeriac or sweet potato, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until just softened
  • Add the water or stock, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Add the beetroot and orange juice and simmer 5 minutes more
  • Allow the soup to cool a little before blending till smooth
  • Check the seasoning, correcting if necessary
  • Serve in deep soup bowls with a dollop of crème fraîche (sour cream) on each and a prawn/shrimp if wished

PUMPKIN AND PEAR SOUP

A quickly prepared, delicious winter soup – the pear picks up the sweetness of the pumpkin. The pumpkin seed and parsley pesto is optional (see recipe above) but it adds a gorgeous green piquant touch – nice stirred into risotto too. Or whisk in a bit of enrichment butter instead if you prefer. The pear must be absolutely ripe and soft, as it gets no cooking and is just added to the soup at the end before being liquidized till smooth.

Serves 6-8
2 tbsp olive oil
3 spring onions or some leek tops, finely sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
500g peeled, seeded pumpkin flesh, cut in chunks
250g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (or 1 litre water + 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes)
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed under the blade of a knife
salt and pepper
1 ripe Comice pear, peeled, cored and cut in small pieces
a dollop of pumpkin seed pesto (see below) or 50g butter

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the spring onions or leek tops, shallots and onion till soft but not brown – about 10 minutes
  • Stir in the pumpkin flesh, potatoes and stock and bring to a boil
  • Add coriander seeds and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender
  • Pull the pan off the heat and add the chopped pear
  • Leave the soup to infuse for 10 minutes
  • Blend the soup with a hand-held blender till smooth and check the seasoning, adjusting if necessary
  • Float a blob of pumpkin seed and parsley pesto or butter on top of each serving

LEEK, CARROT AND CELERIAC SOUP WITH LEMONGRASS AND GINGER

A lovely soup with a Thai touch – nice for winter, and good for entertaining as it can be prepared well ahead. The sieving of the soup is boring but necessary, on account of the woody lemongrass stalks.

Serves 6

carrot, celeriac soup with lemongrass and coconut milk 1 leek, finely sliced
1 carrot, diced small
a 100g piece celeriac, diced small
5 stems lemongrass, finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, mashed
a walnut-sized piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp curry powder
1 ½  litres chicken stock, or 1 ½ litres water + 3 tsp powdered stock
200ml unsweetened coconut milk
salt and white pepper
olive oil
optional: some cooked prawns [shrimp] to garnish

  • Soften the leeks, carrots, celeriac and lemongrass in the oil without allowing them to brown
  • Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder
  • Moisten with the stock, season to taste with salt and white pepper, cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk
  • Blend till smooth either with a hand-held blender or in the liquidiser. Push the soup through a sieve, pressing down hard with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the flavour and to eliminate the fibrous lemongrass stems
  • Discard the debris and return the soup to the pan
  • Chill the soup if not to be served at once.
  • Pour into soup bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish if wished with some prawns/shrimp

PARSNIP AND GINGER SOUP
Serves 6
2 onions, finely chopped
a walnut-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in thin strips
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oil
1.5 litres stock (or 1.5 litres boiling water + 2 stock cubes)
500ml milk
500g parsnips, peeled and cut in chunks
300g potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and white pepper
optional: 3-4 tbsp crème fraîche or whipping cream
a squeeze of lemon juice
optional garnish: a few vegetable crisps (parsnip, beetroot, carrot)

  • Soften the onions and ginger in the oil for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden
  • Pour on the stock and milk and bring to a boil
  • Add the parsnips and potatoes, season to taste, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft
  • Cool the soup a little, then blend it till smooth
  • Check the seasoning, stir in the cream
  • Sharpen the soup with a splash of lemon juice
  • Scatter some vegetable crisps on top for a crunchy colour contrast

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP WITH ROCKET AND CHORIZO OR PRAWNS

Jerusalem artichokes (topinambours/Topinamburs in French/German) are knobbly, pinkish-brown tubers with a wonderful earthy, nutty, sweetish flavour. They’re brilliant in soup, mixed roast vegetables or gratins. I can even forgive them their one failing (they cause terrible wind) because they taste divine and sweetly delicious. They’re nothing to do with regular (globe) artichokes, btw, or indeed with Jerusalem – the English name is related, obliquely, to girasole, the sunflower, because the flowers at the top of their 2-metre high stalks are similar to sunflowers.
Serves 4-6
500g Jerusalem artichokes
3 medium potatoes
50g rucola/rocket + a little extra for garnish
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 litres chicken stock, or 1.5 litres water + 2 chicken stock cubes
200ml crème fraîche épaisse (lightly soured cream)
salt and pepper
12 paper-thin slices mild chorizo OR 6 prawns, shells on, cooked

  • Peel artichokes and potatoes, slice thickly
  • Put in a large pan with roughly chopped rocket, crushed garlic, stock and salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until artichokes and potatoes are tender
  • If using chorizo, fry slices till crispy and a little coloured, turning once, drain on paper towels; rinse prawns but leave heads and tails on
  • When vegetables are tender, draw pan off heat, add cream and blend the soup till smooth – check seasoning, adding salt and/or pepper if needed
  • Bring briefly back to a boil
  • Ladle into soup bowls or cups, top with slices of crispy chorizo (or arrange a prawn over the edge of the cup or bowl) and scatter with chopped rucola

WILD GARLIC SOUP
The woods around us are carpeted with wild garlic in early spring. Here’s a classic recipe from André Walther, chef at the Cheval Blanc in Kiffis, which used to be one of our favourite country auberges.

Serves 4
2 good handfuls of wild garlic leaves, trimmed and chopped
1 litre water
100ml whipping cream
25g butter
2-3 spring onions or shallots, finely chopped
2-3 large floury potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper

  • Bring the water to a boil and cook the wild garlic for 5 minutes
  • Lift out leaves with a slotted spoon and reserve the water
  • Put the leaves and cream in the liquidizer or food processor and reduce to a purée
  • Heat the butter in a saucepan and soften the spring onions gently in it without allowing them to brown
  • Pour on the reserved cooking water, bring to the boil and toss in the potato cubes
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, cool a little, then pour into the liquidizer or food processor and blend with the puréed garlic leaves until smooth
  • Return the soup to the saucepan, bring to the boil and season to taste
  • Adjust if necessary – don’t allow to boil for more than a couple of minutes, otherwise it will lose its brilliant green colour
  • Serve at once with croutons or good, crusty bread

WILD GARLIC SOUP WITH ASPARAGUS
A variant on the above recipe, combining pungent wild garlic and green asparagus, plus a shot of cream to soften things up and a pink prawn for a jaunty garnish.
Makes about 2 litres/8 cups, serving 6-10 depending on portion size
2 good handfuls wild garlic leaves
500g asparagus (green or white)
1.5 litres water + 1 tsp salt
250ml whipping cream (Schlagrahm/crème fraîche liquide)
25g butter
4 large floury potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper
reserved asparagus spears +cooked,
unpeeled prawns to garnish

  • Remove stalk ends from garlic leaves and chop roughly
  • Snap off the woody ends of white or green asparagus (peel white asparagus). Cut either sort in 4-5 cm lengths
  • Bring the salted water to a boil and cook garlic for 5 minutes
  • Lift out the leaves with a slotted spoon and reserve the water
  • Put the leaves in the liquidizer or food processor with the cream and whizz to a purée
  • Bring the reserved cooking water back to the boil and toss in the potato cubes
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, add the trimmed asparagus and cook 5-10 minutes more till both potatoes and asparagus are soft
  • Fish out 6-8 asparagus tips and reserve them for the garnish
  • Cool the soup a little, then pour into the liquidizer or food processor and blend with the puréed garlic cream until smooth (or blend everything together in pan with hand-held blender)
  • Return the soup to the saucepan, bring to the boil and season to taste, adjusting if necessary
  • Serve in bowls or small coffee cups garnished with reserved asparagus tips and/or prawns

FISH AND SHELLFISH SOUP

Here’s a fragrant fish soup with Thai accents, low on fat and high on taste, and full of good New Year’s resolutions. First you make a pumpkin and vegetable soup base flavoured with lemongrass, chilli and coconut milk. Then you add slivers of crunchy-cooked vegetables, plus mussels, prawns (shrimp) and scallops. The final garnish is plenty of fresh coriander or coriander pesto. It’s great for entertaining, as the soup base can be prepared well ahead and the fish and vegetables trimmed and cleaned ready for the final 5-10 minutes’ cooking.

Serves 6 for a main course, more for a starter

Vegetable soup base
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1-2 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, sliced
1 leek, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ medium pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
2 litres water
salt and pepper
1 x 400ml can coconut milk

Vegetable garnish
2 carrots, cut in thin strips
1 small courgette, cut in thin strips
1 small leek, cut in thin strips

Fish and garnish
1 kg mussels, scrubbed, beards removed (or 300g frozen mussels)
12 scallops
250g peeled prawns
lots of fresh coriander, chopped (or coriander pesto: 50g (LOTS!) of fresh coriander blended with 3 tbsp pine nuts, ½ tsp salt, 6 tbsp olive oil)

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic, chillies and lemongrass gently for 5 minutes or until just soft but not browned
  • Add the leek, carrot and celery root and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring
  • Add the potatoes, pumpkin, water, salt and pepper
  • Simmer the soup for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
  • Put the soup in the blender with the coconut milk, blend till smooth, strain it into a bowl (to remove the lemongrass fibres)
  • Put the strained soup back into the pan
  • Refrigerate it until just before serving time
  • If using fresh mussels, put them in a large pan without any liquid and put the lid on
  • Turn the heat up high and cook till the mussels open – 3-4 minutes
  • Put a colander lined with a fine cloth on top of a large bowl
  • Tip the mussels into the colander, allowing the mussel juice to strain through into the bowl
  • Shell the mussels and put them in the fridge with the scallops and peeled prawns
  • Add the juice to the soup
  • Shortly before serving, bring the soup base back to the boil and toss in the carrot, courgette and leek strips
  • Simmer till these are barely tender – 5 minutes or so
  • Add the scallops, mussels and prawns to the soup
  • Cook very briefly, just until the scallops are opaque – 3-4  minutes
  • Check the seasoning of the soup and correct if necessary
  • Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle generously with chopped coriander or add a splodge of coriander pesto to each serving

BASLER MEHLSUPPE

One of the classics of Fasnacht, this robust, ‘burnt flour soup’ just hits the spot at 4 a.m. on a winter morning. I have to admit that it’s hardly the pinnacle of gastronomy, but it will be greatly improved f you can be bothered to make a good meat stock for it. Otherwise, if push comes to an unseemly Fasnacht shove, use 2 stock cubes and 1½ litres of boiling water.

Serves 4
4 level tablespoons flour
50g (4 tbsp) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 ½ litres (6 cups) meat stock
salt and pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
optional: 2-3 tablespoons grated Gruyère

  • Put the flour in a large, heavy-based saucepan and set it over moderate heat – let it turn a rich nut-brown, but be careful it doesn’t burn
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter
  • Let it melt, and stir it into the flour to make a smooth paste
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the onion
  • Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes until the onion also takes a little colour
  • Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring energetically with a wire whisk to ensure no lumps form
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmer for 30-40 minutes over low heat
  • To serve, ladle the soup into deep rustic bowls, sprinkle with grated cheese (if using) and serve with plenty of crusty bread for dunking

SOPA DE FLOR DE CALABAZA, COURGETTE/PUMPKIN FLOWER SOUP

A delicate and delicious summer soup, only feasible if you (or an obliging neighbour) grows lots of courgettes and/or pumpkins. The epazote (Mexican wormseed) herb is optional, but lends an inimitable and harmonious flavour to the flowers.

Serves 4-6

30-40 courgette or pumpkin flowers
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp oil or lard
2 large tomatoes (about 300g), peeled and chopped
optional: chopped fresh epazote (Mexican wormseed)
salt and pepper
1.5 – 2 litres chicken stock
sour cream to serve

  • Pull off the spiky bits from around the outside of the flower base and separate the flowers from the stalks
  • Remove the stamens (inside the flowers) and discard
  • Set aside 6 of the most beautiful flowers for a garnish
  • Chop the remaining flowers roughly and set aside
  • Strip the stalks as if peeling celery and chop roughly
  • Soften the stalks with the onion in the oil or lard without browning, then add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, till thick and somewhat reduced
  • Add the roughly chopped flowers, herbs and salt and pepper to taste
  • Moisten with the stock and simmer for about 15 minutes
  • Blend the soup till smooth (in blender or food processor, or in the pan with a hand-held blender) – check the seasoning
  • Spoon a blob of cream on top of each serving and place a whole flower on top

CREAMY COURGETTE/ZUCCHINI SOUP WITH CILANTRO
For this beautiful, fresh green soup (from Pati, the cook at the Parador de San Juan in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas), the courgettes are lightly cooked and blended with milk and cream. Cilantro leaves are blended separately with a little water and then added to the soup base. Light, fresh and fragrant – and the whole thing takes about 12 minutes from start to finish.
Serves 6
3 medium courgettes/zucchini, about 500g
3 cups water
salt
2 chicken stock cubes or 2 tsp powdered chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 cup crème fraîche or whipping cream
2 tsp Maizena (cornflour/cornstarch)
25g butter
a good bunch of cilantro, leaves only + a little water
optional: 12 prawns/shrimps + some reserved cilantro leaves

  • Top and tail the courgettes and cut in chunks
  • Bring the water to a boil with a little salt and cook the courgette chunks for about 7 minutes or until barely tender
  • Let them cool a little, then tip them into the blender and blend them till smooth with milk, cream and Maizena
  • Tip the mixture back into the pan
  • Put the cilantro in the blender with just enough water to enable you to blend it till smooth and green
  • Just before serving, add the butter to the pan and whisk till it melts
  • Add the cilantro mixture and bring the soup to a boil
  • Garnish with the prawns/shrimp if using and some cilantro leaves

SOPA DE FRIJOL CON NACHOS, AGUACATE Y CILANTRO

A rich winter broth of beans (black, red or pinto) and tomatoes with a garnish of tortilla chips, avocado and fresh coriander (cilantro). The soup keeps several days with good refrigeration and freezes beautifully.

Serves 6- 8
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2-3 pieces celery, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh green chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 x 400g can peeled tomatoes or tomato pulp
3 X 400g tins beans (black, pinto, borlotti, kidney) OR 1kg cooked beans
salt and pepper
750ml/3 cups stock or water
Garnish
a handful of tortilla chips (Doritos or similar), broken up
200ml crème fraîche épaisse or fromage blanc
1 avocado, peeled, stoned/pitted and diced
juice of 2 limes
plenty of fresh coriander, chopped

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and chile over moderate heat without allowing them to brown
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, mashing them in well, till reduced and thickened (about 10 minutes)
  • If using canned beans, drain and rinse them, add beans to the pan with 500ml/2 cups stock or water, season with salt and pepper, bring soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes
  • Blend soup with a hand-held blender and check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary – prepare ahead up to this point and refrigerate or freeze till needed
  • For the garnish, break the tortilla chips in rough pieces
  • At the last minute, cut the avocado in 8 segments, remove skin, dice flesh small, put on a plate and sprinkle with lime juice
  • Reheat the soup and serve in bowls or cups garnished with a blob of crème fraîche/fromage blanc, avocado cubes, tortilla chips and chopped coriander/cilantro

COLD SOUPS

GAZPACHO IN A GLASS

Makes about 1.5 litres, enough for 12 glasses (or 6 soup bowls)

A nice twist on an old favourite, served in tall glasses topped with chopped peppers, egg, cucumber and onion so you can see the different layers.
gazpacho

1 kg vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
75g (about 1 cup) fresh white breadcrumbs or 1-day old white bread, crusts removed and cut in cubes
4 tbsp vinegar
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper
150ml olive oil
garnish: 2 hard-boiled eggs, ½ cucumber chopped, ½ red/green pepper chopped, a little chopped red onion

  • EITHER blend all ingredients except for the garnish in a huge bowl using a hand-held blender;
  • OR use a blender/processor and work in 2 batches: put half the ingredients bar the garnish in the blender or food processor and blend till quite smooth. Through the hole in the lid of the blender/food processor funnel, pour in half the olive oil and blend till smooth and pale. Tip the gazpacho into a large bowl and blend/process the remaining ingredients in the same way. Mix the two together and taste for seasoning
  • Chill the soup really well
  • To serve, pour gazpacho into tumblers to come about 2/3 of the way up the glass and top with chopped garnishes, alternating the colours nicely

GAZPACHO DE FRESONES
Gazpacho with strawberries
A great recipe with a nice twist from chef Anton Canelles at Restaurant Senzone in the Hotel Palau de la Mar in Valencia. Serve the gazpacho in glasses.
Serves 6-8
500g tomatoes
500g strawberries
1 small red pepper
½ green pepper
1 clove garlic, mashed
½ a cucumber
100-150ml olive oil
a splash of sherry vinegar
salt and white pepper
mint sprigs

  • Remove cores, roughly chop the tomatoes and put them in the blender
  • Hull and rinse the strawberries under running water and add to the blender
  • Remove seeds and cores from both kinds of pepper and chop the flesh roughly
  • Peel the cucumber and remove seeds
  • Add peppers and cucumber to the blender along with the crushed garlic
  • Blend till very smooth, then add the oil in a steady stream through the hole in the blender lid (you’ll need to do this in two batches, unless your blender is very large)
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and taste for sharpness, then add more if you like
  • Chill the gazpacho, spoon into small glasses, garnish with mint sprigs to serve

GREEN ‘GAZPACHO’ WITH SMOKED SALMON TARTARE
Gazpacho meets vichysoisse in this delicate spring green soup – leeks, spinach, lettuce and finest, tenderest green peas (petits pois surfins round here) with a bunch of spring herbs, light cream cheese and a splash of your most fragrant olive oil. To serve, float a little oval of herby smoked salmon on top and drizzle with more olive oil. (If the weather turns nasty, serve the soup warm and skip the salmon tartare.)

Serves 6-8, more if served in coffee cups
2 leeks
6 tablespoons olive oil
a handful of spinach leaves
½ a lettuce
1.5 litres water + 2 vegetable stock cubes
salt and pepper
500g finest, tiniest frozen peas
salt and white pepper
2-3 tablespoons each (snipped with scissors) of following herbs:
fresh tarragon, chervil, flat-leaf parsley, mint and chives
150g soft fresh goat’s cheese or light cream cheese (e.g. St. Moret)
Smoked salmon tartare
1 spring onion, including a little of the green top
several sprigs of chervil
250g smoked salmon
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
chervil sprigs to garnish

  • Trim leeks, leaving a little of the tender green part, slice finely and wash
  • Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan and stew the leeks gently without allowing them to take colour
  • Add the spinach and lettuce leaves, crumbled stock cubes and water, bring to a boil and throw in the peas, cover and cook for 10 minutes
  • Sprinkle chopped herbs on top, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil and goat’s/cream cheese, blend the soup to a smooth green emulsion – check seasoning, adjusting if necessary and chill soup thoroughly
  • For the tartare, chop (or process) the spring onion and chervil finely together, add salmon, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil, process again till the mixture comes together cohesively
  • To serve pour soup into bowls or coffee cups, form ovals of salmon tartare between two teaspoons and float them on top, drizzle with a little more oil and garnish with a sprig of chervil

ICED CUCUMBER SOUP WITH COCONUT MILK, AVOCADO AND CORIANDER
A delicate, pale green soup for summer – chill it well, take it to a picnic or potluck in a thermos and bring some glasses for serving.

Makes 1 litre, enough for 4-6 people
2 large cucumbers, about 1 kg total
salt
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
plenty of chopped cilantro/coriander
1 avocado
1 fresh green chile (peperoncini, piment vert), seeded and very finely chopped
[or a pinch of cayenne or Espelette pepper]
juice of 1-2 limes

  • Peel the cucumbers and cut in quarters lengthwise
  • Remove seeds, chop flesh small and put in a colander
  • Sprinkle with salt and leave in the sink to drain (30 minutes)
  • Rinse the cucumbers and pat dry with paper towels
  • Put in the blender with coconut milk, cilantro/coriander, avocado flesh, finely chopped chile (or cayenne/Espelette pepper) and lime juice and blend till smooth – don’t overdo it or the coconut milk may curdle
  • Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if required
  • Chill the soup well

2 thoughts on “Soups

  1. Hola Sue, I made the pumpkin and pear soup on Christmas Eve and it was a success. The pumpkin seed pesto is delicious. Great recipe !!

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