Lentil Soup

  • This recipe is based on Lentils-Polish style.
  • As autumn is approaching I thought I would share this warming soup recipe.

Ingredients

  • 150g – 200g dried Puy lentils
  • 100g smoked bacon – chopped into small squares
  • 1 large onion or 2 leeks – chopped.
  • 1 courgette – chopped into small pieces
  • ½ tube of tomato purée
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 5 grains of allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika (not smoked)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter for frying
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt might not be needed because of the bacon

Method

  • Cook the lentils in water until they are soft.
  • Fry up the bacon and the onions in the butter.
  • Add the courgettes and put them into a large saucepan.
  • Add the stock, tomato puree and lentils.
  • Add the bay leaves and allspice.
  • Bring to the boil and then let simmer for around 30 minutes.
  • Season with the black pepper to taste.
Here served in Royal Doulton – Carnation (1982 – 1998)

Black Bean Soup

  • This is a soup I make regularly and I love the colour contrasts.
  • It is a vegetable soup with black beans.
  • Black beans are also called turtle beans and are a variety of the common bean.
  • You can make it slightly different every time by altering some of the vegetables.
  • I use tinned black beans, which is easier but you can always cook them from dried beans – just takes longer.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 -3 carrots
  • 1 courgette 
  • 3 -4 tomatoes
  • 1 tin of black beans
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop the celery into fine slices.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces
  • Chop the carrots into small cubes.
  • Place the tomatoes into boiling water to remove the skins.
  • Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces. 
  • In a saucepan melt the butter and gently cook the celery and onion for a few minutes.
  • Add the carrots and tomatoes and the stock.
  • Add the paprika and chilli flakes.
  • Mix well together.
  • Bring the soup to the boil and them simmer with a lid on the pan for around 20 minutes. 
  • Drain the beans from the tin and add these to the soup.
  • Season to taste,
  • Simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Plum Soup

  • Last year in the summer I wrote about 3 fruit soups – rhubarb, sour cherry and strawberry.
  • Later in the autumn I made an apple soup.
  • This year I have made plum soup.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup is best served hot.

Ingredients

  • 500g plums.
  • 50-75g granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • *
  • White bread croutons or cold cooked pasta to serve

Method

  • Put the water and cinnamon  into a large saucepan.
  • Add the plums to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on the pan till the plums are falling apart.
  • Strain the liquid into a large bowl.
  • Return the strained liquid to the pan.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid (check for sweetness – should be slightly tart).
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Leave to cool a little.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the soured cream.
  • Serve hot.
  • Can serve with white bread croutons or cold cooked pasta.
Royal Stafford – Blossom Time from the 1950s

Broccoli Soup

  • This is a delicate creamy soup.
  • The Polish for broccoli is brokuły and comes from the Italian broccoli meaning a cabbage sprout.

Ingredients

  • Large head of broccoli
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Peel and chop the potato into small chunks.
  • Chop the broccoli stalks into small pieces.
  • Add the potatoes and broccoli stalks  to the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are nearly soft.
  • Add the rest of the broccoli and bring back to the boil.
  • Simmer till soft.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring back to the boil and then serve.

Courgette Soups

  • I was interested in why British English and American English have different names for a mini marrow.
  • In Italian zucca is the name given to a squash and zucchini is the diminutive.
  • In French courge is the name given to a squash and courgette is the diminutive.
  • So the two words mean the same thing and one can speculate why one is used in Britain and the other in America.
  • In Poland the word used is cukini – so comes from Italian – as do many vegetable names in Polish.
  • Here are two simple but delicious soups, they start off the same and it is in the finishing that they are different.
  • I think version 1 is more the style of soup served in Poland and version 2 more in England.

Ingredients – Version 1

  • 2-3 courgettes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of soured cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method – Version 1

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Melt the butter and gently fry the onion in it till golden.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces and add to the onion.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer gently until the courgettes are soft.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add chopped herbs when serving.

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Meakin Midwinter – Spanish Garden – Soup Dish from the 1960s.

Ingredients – Version 2 – Cream of Courgette 

  • 2-3 courgettes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives or flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method – Version 2

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Melt the butter and gently fry the onion in it till golden.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces and add to the onion.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer gently until the courgettes are soft.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • Stir in the soured cream.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add chopped herbs when serving.
Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982 – 1998

Carrot & Thyme Soup

  • This recipe was given to me by one of my cousins that lives in Wembley.
  • It is from an old French recipe but all the ingredients can be found in England and Poland.

Ingredients

  • 400g carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 6- 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 40g rice
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Gently fry onion in the butter till it is golden.
  • Peel the carrots and chop them into small circles.
  • Put the onion, carrots and stock into a large saucepan.
  • Strip the leaves of thyme from the stalks and add these to the pan.
  • Add the rice to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the carrots are soft.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Purée the soup – a stick blender is good.
  • Season to taste.
Royal Doulton – Tapestry Soup Plate – 1966 – 1998

White Bean Potato & Sorrel Soup

  • Spring is upon us, though it is still cold.
  • Sorrel started to grow in my pots a few weeks ago – the first green to grow in my herbs.
  • I saw this recipe, which used rocket and thought I could use sorrel.
  • It is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – finely chopped
  • 300g salad potatoes – eg Charlottes – cut into small pieces
  • 1 litre chicken stock – can be from concentrate, cube or powder
  • 1 can white beans – butter, cannellini or haricot – drained
  • 50 – 100g sorrel leaves – chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  • In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter.
  • Add the onions and celery and cook on a low heat.
  • Stir occasionally and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the potato chunks and season with salt.
  • Cook for about 5minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  • Check with a knife that it slices easily through the potatoes.
  • Add the beans and cook for around 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add the chopped sorrel, stir well and serve.

Cranberry & Apple Soup

  • This fruit soup is is both refreshing and warming in the winter.
  • Do not make it too sweet – it needs to be slightly tart.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup is delicious served hot.
  • *
  • Although not traditional I think it could be super for Wigilia (Christmas Eve).

Ingredients

  • 300g cranberries
  • 2 large cooking apples
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves or allspice grains
  • 1 – 1.5 litres of water
  • *
  • Little sponge cakes  to serve

Method

  • Put the water and spices into a large saucepan.
  • put the cranberries into the pan.
  • Peel and core the apples, chop into large pieces and add them to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on the pan till the fruits are very soft.
  • Remove the spices.
  • Leave to cool a little and purée the liquid.
  • You will find there is a lot of foam and cranberry skins on the top – remove these with a slotted spoon.
  • You might want to sieve the remaining liquid through a sieve.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid and bring to the boil.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • Serve with little sponge cakes.

Alfred Meakin – Midwinter – Spanish Garden soup dishes from the 1960s.

Bean Soup

  • This is a lovely winter soup.
  • It would once have been made with reconstituted dried beans but now it is easy to open tins of beans.
  • Any white beans are good such as Haricot, Cannellini or even Black-eyed beans.
  • This can be made in a stock pot on the cooker or in the oven however I find that using a large slow cooker to cook it makes life a lot easier.

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of white beans such as Haricot, Cannellini or Black-eyed beans.
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 150g smoked bacon.
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice grains
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram  or 1 tablespoon of fresh
  • Butter to fry the onions.
  • Salt & pepper to season – may not be necessary depending on the bacon and stock.
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives to garnish when serving

Method

  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • Gently fry the onions till golden.
  • Chop the carrots into circles and halve or quarter them.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Drain the beans from the cans.
  • Put all the ingredients into a pot.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer – or use a slow cooker.
  • Cook until the carrots are soft.
  • Allow the soup to cool slightly.
  • Remove about half of the beans and carrots with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl.
  • Purée the soup left in the pan – using a stick blender is good.
  • Put the beans and carrots back into the soup and stir.
  • Bring back to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry soup plate – 1966 to 1988.

Pepper Soups

These are very tasty soups with a wonderful colour.

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions
  • 4 red/orange/yellow peppers
  • 100g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed.
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Cut all the peppers into thin strips.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan.
  • Gently cook the onions until they are golden.
  • Add the garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan.
  • Add the chicken stock and tomato purée.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer gently with a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer till the peppers are very soft.
  • With a slotted spoon remove some of the cooked peppers.
  • Roughly chop/mash these.
  • Purée the rest of the soup.
  • *
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with rye bread croutons.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry 1966 – 1988

Peppers & Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • As above and
  • 1-2 tins of white kidney beans drained.

Method

  • Make the soup as above up until the soup has been puréed.
  • Add the beans to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for around 5 minutes (can be longer – the beans should be soft.)
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.

Royal Stafford – Blossom Time – 1950s