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

Apple Soup

  • I wrote in the summer about 3 fruit soups.
  • Now that it is autumn I have made another fruit soup using Bramley apples from my garden.
  • Use sour apples to make this soup – it should not be over sweet rather it should be slightly tart.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup should be served hot.

Ingredients

  • 700g cooking apples.
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • *
  • White bread croutons or cold cooked pasta to serve

Method

  • Put the water and spices into a large saucepan.
  • 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 apples are falling apart.
  • Remove the spices.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid and bring to the boil.
  • Leave to cool a little and purée the liquid.
  • 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 hot  with white bread croutons or cold cooked pasta.

 

 

 

Green Bean Soup

Phaseolus vulgaris is the Common bean or French bean. In Polish it is fasola szparagowa, which  translates as asparagus bean.

This was once just a late summer soup when there were lots of beans ready for cooking.

Nowadays it is one that can be made all year round using frozen whole green beans.

Ingredients

  • 400 – 500g of whole green beans
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock (can be from a cube or concentrate)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion
  • Leaves from around 6 sprigs of marjoram & extra for serving.
  • 125ml of milk
  • 1½ tablespoons of  cornflour
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • *
  • Rye Bread croutons to serve

Method

  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Fry the onion gently in the butter till golden – do not brown.
  • Chop the beans into small pieces.
  • Put the onions, beans and stock into a large saucepan.
  • Add the marjoram leaves.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer gently with the lid on until the beans are soft.
  • Mix the cornflour with the milk.
  • Stir this into the soup – increase the heat and continue stirring until the soup is thickened.
  • Add some more marjoram leaves.
  • Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Stir in the soured cream and serve.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Burgundy – 1959 – 1981