Category Archives: Soup

Neeps & Tatties Soup

This may seem a little unseasonal, Neeps & Tatties here at the beginning of April, but I have been meaning to share this recipe with you ever since I made a huge 50 litre batch of it for the last Sutton Soup.  It was held on Burns Night and the soup was very topical indeed then! Anyway, I got a swede in my veg box a couple of weeks ago, they keep well in the fridge, and here we are…

The 50 litre batch was slightly more challenging!  I peeled 14 swede that day and got myself a blister.

This is based on a recipe I found on BBC Good Food, but have tweaked to give it more flavour.  The BBC version is a base for fried haggis pieces, which is so not my bag baby!

  • 50g butter
  • 500g-700g swede (it depends on the size of your swede!)
  • 300g potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 3 sticks celery
  • heaped teaspoon (5g) ground coriander
  • 800ml whole organic milk
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Peel and dice the swede, potatoes, carrots and onions.  Chop the celery.

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the chopped veg and ground coriander, stir to coat.  Put a lid on a sweat the veg for 5 minutes.

Pour in 800ml of water, add some salt and pepper and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the veg are tender.  Remove from the heat and add the milk, freshly grated nutmeg to taste, and some more salt and pepper.  Blend with a stick blender until smooth.  Test the seasoning and add more if you are not happy (don’t skimp on the seasoning here).  Then gently reheat the soup till just below simmering point and you are ready to serve.


Carrot Soup with Honey

This is the recipe for the soup we served at the last Sutton Soup event.  It is a wonderfully simple soup, made all the better if you use good quality ingredients.  Please do try to use organic carrots and an interesting honey here – you will be rewarded!

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1.5 litres veg stock (I like Kallo)
  • 1.2kg carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic in it for five minutes.  Add the stock and carrots and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, until the carrots are really tender.

Turn off the heat and let the soup sit with the lid on for five minutes or so, then add the honey and stir in to dissolve.  Season with salt and pepper and then blend till smooth with a hand blender.  Serve with a hearty bread like the focaccia pictured here, or wedges of cheese on toast. Delicious!


Carrot Soup with Dill

This soup is perfect for the warmer months – the lovely light flavour of dill and the sweetness of carrots give it a definite flavour lift.  It’s yummy!

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock (I like Kallo)
  • 1 supermarket pack dill, large stalks removed, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pan and sweat the onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes.  Then add the carrots and potatoes and sweat for a further 5 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about half an hour until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the chopped dill and some salt and pepper and then blend the soup with a hand blender.  That’s it!  Simple and very, very good.


Spicy Lentil Soup

This is my go-to lentil soup.  It’s got lots of interesting flavour but it’s not spicy enough to put off those of us who are not such adventurous eaters, or my kids!  Great family food.

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 250g red lentils
  • 1.5 litres veg stock (I like Kallo)
  • tin of plum tomatoes, liquidized

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped vegetables.  Get them sizzling then turn the heat down low, cover them and leave them to sweat for about 15 mins, stirring every now and then.  You want them to be nice and soft.  I find by the time I’ve prepared all the other bits to go in they are perfect.

Crush the garlic, wash the lentils, liquidize the tomatoes.  When the veg is ready add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for a further minute, stirring.  Then stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 mins.  Season.  That’s it!

It’s a very simple soup really.  You can jazz it up a bit by adding some harissa paste OR if you really want to push the boat out toast and grind your own spices.  You will notice the difference in the flavour!  For this quantity I use a level tablespoon each of cumin seeds and coriander seeds, put them in a really hot non stick frying pan and shake them over the heat for 30-40 seconds.  Throw them straight into a pestle and mortar (have it ready!) and grind them up.  I highly recommend.

Everyone’s got their own favourite lentil soup recipe – how do you eat yours?


Heather’s Minestrone

This dish is known to my kids as ‘bean soup’ and it is a family favourite that never fails to please.  Sometimes I spice my portion up a bit with a shake of Tabasco.

  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped small
  • 1 large carrot, chopped small
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock (I like Kallo)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins beans in water (cannellini are good, or mixed beans, or one cannellini and one kidney)
  • 1 heaped tsp dried rosemary OR thyme (I vary depending on mood)
  • 1 packet flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 100g small pasta shapes

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pan. Put in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and sweat for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then. Pour in the stock and tomatoes, drain the tinned beans and add them too, then add your herbs. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 25 minutes. At this stage add the pasta shapes and cook for another 10 minutes. Remember to stir the pasta from time to time or it will stick to the bottom of the pan! Season with salt and pepper.

The soup is best left in the pan, with the lid on, for about half an hour before serving. It keeps well and reheats excellently.


Barley Broth

This is an incredibly simple soup to make and it has the added bonus of containing absolutely no fat.  It’s quite a large quantity but you can freeze it (or eat it for lunch all week!)

  • 3 litres vegetable stock (I like Kallo)
  • 175g pearl barley
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 125g swede OR 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced thinly
  • 2 sticks celery, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped small
  • 175g Savoy or green cabbage, ribboned
  • 175g frozen peas
  • salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat the stock and add the barley.  Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45  minutes.

Add all the vegetables apart from the peas.  Bring to the boil again and simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes.  Add the peas for the last 8 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve!

Leek and Potato Soup

This soup has proven to be popular with children and adults alike.  Its so easy and quick to make and a great way to use up all those leeks.

  • 4 large leeks
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped small
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • 850ml hot veg stock (I use Marigold Swiss veg bouillon powder)
  • 275ml milk
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • to serve, chives or parsley (optional)
  • to serve, 2 tbs cream or creme fraiche (optional)

Begin by trimming the leeks, discarding the tough outer layer.  Split them in half lengthways and slice them quite finely.  Wash thoroughly and drain well.

In a large, thick based saucepan, gently melt the butter, then add the leeks, onion and potatoes, stirring them all around with a wooden spoon so that they are coated in the butter.  Season with salt and pepper, then cover and leave the vegatables to sweat over a very low heat for about 15 minutes.

Add the stock and milk, bring to simmering point, cover and let the soup simmer very gently for a further 20 minutes or until the vegtables are soft.  Then simply blitz the whole lot in a blender until smooth.  Return the soup to the saucepan and re-heat gently, checking seasoning to taste.  Stir in any optional extra’s before serving. I like mine with just lots of pepper.


Dylan, Hattie and Marcus…satisfied customers


Leek and potato soup with Soya and Linseed loaf


Tonight’s, after school supper…recipe for soup to follow