Cookbooks are fabulous, they make our kitchens and shelves look pretty, sitting there piled up taking up space, but with the internet comes an almost inexhaustible supply of recipes, from some of the best and most well known chefs in the world, along with a plethora of sites where amateur cooks swap and post their recipes.
My own collection of cookbooks have been long relegated to doing nothing more than looking good. Whenever I want a new recipe, am looking for a new spin on a old favourite or hoping for some culinary inspiration I just employ the power of Google and my laptop becomes the cookbook propped up on my kitchen table.
As winter is most definitely here, bringing with it perfect soup eating weather we decided to find some of the best vegetable soup recipes we could.
Top of Veggie Soup Pops….
I have been making this soup for a few years, and actually my top soup wasn’t arrived at via a Google search, the link was passed to me by my mum, a veggiegrower who cannot seem to stop growing butternut squashes. This soup is incredibly easy tomake, and tastes delicious, the ginger and orange juice adding a lovely spicy warmness.
The recipe is so good and scatted about the internet, but I use the one found on the Good Food Channel website UKTV.
Carrot and Coriander soup is firm favourite with many of us, and I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food website, which really is a great recipe resource, its easy to use with a great search facility. With a short list of ingredients and an almost shorter list of instructions it makes a delicious soup which is light enough to be make a tasty starter to a meal, but add some decent sized hunks of brown bread and it makes a yummy lunch.
This soup is a bit more fiddly than the others, more ingredients and there are croutons to make, but it is SO worth it, its a recipe on a newly discovered, really great blog/review/recipe site called Gastronomy Domine, a site I am fairly certain its going to become a firm favourite, its fun and full of good comment and food. But how about the soup! Its warming and perfect for a winter evening, roasting both the butternut squash and the red peppers adds a sweetness, and brings out the delicious nutty flavour of the squash. The croutons are arguably optional, I made them with my soup and they were delicious, but if I wanted this soup to make a meal, say for lunch, I would skip the croutons and have lots of fresh crusty bread!
This soup is scrummy and warming, the addition of pearl barley makes it really satisfying, not for the faint hearted this soup packs a chunky punch – its a whole meal in a bowl. I used homemade chicken stock for the recipe and so needed to taste and adjust the seasoning adding some salt. Its one of those soups that you could mix and match with, if you haven’t got all the veggies asked for, you could easily substitute for whatever is in your cupboard! This is a recipe that will very quickly be a regular feature – its easy to make, and helps on the way to that all important five a day
(please note the picture shown here is representative only of soup and does not show the Winter Vegetable Soup)
Considering all the recipes I have taken from the internet, all the dinners cooked via a slightly floury Macbook, I think adding my own receipe is the very least I can do! This soup again contains the ever popular in my house butternut squash, it is roasted in olive oil, and I use homemade chicken stock made with a few garlic cloves, its yummy if I do say so myself and the picture reallly was my lunch today!
Clare's Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 large (or 2 small!) Butternut Squash – peeled and cubed into decent sized chunks
3 large carrots – peeled/washed and sliced into about 3 cm pieces
1 sweet potato – peeled and quartered
1 onion – peeled and sliced
Approximately 1.5 pints of chicken of vegetable stock (you can add more or less as needed soup is never an exact science)
3 tablespoons'ish of Olive Oil (I always end up using more)
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Heat oven to "nice and hot"
- Put one tablespoon of olive oil in a baking tray, add the cubed squash, and drizzle over the second tablespoon, add salt and pepper and pop in the oven to roast for about 35 to 40 minutes checking a couple of times, turning the squash (if you are using bought stock with no garlic in it, you can pop in a couple of cloves of garlic to the roasting tin after about 10 minutes so they dont get burned).
- In a large saucepan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and add the onion, carrots and sweet potato, fry for about 2 minutes until the onions juststart to soften.
- Add about 1 pint of the stock to the pan and bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes whilst the squash is roasting.
- Once the carrots and sweet potato are soft, and the squashis roasted with nice caramalised edges, pop the squash into the saucepan along with the rest of the stock, bring it all up to a simmer again, remove from the heat and either either blitz the soup with a handheld blender or pop it into a blender, add more warm stock if the soup is too thick, taste it and add more seasoning as needed.
- Enjoy your soup with fresh bread !