Category Archives: Soups

Food Monday – Butternut Squash & Rhubarb Soup

Another recipe from my big cook-up. I had some cooked rhubarb and went searching for a different way to use it. I found a recipe for butternut squash & rhubarb soup. It sounded interesting but called for a pressure cooker to cook the squash and the onion…. I had ideas of my own.

Butternut Squash & Rhubarb Soup
Preheat the oven to 200°C

1.25 kg butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut in chunks
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Good pinch of ground coriander
Good pinch of nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
A dash of white wine
1 ¾ pints of chicken stock
½ jar of my onion marmalade (see Food Monday for last week)
8 ozs of rhubarb
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tablespoon of chopped coriander.

In a large bowl place the oil, coriander, nutmeg, salt & black pepper,
and white wine and stir. Add the butternut squash chunks and toss to coat in the oil mixture. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While the squash is roasting, wipe and cut the rhubarb into chunks, place in an oven proof dish with 1 tablespoon of caster sugar, cover and cook on the lowest oven shelf for about 10 minutes. When cooked remove from the oven, stir to break down the chunks, cover and leave in the dish to cool slightly.

When the butternut squash is cooked transfer to a large saucepan. Add the onion marmalade and the chicken stock, stir and cook on high for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat allow to cool before liquidising in a blender. Add the pureed rhubarb and 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander. Season to taste.

Food Monday ~ Duck Soup

I am not talking about the 1933 Movie with the Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, Chico & Zeppo. No way!

The tantalizing aroma in my kitchen right now is coming from the stock pot on the cooker. The carcass & leg bones from yesterdays duck, with an onion, celery and carrot are simmering since seven of the clock this morning.

It smells like a mighty stock in progress.

I carefully stripped the remains of the meat last night and they are for adding to the soup with the juice of an orange and a dash from a bottle 😉 at the final stage later today.


Food Monday ~ Carrot, Ginger & Orange Soup

Carrot, Ginger & Orange Soup
Serves 2

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, finely chopped
2 inch piece of root ginger, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pint vegetable stock
juice of an orange
1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
¼ pint pouring cream

To garnish:
A little cream and sprinkle with orange zest

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the carrots, ginger, onions and garlic.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Gradually add the stock & orange juice stirring continuously.  Simmer for another 20 minutes transfer the soup to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to the pan over a low heat and slowly stir in the cream, fresh coriander & season to taste.  Garnish with a little of the cream and sprinkle with orange zest.
Serve with Garlic Bread.

Food Monday ~ Austerity Soup

Austerity Soup or Mint & Lamb Consommé
Preheat oven to 200°C

1 lb lamb bones
1 small onion, quartered
1 medium stick of celery
1 sprig of thyme, basil or parsley, chopped
1 bunch of mint, finely chopped
2 cloves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:
Fresh mint leaves
orange slices

Roast the lamb bones for about one hour. Put them in a large soup pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about one hour.  Cool and strain. Chill well.

Garnish with mint and orange slices and serve with crusty bread.

Food Monday ~ Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Cream

Back to work on cold mornings in this corner of the world?  Why not make a batch of soup and fill a flask for a warming office lunch.  It is certainly cheaper and more healthy than fast food.

Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Cream

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1large red onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon grass, chopped
1 pint vegetable stock
1 pint coconut cream
1½ pounds sweet potatoes diced
Salt & Black Pepper
2 limes, zest and juice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the sweet potatoes and lemon grass and cook for a further 3 minutes.   Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.   Cool the soup slightly, then liquidise with half of the coconut cream and process until smooth.
Return the soup to the saucepan, add the remaining coconut cream. Season with salt and pepper. Heat through without allowing the soup to boil, and add the lime juice.   Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the lime zest.

Food Monday ~ Squash and Apple Soup

The weather forecast promises a drop in temperatures this week and with that my mind turns to open fires and warming soup.

Squash and Apple Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1lb squash, quartered, deseeded and roasted
2 baking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 sprigs fresh sage
1pint vegetables stock
½ pint dry cider*
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 200ºC
Wash the squash, then quarter, deseed and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast until the flesh is tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. (This can be prepared in advance)  Remove the flesh, discard the skin, and set aside.

Heat the remainder of the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the squash, chopped apples and sage.  Cook for another 2 minutes, season well and add the stock and the cider. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the ingredients are tender.  Liquidise and serve piping hot with wheaten or crusty bread.

*Apple juice can be used as an alternative to cider.

Food Monday ~ Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup

3ozs Butter
1 lb Leeks washed trimmed & peeled
2 sticks celery chopped
1 lb Potatoes peeled & chopped
2 pints Chicken stock
¼ tsp Curry powder (mild or medium)
¼ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp Black Pepper
Melt butter and sauté leeks, celery and potato for 8-10 minutes (do not brown).  Pour in stock and bring to the boil.  Add curry powder, nutmeg, sugar and seasoning.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Puree or liquidise

Food Monday ~ Carrot & Coriander Soup

Carrot & Coriander Soup
Serves 2

1oz butter
1 lb carrots finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 oz flour
1 pint vegetable stock
zest & juice of an orange
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
¼ pint pouring cream
coriander leaves for garnish

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the carrots, onions, garlic and ground coriander.  Cook for 5 minutes until softened.  Stir in the plain flour and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Gradually add the stock, zest & juice of an orange stirring continuously.  Simmer for another 20 minutes transfer the soup to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to the pan over a low heat and add the nutmeg & fresh coriander slowly stir in the cream & season to taste.  Garnish with a little of the cream and a few coriander leaves.

Serve with Garlic Bread.

Food Monday ~ Gravy Soup

It was late on Friday before I discovered I missed National Soup Day, otherwise I would have marked the day with Elly’s Tomato Soup.  Thanks to Lily’s Blog I discovered Gorta was asking us to Gather our friends, family and colleagues for a fun get together over a bowl, cup or pot of soup and make a modest contribution to gorta’s work fighting hunger and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.

Making one of Elly’s soups would have been very appropriate, since In Ireland during The Great Famine soup kitchens fed more than one third of the population. Lily reminds me that:

During the time of the Great Famine, (1845-1850), the population dropped dramatically through death and emigration. The cause of the famine was the failure of the potato crop due to blight. The human cost of potato blight, where many were entirely dependent on the potato for food, was also aggravated by political, social and economic factors at that time.

My ancestors came from either side of the mouth of the River Shannon, on the West Coast of Ireland. My paternal grandfather was born c1850 in County Clare.  Across the river in County Limerick my maternal ancestors can be traced back to 1800 and the old homestead still has three generations of the family living there.  During the famine the homestead became a Soup Kitchen for the duration, being funded from America by Quakers.

This May, gorta and the Irish government will be commemorating the Great Irish Famine. They will be remembering the past, but also looking to the future.  Today, undernourishment affects 1.02 billion people across OUR world.


The recipe today is an old one, but hopefully not from the date of the famine.  It is a little unusual, I would love to know what you think of it.  Can you guess where it came from?  Come back tomorrow for the answer!

Gravy Soup

½lb round steak
2 sticks of celery
2ozs carrot
2ozs onion
1oz white turnip
½oz fat
1 quart of brown stock
2ozs flour
Bouquet garni *
Salt & pepper

Remove skin, fat and bone from the meat.  Wipe and shred or mince it.  Steep in cold stock, to which a little salt has been added, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Prepare vegetables according to kind, and cut into small pieces.  Melt the fat in a saucepan, add all vegetables and fry until lightly browned.  Add stock, meat and bouquet garni.  Bring slowly to simmering point, and simmer 1 ½ hours.  Remove bouquet garni.  Sieve or use a liquidiser.
Rinse the saucepan and pour the sieved soup into it.  Add the flour blended in a little cold stock or water.  Bring to the boil, stirring well all the time; boil for 5 minutes.
Correct for seasoning and colour.

* Bouquet garni consisted of ½ bay leaf , 3 sprigs thyme & 4 large sprigs parsley including stalks, tied with thread or fine string.