Friday, November 23, 2007

Winter warmers - three gloopy soups!

soups winter warmers As a family, we eat LOADS of soup at this time of year, both for warmth AND comfort! I find it quick, easy and convenient to throw some veggies into a pot with some stock, turn up the heat, and leave the veg to soften before blitzing the lot with my hand blender. I never follow a recipe for these soups, but they're always delicious, and really filling - even better when accompanied by some home made bread, fresh and still warm. Here are three quick and very easy recipes for soups using only seasonal veg - these all came from this week's veg box. Jo's leek & potato soup a dash of olive oil an onion four or five good sized leeks - nothing too short or skinny! two fist-sized potatoes vegetable stock Put a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat and add a dash of olive oil (or other oil or butter, as you prefer). Finely chop an onion and add it to the oil in the pan, and let the onions sweat until soft. Peel and dice the potatoes, and add to the onions in the pan. Thoroughly clean and roughly chop the leeks - cleaning the leeks is really important as there will often be the odd bit of mud lurking somewhere beneath the layers. Add the leeks to the onion and potato in the pan, and let this mixture sweat for about five minutes to soften the veg a little, before adding about half a pint of stock. I usually make up a pint of stock, and add more as necessary, sometimes after the whole lot has been blended. Turn the heat down under the pan, cover and leave to simmer until all of the vegetables have softened enough to blitz! Once softened, the whole lot can be blended either in a liquidizer, or using a hand blender, which is what I normally do. Taste, and add pepper and salt to season, and serve with a swirl of cream and some fresh bread! The same method can be followed for both the carrot & parsnip and the broccoli & sweet potato soups. With the carrot & parsnip I use equal quantities of each veg, and I use one medium-sized sweet potato for each head of broccoli. All of these soups can be very thick and gloopy, depending on the amount of stock you use. I like them like this, but if you find that they're too thick, add some more stock, or some skimmed milk. My children love these soups, and they're a great way of getting veggies into reluctant veg eaters. Enjoy!

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