There is something so nourishing, so wholesome and healing about a bowl of soup. It is one of the simplest, and most inexpensive, things to make yet so many people have never even tried to make it.
I consider my mother the queen of soup making, every single day after school she would have a bowl of soup waiting for us when we got in, everyday I ate it and I never, ever tired of it, the key to her delicious soup is in her use of homemade chicken stock. As teenagers we hated her making stock, I can still smell it and for me, the look of the jelly like stock turned my stomach, although not enough to put me off the end product of Mums soup!!
When my Dad was really ill with leukaemia and confined to an isolation rooms in hospital for weeks at a time the only food he could tolerate was Mums soup, which she brought to him daily. I still attribute a large part of his fantastic recovery to the healing power of soup.
I have made my own stock over the years but in truth I find it difficult to find the time so I usually use shop bought stock, I dislike the cubes as they have a grainy texture but the knorr stock pots can be quite salty so I use the Kallo stockpots which are great.
I make soup at least once, if not twice a week, always a mixed veg one and then usually one other type.
My kids adore soup, my 5 yr old in particular, she is great to try different soups and will rate them, poor Granny,aka the Soup Queen, got a very poor rating for a spiced Parsnip Soup that didn’t go down well last year, she still hasn’t been forgiven!!
This isn’t as such a recipe for root vegetable soup,more a suggestion,and for me it depends on what is in the fridge, the following is a list of what I used yesterday to make it, feel free to interchange as you wish. My only words of advise are to ensure balance don’t be tempted to use too many carrots or the end taste will be too sweet, if using celery, and by all means do, only two or three stalks are advised as it tends to dominate the flavour, and although it may seem like a faff, do sweat the vegetables as it produces a much nicer result.
I will post a series of these soup ‘suggestions’/recipes over the coming weeks, I hope to pass on my never ending love of soup
Winter Vegetable Soup
3 large Carrots peeled and diced
1 Large Onion peeled and roughly chopped
2 Parsnip peeled and diced
1/2 large/ 1 whole small celeriac peeled and diced
1 small potato peeled and diced
1 leek, washed and sliced
1 Fennel Bulb sliced
2 x stock pots
2 pints boiling water
Cream ( optional)
Place all if the veg in a heavy based saucepan.
Add a little water, only about 150ml.
Cover the veg with parchment paper, tucking it in around the veg…see photo, and place lid on saucepan
Place on a medium heat and sweat for about 25/30 mins till the veg are soft and can be easily pierced with the tip if a knife.
Remove from the heat, add the stock pots and boiling water and bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
Add a small amount of cream and taste and season.
If soup looks too thick you can add more water.
Serve and enjoy with some crusty bread.
Soup freezes very well so it’s well worth making a big pot and freezing half, it can be quickly defrosted in a saucepan over a low heat.