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Archive for February, 2010

Soup

More than two months have passed since my last post. It seems like even longer since I was buckling under the weight of the campest cake ever in a North London pub. I am now holed up in my new flat in Crystal Palace ready to regale any friends who will make the trip south east with tales of burning palaces and dinosaur statues.

Eventually I will buy a table and then people can come for dinner. For now I am just pleased to finally have the internet. It only took eight weeks.

Rest assured, to those who were concerned, that my absence was only due to lack of internet access. I have not stopped eating. Three meals a day and additional snacks is still my routine and I have a shiny new kitchen to make a mess of plus a host of new food shops and restaurants to explore.

One of my New Year’s resolutions that has lasted was to start making soups to take into work for lunch. This has lead to much experimenting with flavours and sieving techniques. I like a smooth soup and when I have cut corners and only liquidised the hot broth I have found the result disappointing on both a textural and a flavour level. Perhaps something in the slow process of pressing liquid and mulch through a fine mesh sieve brings out depth of flavour. 

 My two favourite soups are a Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato and a Butternut Squash, Bacon & Chestnut. It all sounds very Covent Garden but home-made soup tastes so much better than that.

You don’t really need to follow a strict recipe for a soup and I certainly haven’t kept any measurements when I have made them so all I can offer is a rough guide.

Roasting seems to me to be a great way to add depth of flavour if you are lacking the good stock that will elevate your soup to a higher level. If this was the olden days and I had a family then I would be boiling bones all day and I’d have stock coming out of my ears. As it is I use Swiss Bouillon powder because I refuse to use those disgusting plastic sacks of posh stock that look like bags of saline.

The recipes follow.

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