Roast Carrot and Parsnip Soup

I used leftover roast vegetables from the day before for this, but you can roast the vegetables specially.

Scrub clean 1 large carrot and 1 large parsnip; halve lengthways and cut into finger-length batons. Place on a baking tray and drizzle over a tablespoon of oil, a generous pinch of salt, and generous cracked pepper. Roast at 180°C for 30-45 minutes, or until soft and beginning to blacken around the edges. Allow to cool a little then chop into smaller pieces. Fry 1/2 onion, roughly chopped, and 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, in a little butter or oil until beginning to caramelise. Add the carrot and parsnip, 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, and 1-2 cups of vegetable stock depending on how thick you want the soup (one cup will give an almost purée-like texture, two cups will give a thin drinking soup). Bring to the boil, then take off the heat and blend until reasonably smooth. Serve with crusty bread and goat’s cheese.

Serves 2-3 depending on the size of the vegetables and the amount of liquid added.

Advertisements

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Leaf Soup

Rather than wasting cauliflower leaves, I tried throwing them into this simple broth recipe – it worked surprisingly well. Both the stem and leaf takes a while to cook down, so there’s no need to separate them as I would with softer leaves such as pak choi.

Thinly slice 2 pink or red onions, 2 cloves of garlic and the leaves from a large cauliflower. Peel, slice thinly and cut into strips 1 medium sweet potato. Melt a generous amount of butter (or oil for vegan) in a deep saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until beginning to soften; add the sweet potato and cauliflower leaves with 1 tsp chinese five spice and 1 tsp cumin. Make up 1l stock with 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder and 1 tsp miso paste (or 1 tbsp soy sauce); add to the vegetables, stir well, bring to the boil then simmer for 1/2 hour or until the cauliflower leaves are soft to the bite. Season with salt and black pepper if desired.

Serves 3 with bread.

Thai Prawn Noodle Soup

Adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe I tore out of a magazine years ago.

Snap and cook 1 portion of noodles (egg, udon, instant etc) according to packet instructions. While the noodles are cooking, thinly slice 1/4 green bell pepper, 1/4 courgette and 1 clove garlic, then fry in oil over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Turn down the heat and add 1 tbsp curry paste, 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup coconut milk, a pinch of chilli flakes and a large handful of frozen cooked prawns. Cook for 3-4 minutes until prawns are heated through. Stir in the noodles.

Serves 1; the soup base keeps in the fridge for a few days but it’s best to cook the noodles fresh for each portion otherwise they go soggy on reheating.

Variations:

  • Also very good with sliced button mushrooms, added with the prawns.
  • The original recipe called for pak choi; I’ve also made this with spinach and chard. The stalks can be cooked with the garlic and leaves added with the prawns.
  • For a hotter variation use a thinly sliced chilli pepper instead of the chilli flakes; fry them with the garlic
  • You can use thai curry paste for this, although I don’t usually have it in the cupboard.

Leek and Potato Soup

Peel and dice 2-3 small potatoes into 1 inch cubes, cover with boiling water, add a little salt, and boil for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are easily crushed with the blunt edge of a knife. While the potatoes are cooking, fry 1 large leek, sliced and 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, in butter (or vegetable oil for vegan) until soft and beginning to caramelise. Drain the potatoes and add them to the leek and garlic. Make up 1.5 cups stock with 1tsp stock powder or one stock cube and boiling water. Pour over the vegetables and stir thoroughly, crushing up the potatoes a little. Season with pepper and thyme.

Serves 1, easily scaled. Serve with bread if desired.

Vegetable Ramen

Adapted from a Wagamama recipe.

In generous amounts of oil, fry 2 inches aubergine, thinly sliced; equal volume sweet potato, thinly sliced; 1/4 yellow pepper, thinly sliced; 1/3 green pepper, thinly sliced; 2 florets broccoli, thinly sliced. Once softened, take off heat, add 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, a pinch of chilli flakes and set aside to marinate. Cover 1 portion udon noodles in boiling water and cook at a rolling boil for 6-7 minutes or until soft to the bite. In a bowl mix 1 tsp miso paste and 1/2 tsp vegetable stock with a little boiling water. Fill the bowl half full, making sure the paste is well mixed. Add the noodles to the broth, followed by the vegetables.

Serves 1 – vegetables can be doubled up and the spare portion kept in the fridge for a few days

Variations:

  • Really any vegetables can be used for this. The harder the vegetable, the thinner it will need to be sliced and the longer it will take to cook.
  • Will also work with instant noodles