Thursday, 9 February 2012

Soups and Stews

As the winter cold eventually embraces the Norfolk countryside, and I am obliged to double the numbers of socks worn, forced to better my gloved typing, I am grateful for soups, and stews, every day, morning, noon, dusk...

Pumpkin Daal

My main staple is what I call Pumpkin Daal, made simply and rapidly with a handful of red split lentils, spices and some baked Pumpkin.  I am ever thankful too for the abundance of Pumpkins, still storing well.  I have also just discovered, on the Eat Weeds blog, a "Wild Dahl", made with hedgerow seeds, which looks to inspire some change in my quotidian recipe.

Otherwise, in celebration of these Soups and Stews:

 Butter Bean and Winter Greens Stew, topped with Stale Sourdough Croutons and grated Cheese

The grated cheese adds a French style touch of luxe to this simple peasant stew.

Pumpkin and Cinnamon Soup

Although this picture was taken in the late Summer - that stunning bright sunshadow, unimaginable in today's white/grey - this is a super winter soup, thick, sweet and warming...

Pea and Cumin Soup, with Olive Oil

An all year round favourite, inspired by the discovery of Soupe de Pois Casses au Cumin in a little restaurant on the rive droit.   This can be made in the winter with frozen Peas, split or dried Peas, the latter soaked before cooking.

Tomato and Sourdough Soup

This is a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi.  It is a soup for Tomato season, but if you happen to have bottled Summer's Tomatoes, or made Passata, these can be used.  I followed his recipe, which can be found here, skipping the Sugar and the tinned Tomatoes, and using half a pint of Tomato Passata made in Summer, extra Cumin, and Parsley instead of Coriander.  This soup brings a wonderful ray of Summer in the winter's durge.

Courgette and Basil Soup

A Summer Soup.  But a gorgeous one, so it has a line here.

Flageolet Bean and Swede Stew, with Soda Bread

Another great peasant style soup/stew, nourishing, and delicious if made with some home-made stock.

Potato and Parsley Soup, with Bacon

A delicious soup, a discovery.  Cook potatoes as per mash.  Mash with Butter and Milk, ground Mace, Salt and Pepper.  Dilute further with milk, the cooking water and a splash of white wine.  Add thinly slice Leeks and Shallots, cook very gently for ten minutes or so. Stir in a tonne of chopped Parsley at the very last minute and top with crispy Bacon if you so wish.


  1. that potato and parsley soup with bacon looks exceptional! ... I love your photography too... delicious!

  2. Ive never tried a courgette soup before think I will have to give it a go after seeing yours, lovely photo's you have to.

  3. Thanks both for your comments. Soup is truly the answer to happy winter days!


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