Homemade Soups from the English Countryside

New WFH routines have given way to a whole new take on working lunch. We have been experimenting in the kitchen with a few quick and easy soup recipes. Listed are our must try soups that remind us of home and the English countryside.

Butternut squash soup with parsley purée

By Antony Worrall Thompson

Preparation time - less than 30 mins
Cooking time - 10 to 30 mins
Serves - Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1.8kg/4lb wedges of butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, 4 whole, unpeeled and 2 finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • 2 litres/3½ pints hot vegetable stock
  • For the parsley purée
  • 1 bunch flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 30g/1oz parmesan, finely grated
  • 100ml/3½fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice, to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.
  • Cut the butternut squash (including skin) into 7cm/3in wedges and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Brush the wedges with 1 tbsp olive oil, place in a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until soft and caramelized.
  • After 25 minutes of cooking, add the unpeeled garlic and the sprigs of thyme.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, sage and remaining garlic and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft but not brown.
  • Pour the stock into the vegetables, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Allow the squash to cool for 5 minutes when cooked. Using a large spoon remove the flesh from the skin and add to the stock. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin into the stock and discard the thyme.
  • Simmer the stock and vegetables for a further 5 minutes or until the squash is beginning to break up.
  • Place the soup in a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and gently reheat. Check seasoning.
  • For the parsley purée, place the chopped parsley into a food processor with the garlic and parmesan. Process until smooth. With the motor still running, slowly add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a spoonful of the parsley purée. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

 

Leek, Onion and Potato Soup

By Delia Smith

Ingredients

  • 4 large leeks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 50g butter
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 275 ml milk
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

  • Begin by trimming the leeks, discarding the tough outer layer.
  • Now split them in half lengthways and slice them quite finely, then wash them thoroughly in two or three changes of water. Drain well. In a large, thick-based saucepan, gently melt the butter, then add the leeks, onions and potatoes, stirring them all round with a wooden spoon so they get a nice coating of butter. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and let the vegetables sweat over a very low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • After that, add the stock and milk, bring to simmering point, cover and let the soup simmer very gently for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft – if you have the heat too high the milk in it may cause it to boil over.
  • Now you can put the whole lot into a blender – leave it to cool a little first – and blend to a purée. If you have to blend the soup in batches, make sure you have a bowl to hand to put the first batch into. Now return the soup to the saucepan and reheat gently, tasting to check the seasoning. Add a swirl of cream or crème fraîche before serving and sprinkle with freshly snipped chives or parsley.

To Serve

  • 2 tablespoons cream or crème fraiche
  • 11/2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives or chopped fresh parsley 

Asparagus Soup

A velvety smooth soup, equally good summer or winter - and 'posh' enough to serve for guests (whether or not that's a stuffed animal during this time). Serve with slices of toast.

By Nigella Lawsosn

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch white asparagus (peeled if needed)
  • 1 bunch fresh green asparagus
  • 1⅖ ounces butter
  • 1⅖ ounces flour
  • 26 fluid ounces chicken broth
  • 7 fluid ounces cream
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

Method

  • Asparagus Soup is a community recipe submitted by klp66 and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.
  • Boil asparagus until barely tender (or as you like them) - save boiling water.
  • Melt butter in a pan, add flour, let the two emulsify.
  • Add water from the asparagus + stock - you need about 1,2 litre in all.
  • Let it boil for 5 minutes - check the thickness of the soup, add more water if needed.
  • Add cream, let it barely reach boiling point, taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add asparagus to the soup.

 

 

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