Tidings of Joy! It’s the 2017 Flavour.ie FREE Christmas eBOOK!
We have been putting together for you a Christmas eBook for the last 3 years' but this years is a little different!
My love of a good bowl of soup is well known by now I should think. I have written a lot about it being the ultimate "bowl food" experience, and because of the myriad flavour combinations, textures and ability to adapt to the changing seasons it is a meal that knows no end to variation.
For those who are regular visitors to my recipe blog, you'll know that I have a soft spot for soup! To some people, soup is boring - something that comes out of a can and the last vestige of the time pressed. But to me, soup is the Ultimate Bowl Food delivering on all levels: comfort, taste, flavour, nutrition, ease.
I fear I can barely contain my excitement about the fact that it is finally full-blown squash season once more! Yes, yes I know…it's all a bit "drama, drama" but genuinely, if autumn is my favourite food season, then the Squash is sitting pretty, right at the top of my pile of food loves, wearing a crown and winking!
Instead of me bombarding you with recipes for new ways with Brussel Sprouts, I have decided to focus on things we can Slurp & Sip all winter long!
So feel free and welcome to download the 2017 Edition of the Flavour.ie Christmas eBook and access 12 original Flavour.ie recipes for Seasonal Soups and Warming Cocktails! Get everything you need to stay warm and rosey cheeked this winter, and download the eBook NOW!
My love of a good bowl of soup is well known by now I should think. I have written a lot about it being the ultimate “bowl food” experience, and because of the myriad flavour combinations, textures and ability to adapt to the changing seasons it is a meal that knows no end to variation.
I came up with this recipe for Celery & Blue Cheese soup during a spell of weather in early May that was all blue sky and sunshine. So, loosely I am calling this a summer soup as for me it was inspired by the prospect of BBQ’s and dipping hot smoky chicken wings into a cooling blue cheese dip with sticks of crunchy, crisp celery on the side. So yes, I feel I am at liberty to call this a summer soup, although of course it would be just as comforting eaten beside a roaring fire, post walk on a rainy November day so, you know, whatever floats your boat!
For those who are regular visitors to my recipe blog, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for soup! To some people, soup is boring – something that comes out of a can and the last vestige of the time pressed. But to me, soup is the Ultimate Bowl Food delivering on all levels: comfort, taste, flavour, nutrition, ease.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought soup. Instead, I bulk make soups and chill down or freeze. Yes, there is a little bit of prep and cooking, but a lot less than say cooking a roast dinner. It’s a great way to warm you up; use up vegetables or bit of meat and bones and from such humble ingredients comes the most delicious things to eat.
Setting aside modesty for a moment, I believe that my version of Potato and Leek soup is the best one you’ll taste. I really can’t recommend enough that you make this. It also makes the perfect base soup for a proper bowl of chowder if thinned out a little and some fresh fish added to it. Not a carrot to be seen, and easy on the cream. You’re welcome…
Ingredients (serves 4 as a soup or 6 thinned out more if using for base of a chowder):
Knob of butter
1tsp of olive oil
50g smoked bacon lardons (I use Gubbeen here, but Baltimore Pig is also good)
3 small or 1 large leek cleaned, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds
250g potatoes, peeled and cut into apx 3cm cubed pieces
500ml of vegetable stock (if using a cube/gel only use half in 500ml of water)
250ml hot water
25g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Over a medium heat, slowly heat the oil and butter together.
Add the bacon lardon and fry gently until starting to colour but not too dark (this will ruin the final colour of the soup
Add the leeks, stir through and cook until softened.
Add the chopped potatoes. Stir and cover with the bacon and leek mix. Cook for a minute or two, then add the stock.
Cover, turn down the heat and cook until the potatoes are softened and cooked through but not falling apart. Add a little more of the hot water if needed.
Add everything to a blender, blend until smooth. If too thick add the remaining hot water a little at a time until the required consistency is gained.
Return to the pan and heat through. At this stage taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add more water to thin out further especially if you are turning the soup into the base of your chowder.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of cream, some fried crispy lardons, a couple of fried potato slices and a leaf of parsley. Finish with a final grind of black pepper and serve up immediately with some crusty bread and butter.
I fear I can barely contain my excitement about the fact that it is finally full-blown squash season once more! Yes, yes I know…it’s all a bit “drama, drama” but genuinely, if autumn is my favourite food season, then the Squash is sitting pretty, right at the top of my pile of food loves, wearing a crown and winking!
Cucurbits is the family name given to all squash and pumpkins that also include courgettes and the things that get turned in loofah’s (are they called “loofah’s” before they become so? Is “loofah’s” the correct plural for “loofah”? Who knows? Answers on a postcard please!) I think that it must also include cucumbers and maybe possibly aubergines too. Sometimes life is too short for such research, and mainly in this instance because I want you to proceed immediately to your kitchen and make this soup. You can thank me later in the comments below!
Can I just say at the outset that, although I am all about the flavour, this soup can have the capacity to look unattractive so a little time spent on presentation at the end will work wonders as the photo of the finished product will attest to. I also want to note to you, dear reader, that in this instance I used a magnificent Crown Prince squash which has attributed greatly to the slightly bogie-green hue to the soup. However, any squash or pumpkin will suffice for this soup so the final colour could range from bogie-green to sunshine yellow depending on the squash chosen, grown or available.
A final note on soup. I love soup. I am considering writing a whole piece on the art of making good soup. There are fewer things in this world that can satisfy you like a delicious bowl of soup can. It’s a gift of a thing. You’ll notice that in amongst the blog are quite a few soup recipes. Please don’t dismiss them…soup is a wonderful thing and endlessly versatile, fulfilling and nutritious – not to mention thrifty!