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Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

Celeriac Soup

If you ever come across this funny looking vegetable, don’t walk past it. Pick one up and try this delicious soup. It was on the menu at a restaurant that we were at the other night but we didn’t choose it. However, when I got home, I realised that we had  a celeriac knocking about, so I made the soup. I really liked it, it’s got that nice celery taste and with the potatoes it was nice and thick.

Ingredients

  • 1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 potato, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic,  crushed
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock or bouillon
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying

Method

Fry the onions and garlic in some olive oil until they’ve softened. Add the potatoes, celeriac and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then when the vegetables are cooked well, blend with a hand held blender until smooth, season to taste and serve hot with fresh chives or some thyme.

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Over Easter we were in Cordoba, the home of Salmorejo (it’s on every menu), and I defy anyone on return NOT to attempt to make it. This really is peasant food at it’s best. The over ripe tomatoes that are no good for salads, stale bread, some garlic which is in abundance everywhere in this country, off cuts of jamon as a garnish (optional) some olive oil (not peasant food where I’m from in south east England, but in Spain, Europe’s largest producer, it is!) and a dash of wine vinegar. It just tastes so fresh and if you get the right tomatoes, you get this wonderful salmon colour in your bowl. Good luck, this is really worth having a go at.

Ingredients

  • 500 g  ripe, red tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 stale loaf, crust removed (spanish/french stick is perfect)
  • 1 tbsp spoon vinegar
  • 4 tbsp spoons of olive oil
  • big pinch of rock salt
  • jamon, chopped to garnish

Method

Put all of the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt in a bowl. or blender and, you guessed it, blend. Then Slowly add the bread to make a thick soup. Garnish with bits of chopped jamon and a drizzle of olive oil. Refrigerate and serve cold.

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The site has been kind of neglected recently… no excuses really, sometimes life just gets in the way and the “Pear Tree” has been eating quick fix non bloggable meals. BUT, we are back. This is a beauty. I got it from Marcus Wareing’s amazing book called  “Nutmeg and Custard” . This takes about 45 mins, but doesn’t need constant attention. It really utilizes the marvel that is peanut butter. Come on Spain, learn to love this culinary delight.

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red chilli, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp, peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 litres of chicken stock
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 100g rice noodles (thick variety of possible
  • 50g peanuts roasted and chopped
  • generous amount of coriander

Method

Fry off the chicken in the oil for a few minutes and put to one side. Now fry the onions and garlic in the oil and brown for about 5 minutes or so. Then stir in the peanut butter and the soy sauce, then gradually add the chicken stock. Bring everything to a simmer and then add the chicken breasts.

Keep it simmering at and cook for half an hour. Marcus suggests using two forks to shred the chicken and this really worked for me, so I guess what I’m saying is… do it. Add the coconut sauce and the salt, keep on simmering. Cook the rice noodles according to the packet in a separate saucepan and drain. Toast the chopped peanuts. Then, in a bowl, pour the soup over the noodles and garnish with coriander and the peanuts and serve hot. We added a few drops of chilli sauce to the top to make it a little more spicy, but do this to your own taste, obviously. Good luck and enjoy.

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This is a lovely winter soup. The Stilton Cheese and the broccoli really complement each other. Or maybe I just love Stilton. Anyway, give it a go. If you can’t get hold of Stilton, I imagine other blue cheeses would work as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 broccoli, chopped (including stalks)
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 75g stilton crumbled
  • 100ml  double cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Fry the onions in the butter on a low heat until they are soft. Add the broccoli and the boiling vegetable stock to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Now stir in the Stilton, and the double cream and blend until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Check for seasoning and serve with good bread.

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Carrot and Coriander Soup

Just made this for lunch… Was really hungry so ate it when it was far too hot, but I recommend that you leave it for a little while to cool as the flavours are much better. In this version I used a potato to thicken it up, seemed to work really well… Just a note to all Americans, Coriander is Cilantro.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 potato, diced
  • fresh coriander
  • 1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • large knob of butter
  • olive oil

Method

Soften the onions and garlic in some olive oil, add the potatoes, carrots and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cook until everything is soft and then blend with a hand mixer. When it is smooth stir in the butter. Garnish with some chopped coriander and serve with some fresh bread.

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Leek And Potato Soup

Cooked this last night. A really warming dish and a taste of home for me…

Ingredients

  • 5 medium sized potatoes
  • 3 or 4 leeks
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

chop the leeks and fry in butter over a medium heat for 10 minutes or so, until they are soft. Add the diced potatoes and the hot stock. Bring to the boil and simmer.

Cook until the potatoes are soft. Now blend the ingredients to get a smooth soup. Add the milk and some more butter, cook for a further few minutes. Season to taste and serve with fresh bread.

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I have fond memories of this soup. When I was younger, one of my best friend’s mom worked at a Greek restaurant. In the winter she used to bring us this soup in styrofoam containers and we ate it with crusty bread before going to basketball practice. The combination of raw eggs, rice, lemon and chicken broth might not seem super appealing at first, but I promise it’s delicious!

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 4  cups chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  rice
  • fresh lemon juice from 1 ½ lemons
  • 2  large eggs
  • pepper

Method

Boil the chicken broth and add the rice. Allow to cook for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of rice. Meanwhile, squeeze the lemons and set aside the juice.

Now for the labor intensive part. Crack the two eggs and carefully separate the whites and yolks. Be sure to put the egg whites in a big enough bowl so that you can whip them until they have medium soft peaks. This is really easy if you have a hand mixer, slightly more work if you have a whisk, and really tiring for your arm if you use a fork like I did.One the egg whites are ready, continue to stir them while you slowly pour in the egg yolks and lemon juice.

One the egg whites are ready, continue to stir them while you slowly pour in the egg yolks and lemon juice.

When rice is finished, in order to temper the eggs and keep them from cooking, transfer 2 cups of the hot chicken stock to the egg/lemon mixture, adding very slowly in a constant stream and beating vigorously.

Serve immediately with freshly ground black pepper. We paired our soup with some excellent Galician bread, which we bought locally at a bread shop. Galician bread is light years better than the typical Madrid bread that tends to be dry and crumbly.

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