Monday, 14 November 2011

Well, that's just souper.

Happy Monday.

I'll get on and blog tonight's dinner in a little while but first of all thought I'd share the soups I made over the weekend.

I love soup, and it's great to make in batches and freeze in portions for quick lunches. Pour and Store bags are brilliant for this, or for storing in larger quantities, the plastic lidded jars you get canned fruit in.  Genuis.

First up, a simple leek and potato.

Leek and Potato Soup

Makes 8 large portions

6 leeks, trimmed and sliced
6 large/8 medium  scrubbed potatoes, chopped (leave the skin on, it's good for you!)
1 large onion, sliced
3 stock cubes
some dried herbs
1/2 tub creme fraiche - you can use reduced fat if you like
Splash of oil

heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and leek for 5 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking/burning.  Tip in the potatoes, crumble in the stock cubes and add the herbs.  Top up with enough water to cover the veg and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Take it off the heat and blitz with a handheld blender, adding more water as needed to get the consistency you want.  Stir in the creme fraiche, check for seasoning and serve or portion up for freezing.

Secondly, a slightly fancier and feistier recipe.  We ate this as part of a simple but tasty lunch on a Saturday, but it does double duty as a supper party starter if you gussy it up a bit.  Add a swirl of creme fraiche and cut some chorizo into teeny tiny dice and fry until crispy, scattering over the top just before serving.  Fancy schmancy.  Squash-based soups need quite a bit of salt, taste and add more if you think it's warranted but the spicyness and salt mean it's not really suitable for little people.

Spicy roasted butternut and red pepper soup

makes 4 portions

1 butternut squash
3-4 red peppers, quartered and seeded
1 largeish or 2 small leeks, sliced
2 stock cubes
large pinch of sea salt
splash of olive oil
pinch of dried chilli flakes
tsp smoked paprika

Halve the squash lengthways, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with a tiny bit of oil and wrap in foil.  PLace in a hot oven and roast for 45 minutes.  Add the peppers to the oven and roast for 15 minutes more.  Meanwhile, sautee the sliced leeks in a little oil for 5 minutes, until soft.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Tip in the roasted peppers, and scoop the flesh out of the squash shell and pop that in too.  Crumble in your stock cubes (I like chicken ones in this recipe, but use vegetable to make it veggie-friendly) and add water to just cover the veg.  Pop it back on the heat and simmer for a few minutes, then take off the heat and blitz with a hand blender.  Stir in the paprika and chilli - you might want to add half, let it sit a minute then taste, to make sure it's not too spicy for your palate, before adding the rest if needed.  Season to taste with the sea salt, and serve.

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