Archive for the 'Soup' Category

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Celeriac and toasted hazelnut soup

celeriac and toasted hazelnuts soup

Don’t be put off by the odd look of the soup in the picture. I know it doesn’t look all that appealing (in fact the words: dog dinner spring to mind) BUT you have to trust me that the taste is great and it’s very easy to make. Plus it looks a lot better in “real” life, so to speak. The photograph doesn’t do it justice, that’s for sure. What you see floating on the top are toasted hazelnuts which I foolishly crushed before taking their skin off. The result? It looks as if it has been sprinkled with wood shavings. My advice is :don’t be fooled by the appearance (I believe in taste over looks) and try it.  I can already think of variations on the theme like adding some cream  or some blue cheese to it to make it richer. But all in good time. I believe celeriac (sedano rapa) is readily available in Italy too, right? The inspiration to make it came from the greengrocer who sells me the organic vegetables. When I bought the celeriac he mentioned that he had made a soup with it and had added toasted hazelnuts on the top. Well, I tried to recreate it using a bit of imagination and here it is. Tried and tested. Continue reading ‘Celeriac and toasted hazelnut soup’

Soup à l’oignon con uno spruzzo di kirsch


 Di solito si fa in pirottini individuali che fa molto fino. Direi che il pentolone da portare in tavola e pescarvi mestolate tutti insieme è più caldo e riduce molto il lavoro della padrona di casa. La bellezza non va scambiata con spocchia e spesso portati dal bombardamento della moda ci cadiamo tutti. Questa è una zuppa poverissima (pame e cipolle), dopo due di queste potete andare al cinema gratis o aumentare le donazioni al vostro progetto solidale preferito :)

Ho aggiunto, infine, un ingrediente per ricordare una persona cara per la proprietà transitiva dell’amore.






Continue reading ‘Soup à l’oignon con uno spruzzo di kirsch’

Chestnut and sage soup

chestnut and sage soup

Here’s another new recipes for those soup fans like myself who want to experiment a little. Let’s face it:  autumn is on its way (or have we just had it? We have had such a shocking summer this year! Last week’s blamy temperatures will not redeem it…) and nothing is more warming than a lovely bowl of soup with some nice bread. I had a tin of chestnuts in my cupboard which I discovered while pretending to tidy it up. I needed to use it as it was near its sell by date so I scoured my recipe books for some ideas. In the end I plumped for this one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. In fact, Candi, it’s in his Veg every day book I gave you for Christmas. The sage (which is growing wildly in my garden) gives it an unusual flavour. I like its velvety consistency. Definitely one I’ll make again. Continue reading ‘Chestnut and sage soup’

Pasta e fagioli soup

pasta e fagioli

This is a nice, hearty soup ideal for those LOOOOONG winter nights when it starts getting dark at 4. How I hate this time of the year! By the way, I am using the Italian name for this recipe for two reasons: firstly it’s a well known Italian dish and secondly it sounds much better in Italian than in English. Its translation would be: pasta and beans soup . But would that sound appealing to my UK friends? I don’t think so. But if I give it its Italian name, hey presto! It sounds exotic and outlandish. In truth it is a humble peasant dish. Nothing exotic about it. I usually make it with chick peas. But I had run out of them so I used borlotti beans instead. It tastes nice with either. I cook it quite a lot when I’m pressed for time (which is very often these days) as it’s a quick soup to make but very tasty too. There are many different versions out there. I would be interested in knowing how you make it, Candi. Anyway my recipe is simplicity personified… Continue reading ‘Pasta e fagioli soup’

Cream of mushrooms soup

Cream of mushrooms soup

I reckon it’s time I blogged another of my favourite soups. I was going to say legendary but perhaps it would be a touch too arrogant! As my readers (both of them…he he) will know I LOVE soups and I possess quite a repertoire. I know that some people find them boring but I am a huge fan! Nothing better than a hearty soup with a chunky piece of bread when the weather starts getting chilly ( the whole year round here in England, then!!!). I think I have waxed lyrical about them before. Anyway….This week in my veggie delivery box there were loads of mushrooms. As I had already bought some myself I ended up with quite a humungus quantity in the fridge so I decided to make a soup. As I didn’t follow a recipe ingredients are  roughly guessed. In truth you can’t go wrong with soups, most of the time. I DID use one thing  you can’t find here in the UK, mind, and it’s the Star Porcini stock cubes! FABULOUS stuff if you are cooking with mushrooms. I used the last one tonight so I must stock up next time I’m in Italy. Actually I take it all back. I’ve just googled them and would you believe it?? You CAN buy them here in the UK after all. I have just found them on Amazon!!!! Unbelievable!! It has made my day!!!! :-) Continue reading ‘Cream of mushrooms soup’

Butternut squash and pepper soup

butternut squash and pepper soup

I think it’s about time I blogged one of my famous soups! Yes, I like a good soup EVEN in the summer. And anyway, let’s be honest…WHAT summer? Here in the Uk you can rest assured it never stays hot or sunny for too long. Last year (or was it the one before? Or perhaps both) I had the heating on in August! :-0  COME ON!  So soup it is! The recipe for this particular one was given to me by my good friend Janet, queen of puddings and other things besides. She was the original enthusiast and right she was too! It’s light, fresh and it has an amazing bright orange colour. I am not sure whether you have butternut squash in Italy. It’s basically like a pumpkin but the shape is that of a big pear. If you do have them what are they called??? Help Candi!

Now to the recipe…. Continue reading ‘Butternut squash and pepper soup’

Cream of Jerusalem artichokes soup

Jerusalem artichokes

Hands up who has ever come across a Jerusalem artichoke… Well, if you had asked me a week ago what Jerusalem artichokes looked like I wouldn’t have had a clue as I have never used them in cooking before. I thought they were a type of artichoke, judging by the name….I know now, as I found them in my weekly veggies delivery (they must be in season, then), that they look NOTHING like an artichoke!!  As you can see from the picture, which I took to enlighten other ignorant people like me (I have still got a long way to go, haven’t I?), they are a root vegetable and  look like a cross between a potato and ginger . And by the way in Italian they are known as topinambur. Weird by name, weird by nature it would seem…  I had heard of topinambur but, again, I wouldn’t have known what they were and I most certainly wouldn’t have made the connection with the Jerusalem artichoke.  The things I am learning doing this blog! I do believe they eat them in the Piemonte region (with bagna cauda, for example, which is a hot dipping sauce made with oil, butter, anchovies and garlic)  but I am not sure how widely used they are in the rest of Italy. Perhaps Candi will enlighten us.  Anyway,  faced with a bag of what looked like ugly, gnarly potatoes, I started consulting my cookery books and trawling the internet for ideas on how to use these bizarre looking vegetables. Continue reading ‘Cream of Jerusalem artichokes soup’