These nutritious winter soups are full of flavour – perfect comfort food for chilly winter days. Both recipes are reproduced from the book All Souped Up by Carolyn Dowie and Shelagh Martell. We are very grateful to the authors for giving us their permission to share the recipes with readers of Kidlington News.
Winter minestrone – serves 4
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch celery, chopped (reserve the leaves)
- 1kg Swiss chard
- 1kg cavolo nero or kale
- 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
- A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 400 tin peeled plum tomatoes
- 410g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 700ml chicken or vegetable stock
- Winter herbs (thyme or sage), chopped
- HEAT the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take about 20 minutes.
- SHRED the chard and cavolo nero or kale leaves, and roughly chop the stems.
- ADD the garlic, chard stalks and half the parsley to the saucepan and stir to prevent sticking.
- STIR in the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes until reduced a bit.
- ADD half the shredded chard leaves, half the cavolo nero (or kale) leaves, three-quarters of the cannellini beans and the boiling stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add more stock if you think it is too thick but not too much as the soup should be thick.
- ADD the remaining chard and cavolo nero (or kale) leaves and blanch briefly so they remain green and crisp. Season when slightly cooled.
- PUREE the remaining cannellini beans coarsely in a blender with some of the cooking liquid. Add to the soup – it should be very green. Stir in the remaining parsley and the winter herbs.
- SERVE garnished with grated parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Warming and hearty mushroom and barley soup – serves 4-6
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 500g fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock
- 5 tbsp marsala or dry sherry
- 2 tbsp tomato pureé
- 100g pearl barley
- SOAK the porcini in 250ml boiling water for 25 minutes.
- HEAT the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, carrot, garlic, rosemary and seasoning. Fry for 5 minutes on a medium heat until softened.
- DRAIN the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, and chip finely ,Add to the pan along with the fresh mushrooms and fry for another 5 minutes.
- ADD the stock, marsala or sherry, tomato purée, barley and the porcini liquid, discarding any grit.
- COOK for 30 minutes or until barley is soft.
- GARNISH with a sprinkling of grated parmesan.
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