This time of year I love nothing more for my supper than a big bowl of wholesome homemade soup, great for calorie counting, fills you up and soups are so versatile. You can make the most delicious soup from an onion, potato , thyme, garlic and creamy milk. Always with the addition of good flavoured homemade stock. I stock my freezer with bags of chicken and fish stock every few months, if you don’t have time the only alternative is to buy fresh stock from your local supermarket or my favourite stand by is a jar of stock concentrate from M&S you dilute and it’s the only one I have tried that actually tastes like stock. Please not the dried salty varieties, poor chickens are out there flapping their wings in horror of the stuff!
If you haven’t made soup before the simplest to start with is vegetable, I like to add carrot, celery, squash, sweet potato and parsnip. It makes it a sweeter soup with the addition of the sweet potato over regular potato and less clawey in texture. The base to any soup is onion and garlic sweated off in butter then the addition of your preferred vegetables and fresh herbs, sweated, then stock added. You can spice the soup with a little curry powder if you wish, delicious addition, adding the spice mix with the onions and garlic.
Autumn vegetable soup.
Ingredients. serves 6/8.
2 oz /25g butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Sprig of thyme
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
4 sticks celery, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 pints chicken stock
Cream to serve
Few leaves of fresh coriander
Pre heat oven to 190oc, place chopped butternut squash on a small roasting tray drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and thyme sprig . Place in oven and roast for about 10- 15mins until soft.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan, add onion and garlic. Sweat over a gentle heat until lightly coloured and soft. Add remaining vegetables, season and gently sweat covered with greaseproof or a butter wrapper for about 10mins until all vegetables have softened. Remove wrapper , add cooked squash, discarding thyme and stock. Bring to boil then simmer for about 3 mins,take off heat and blitz until smooth with a hand blender. Check for seasoning.
Serve with a swirl of fresh cream and chopped parsley to garnish and toasted sourdough bread!