Monday, 30 November 2009

Chicken and Leek Soup

Roast chicken yesterday so today, after making stock with the carcass it is a thick and warming soup on a cold, wet windy day. Serves 3 with a chunk of crusty bread.

Cold roast chicken - a good handful - chopped or shredded
1 fist sized potato peeled and diced
2 leeks trimmed and finely sliced
2 medium carrots diced
1 litre of chicken stock
250ml milk
Parsley and Tarragon - small bunch of each, chopped
Salt and pepper
Knob of butter and glug of oil

Fry the leeks in the oil until softened but not coloured, add the chicken, carrots and potato and cook gently for another 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil then simmer until the potato and carrots are soft. Mash a bit with a masher to thicken the soup. Add the milk and herbs and season to taste. Don't boil the soup again but heat it through and serve.

Some garlic croûtons sprinkled on top would add a nice texture

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Tomato and Beetroot Soup

Beetroot. I always associated it with the vinegary stuff in jars that stained your lettuce and potato salad purple. So for some reason I decided to plant some this year and now I have a row of purplish lumps in the vegetable bed looking at me through the mud, hence this soup which serves 3 for lunch along with some fresh bread and Lancashire cheese.

1 medium beetroot (about 200-250g) but beetroot don't come in nice regular sizes do they?
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
large knob of butter and a splash of olive oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper

Grate the beetroot. This will make a mess and will make your hands and kitchen look like you've killed a horse with a chainsaw. Fry the beetroot and the onion in the butter and oil for about 10 minutes until they have softened. Add the spices, the tomatoes, purée and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Blend with a stick blender and add the Worcestershire sauce and season to taste.

A dollop of sour cream or yoghurt on top and or some chopped chives would make it look pretty.