Mastering The Art Of Making Soup

By: James Lanka

The word 'soup' comes from the Latin 'suppare', which means 'soaking', and once described a dish of meat or vegetables that was soaked in the liquid in which it was cooked. In ancient times, soup was referred to as either broth (meaning 'brewed') or pottage ('cooked in a pot'). Bouillon, from the French word for 'boil', simply means stock. Consommé, a French word meaning 'consummated', describes the process in which an ingredient is simmered for a long time to acquire a concentrated flavour; its modern meaning is 'clear soup'.

Here are a few soup recipes for you to try -

Avocado Soup

1 1/8 liters chicken stock, (fresh or made with stock cubes) (2 pints)
4 avocados, peeled and stoned
2 Tbs chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

1. Reheat the stock, if not using it freshly made, and pour it into a blender.

2. Add three of the avocados and blend at top speed for 30 seconds.

3. Allow to cool at room temperature.

4. Slice the remaining avocado and garnish the soup with the slices and with the coriander sprinkled over the top.

Bacon And Parsnip Soup

25 g butter, (1oz)
1 Tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
250 g parsnips, chopped (8oz)
250 g cooked gammon or shoulder joint, cubed (8oz)
2 quarts vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs freshly chopped parsley
croutons to serve

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. Add the onion, carrot and parsnip and cook gently for 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the gammon and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for -30 minutes.

3. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return to the pan.

4. Add pepper to taste and serve hot with croutons and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Bread Soup

5 Tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed (3 to 4)
2 sprigs fresh oregano or marjoram
1 liter water, (1 3/4 pints)
a pinch of salt
6 Tbs freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
8 thin slices stale crusty bread
1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano or majoram
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic and herbs for about 1 minute or until soft. Add the water and salt and bring to the boil. Add the grated cheese, stir and simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

2. Arrange the bread slices in the bottom of a large, wide, warmed serving bowl. Remove the herb sprigs from the soup and pour on to the bread. Sprinkle with pepper and chopped herbs. Serve with grated cheese.

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James Lanka is the website owner of The UK Recipe Archive, where you can download his extensive collection of UK television recipes.

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