Soups

Soups

By
Mark Hix
Contains
12 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
9781844003921
Photographer
Jason Lowe

The quality of the soups on a menu is a good test of any restaurant. I find that the effort that goes into producing a starter, main or dessert is often not matched with a soup. When you’ve gone to the trouble of making a good stock, it seems a shame not to get the end product right.

I don’t think enough people make their own soups at home, perhaps because they think it’s too much of a hassle, or possibly the ready-made ‘fresh’ soups on supermarket shelves prove too tempting. But there is something incredibly satisfying about a bowl of homemade soup, and it’s a brilliant way of using up odds and ends of vegetables and other ingredients in the fridge and larder.

A soup can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Time and again, I find that when too many ingredients have been added, the essence of the soup gets a bit lost. For a simple puréed soup, I like to use just a little leek and onion as the base, but beyond this – and the main ingredient – little else is needed in the way of flavouring. The secret is not to cook the soup for too long, really just as much as it takes for the vegetables to become tender, then blend it. A good blender will give you a silky smooth soup and a better result than a food processor. Seasoning is also important – don’ t forget to taste for seasoning before you serve and re-season if necessary.

Naturally the soups on the menu vary with the seasons. Through the colder months I like to feature game, slow-cooked flavourful meat cuts, pulses and root veg, while in the height of summer cold soups really come into their own.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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