Soups & Broths
WHITE CHICKEN STOCK
1kg chicken bones or wings
1 large onion
The white of a leek
6 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
Small bunch of thyme
10 black peppercorns
Cover the bones in water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes and skim any scum off the surface. Keep skimming and simmer for a further two hours then pass through a sieve. Use as and when required – the stock will keep up to three days in the fridge and can be frozen in portions.
SPINACH OR WATERCRESS SOUP
175g potato – thinly sliced
1¼ ltr chicken stock
4 bags of watercress or spinach
Salt and pepper
Bring the stock to the boil with the potato and simmer until the potato breaks up. Fry the watercress or spinach in batches in the oil until its starts to wilt and blitz each batch in a liquidiser with some of the stock and potato. Pass each batch through a sieve into a bowl which is sitting on iced water and stir to release the heat.
Keep doing this until all the stock and watercress or spinach has been used up. Season to taste and chill.
This soup is great cold but can also be eaten warm, but the longer you warm it the more it will it will lose its colour. The quicker you cool the soup the better the colour will be.
HOT AND SOUR PRAWN SOUP
1 litre chicken stock
2 stalks of lemongrass
Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely diced or grated
2 red chillies
6 shitake mushrooms
2 spring onions
1 bok choi
2 tbsp lime juice
30 small raw king prawns (5 per person)
1tblsp fish sauce
Small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
Simmer the stock with one piece of lemongrass and the ginger for 30minutes and sieve. Check the seasoning and add a little fish sauce to taste.
Slice the remaining lemongrass, chop and wash the bok choi, finely slice the chillies, spring onion and mushrooms.
Saute the lemongrass and chilli for a couple of minutes in oil, add the prawns, spring onions and mushrooms. Add the bok choi and pour over the hot stock, stir in the coriander and lime juice and serve.
TOMATO AND BASIL SOUP
20 plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 sticks of celery
20 basil leaves
½ tsp sugar
4 fl oz sweet Sherry
Salt and pepper
Cut the plum tomatoes into ¼’s, chop the onion, celery and garlic and pop into a saucepan. Add the sugar and sherry and a ¼ pint water, cover and place on a low heat until the tomatoes are all mushy and the water has come out of them. Add the basil leaves and cook for a few minutes more, remove from the heat.
Pass through a sieve and try and push as much of the pulp through as you can. You could puree in a blender but you will lose the rich red colour and get bitterness from the tomato seeds.
Season to taste, chop a little fresh basil into the soup as you serve it and finish with a drop of crème fraiche and basil oil.
VEGETABLE BASED SOUPS
1kg of your chosen vegetable – i.e celeriac, parsnip
4 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
1 white of the leek
Water or stock
Salt and pepper
Chop the onion, garlic, celery and leek, place in a hot pan with enough oil to cover the bottom and cook until starting to soften. Now add the chopped vegetable of your choice, add enough stock to cover and simmer until vegetables are completely cooked.
Remove from the heat.
Blend in batches until smooth and pass through a sieve. At this point the soup may be a bit thick and can be let down with some stock or water.
Adding more flavour to soups:
Celeriac soup, add a chopped Granny Smith apple
Cauliflower soup, add smoked bacon at the vegetable stage
Parsnip soup, add curry powder at the vegetable stage
White Onion soup, add stilton at the end just before blending
Leek and potato soup, add some caraway seeds at the vegetable stage
For the best results use only vegetables that are in season.
1 pint \ 500ml chicken, ham or vegetable stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 small potato, cut into small dice
3oz \ 75g pancetta or smoked bacon
2 carrots cut into small dice
2 sticks of celery cut into small dice
600g tinned plum tomatoes
2 courgettes cut into small dice
8oz \ 250g baby spinach
Small bunch of basil
3 bay leaves
7oz \ 200g cannellini or borlotti beans soaked overnight
3oz \ 75g dried spaghetti
Cook the beans in fresh water with a little bay until tender.
When cooked drain the beans and toss in a little olive oil and season. Retain a little of this liquid.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and cook for a few minutes then add the pancetta, carrots, celery and garlic and cover and cook until they start to soften. Add the tomatoes, potatoes and courgettes and cook for a further few minutes.
Add the stock, reserved liquid from the beans, spinach and the beans and bring to the simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.
Break up the spaghetti: either place in a kitchen cloth and twist both ends or place in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin.
Empty into the soup and cook. Once the pasta is done, add the basil.
Serve with grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
400g good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) broken up
800ml – 1 litre whole milk
Boil half the milk and slowly pour over the broken chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula until all the hot milk is used and give the chocolate a stir. Start adding the cold milk, stirring all the time, by adding the milk slowly and stirring all the time you obtain a core and this helps to keep the chocolate shiny and elastic.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Serve with caramelised pineapple, sweet bread croutons and ice cream.
½ bottle of sweet wine
Glass of good red wine
80g caster sugar
Juice ½ lemon
1 vanilla pod
500g fresh raspberries
Bring the wines, sugar, lemon and vanilla to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the raspberries and allow to cool overnight in the fridge.
Strain through a sieve. You can push the raspberries through for a stronger flavour but it will go cloudy.
Serve in a glass with fresh raspberries or mixed berries. You can make it into a jelly and serve with a berry sorbet or crème fraiche mousse.