Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Traditional British Food, Part 31: Soup Kitchen

Since we might have a few days left of rainy, not-too-hot weather, I thought it would be a good time to post my favorite (British) soups that aren't overly wintry. If Tomato Soup doesn't sound like comfort food to you, you're probably an alien. Or a cyborg. Or both. Or something equally unpleasant.

(Cream of) Tomato Soup

serves 8

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2-28 oz. cans tomato puree (or diced tomatoes, if you like a chunkier soup)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional, but it makes everything better!

Soften the onion in butter over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned.

Add the remainder of the ingredients, except the cream, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer one hour.

Stir in one tablespoon of cream into each bowl of soup just before serving. (You could also use sour cream.)

I prefer this recipe to Potage Parmentier, because I don't have to put it though the food processor. Smooth soups are overrated. However, what is not overrated is heavy cream, which you could also add to this soup.

Leek and Potato Soup

serves 6

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 large leeks, finely sliced
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper

Over medium heat, cook the leeks and onions in the butter until softened and translucent but not browned.

Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes. Season to taste.

Adapted from Traditional British Cooking.


Two old Brit mysteries I've read recently and were great crappy weather reading and would go really well with soup (or tea, for that matter):

Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey- it's unconventional in that no crime occurs in the book and the detective is hospital-bound and attempting to solve the mystery of Richard III and the "Princes in the Tower"

The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin- Oxford professor solves theatre-world murder; overall too much pompous use of phrases in French and Latin (even for snobbish moi) but has some great humorous moments and is a pleasant read

1 comment:

  1. Okay, Mika and I are cracking up over the cyborg comment! I had tomato soup today...The weather is great for it! Love you.


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