A Few Ideas For Preparing Delicious Soups

 By: James Lanka
Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot/boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth.

Traditionally, soups are classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups are thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter and cream. Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour, and grain.

Here are a few soup recipes for you to try -

Bacon And Parsnip Soup

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

Author Note: A delicious soup using left over gammon and traditional winter vegetables.

Carrot And Orange Soup

2Tbs oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
500g frozen sliced carrots, (16oz)
1 1/4 liters vegetable stock, (2 pints)
juice and zest of 1 orange
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, over a moderate heat fry the onion and carrots until softened, this will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

2. Add the stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the soup into a blender along with the juice and zest of the orange. Blend until smooth.

3. Return to the heat, season with salt and pepper and heat through, adding a little water if the consistency looks too thick. Serve with chunks of crusty bread.

Author Note: A lovely combination of flavours, with a zesty backnote of orange.

Curried Parsnip Soup

2 Tbs butter
2 large onions, finely sliced
1Tbs curry paste, (medium madras style)
5 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 liter chicken stock
one lemon, juice of
4tsp plain yoghurt
1tsp mint sauce
4 poppadums

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and cook until soft. Add the curry paste and cook for five minutes. Then add the parsnips, chicken stock and a seasoning of salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Liquidise and pass through a sieve, return to the pan, add the lemon juice, check seasoning and keep warm.

3. Combine the yoghurt and mint sauce, season and set aside. To servedivide into four four bowls, garnish with the yoghurt and a poppadum.
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