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(25 Posts)
jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 17:11:23

Why oh why do my soups never turn out as good as the ones I've had in Scotland. Mine are very good but not as good as the ones up there!

Come on lassies, what's your secret?
Recipes gladly accepted as I love home made soup with my homemade bread at the end of a day.

Granny23 Tue 15-Jan-13 17:50:44

I am famous for my soup, but don't think I have a 'secret' as such, just make it the way my Dad did, as taught to him by his Mother. He used to say that you needed good stock and at least 10 different ingredients to get a depth of flavour. I suspect tho' that your soup Jeni suffers from being made in small quantities. Here I make a huge pot 8-10 servings. It lasts for 3-4 days with a boil up each day and the taste and texture improves each day. My occasional attempts at specific, eg Parsnip, Lentil soups, from a recipe in small quantities are never very successful tho' I do make a mean French Onion as follows:

In a saucepan, saute two finely chopped, large onions and one stick of celery - very finely chopped in a little butter or olive oil until beginning to brown. Add two pints of veggie stock, french herbs, paprika, a splash of SOY SAUCE, 2 splashes of RED WINE, SHERRY OR PORT. Simmer for an hour or more, serve with french bread or cheese floats if liked.

Ariadne Tue 15-Jan-13 17:55:44

OK! doing that tomorrow. Thank you, Granny23!

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 18:29:09

Any more? It's the lovely thick veggie ones I love.

Anne58 Tue 15-Jan-13 18:35:31

I cheat, and yet my soup seems to be very popular. I took some today to the friend who had a stroke just before Christmas, and there were many compliments at lunchtime.

I tend to only make 4 portions at a time, usually freeze it, and always use Knorr stock cubes rather than making stock from scratch.

The most popular (and consistent) are lentil and bacon, or leek and potato, although I do make a chunky veg one from time to time.

Marelli Tue 15-Jan-13 18:44:29

I've been using the Knorr Stock-Pot things for my soups. They're very good. I use a big soup pot, usually a couple of handfuls of lentils, a bit of swede, a few carrots and about 3 potatoes and a large leek and a couple of large onions. I don't add salt as there's plenty of that in the stock, but a good sprinkling of pepper. 500mls water per stockpot thingy. Chop everything up and cook till soft, giving it a bash with the potato masher at the end. Works every time. smile

Gally Tue 15-Jan-13 19:40:05

I made lots of soups when 2 friends and I ran a coffee shop. My 'secret' for 'cream of' soups is to add evaporated milk. Most fav soup is cream of mushroom : gently cook half kilo of sliced mushrooms in a little oil, throw in 3 chopped cloves of garlic and one large chopped potato. Add enough vegetable stock to cover plus a bit more, whizz when cooked, then add large can of low fat evaporated milk, add salt/ pepper to taste - simples grin

Anne58 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:44:37

Totally agree with Marelli re the salt thing, and again a fair bit of FGBP.

Gally never thought of (or have used) evaporated milk, although mushroom is another that I have made a few times. Also asparagus.

I have postulated (big word for a Tuesday) that if evaporated milk really was, then the tin would be empty.

(I'll get me coat)

Marelli Tue 15-Jan-13 19:45:35

I'll definitely give that one a try, Gally - it sounds delicious! [greedy emoticon]

Bags Tue 15-Jan-13 20:01:11

I do a similar mushroom soup to yours, gally, except that I use chicken stock and single cream. Nice sprinkled with chopped parsley. I think I'll try your recipe though. Sounds intriguing with the evap milk.

Do you know, I don't think I've ever bought evaporated milk?

My throw all in from the fridge and freezer meat and veg and barley broth has been a great success. Chicken stock (home-made), lamb gravy (made from meat juices), a little chopped chicken, chopped pork, carrots, celery, onions, cabbage, couple of handfuls of pearl barley.

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 20:01:22

FGBP? Elucidate please?

Bags Tue 15-Jan-13 20:03:00

Yes, I was wondering too.

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 20:11:47

Bags let's have some of your recipes as well.

Grannylin Tue 15-Jan-13 20:16:57

I know..Freshly ground black pepper!!

Bags Tue 15-Jan-13 20:17:54

Well, jeni, I don't really use recipes. I just makenit up as I go along and use what's to hand, but I totally agree with G23's Dad that a good stock is what makes a good soup.

In my student days I used to make a veggie stock by boiling up potato peelings, onions skins, carrot peelings, swede peelings, etc.

Anne58 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:22:50

Yes, Grannylin freshly ground black pepper!

(Sorry, I always use it as a sort of shorthand term when writing out recipes for friends !)

Anne58 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:28:01

Even though these days I have loads of time sad I still use Knorr cubes for stock. I think that they work fine, and it may even be that although making your own might save money on ingredients, the time taken to boil and reduce the home made version may cost more in electricity or gas?

BAD phoenix !

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 20:41:20

I must admit if I'm in France and near a hypermarche, I stock up on Maggi stock cubes. I think they're better.
What do any of you French grans think?

Bags Tue 15-Jan-13 20:49:58

I have yet to find a stock cube that I don't find too salty. I'm only aware of this because DH has bought various kinds for recipes he has cooked. I make my stock when the Rayburn is turned up to cook something else, or when it is turned down after everything is finished. It takes a while to cool off. Plenty of time to boil some stock up. Anyway, I usually make stock over several days. So long as it boils every day, that's fine.

Besides which, it's better, imo, and also besides which, what about all the transport energy and factory energy making commercial stock cubes and getting them to shops? Making at home probably uses less energy all told.

merlotgran Tue 15-Jan-13 20:51:43

This really is soup weather so I'm going to make a batch of French Onion tomorrow as well. Back in the early seventies, when we were as poor as church mice and you couldn't buy fresh cream in a village shop, I used evaporated milk in quite a lot of dishes. It freezes well so I can divide it into smaller dollops now there's just the two of us.

I use my pressure cooker for most soup recipes and anything containing pulses even though I now use tinned pulses so I don't have to bother with the overnight soaking.

Bags Tue 15-Jan-13 20:53:10

That reminds me, merlot, of a butter bean and mushroom soup I used to make a lot. That was good. I think it's a Nigel Slater recipe.

Gally Tue 15-Jan-13 20:54:14

Bags I tend to be a chucker inner. I only said half a kilo of mushrooms because it sounded good! If it looks right and tastes right then it's ok! If it looks a bit thin, I chuck in more and water it down if its too thick - all a bit haphazard.

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 21:09:48

As I have probs cooking, I use my cuisinart, it's brill! Just chuck all in and set!

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 21:10:20

Must say, I might start a stock pot again.

merlotgran Tue 15-Jan-13 21:32:13

Sounds like there's a bit of Mrs. Bridges/Patmore in all of us grin