As I was home for Christmas I had a soup masterclass from me ma who, even whilst gravely ill with a cold, still managed to hoarsely croak her critique whilst I was making her some get-well broth… a little bitterness you detect? Quite the contrary! For having made the new improved soup three days in a row now on account of its deliciousness I am very grateful for the sage advice. It’s a simple recipe – what’s important is the method – and really you can interchange ingredients to include whatever you have in your fridge or pantry. I guess this is really an all-weather soup; it’s delicious and comforting at any rate, and what’s more is that it’s incredibly easy to master.
I am still able to buy peppers at the market so I have included them in the recipe. These are long green peppers as you see in the picture below, and are somewhat milder than the green bell peppers you get in the UK. You have to roast them first to sweeten them, but it’s worth the extra effort. I keep banging on about them, because I love them!
half a stick of celery
knob of butter
3 – 4 small potatoes
3 – 4 medium carrots
3 green peppers
2 chicken stock cubes (Kallo preferably)
Chop the onions finely and slice the celery. Heat the butter in a large saucepan until it turns golden, then add the onions, which should have a good coating of butter. Leave them to simmer gently while you cut the potatoes, carrots and tomatoes into approximately 1cm cubes. Add them to the pan and add some more butter to coat them lightly if required. Leave this to simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes and carrots have softened but haven’t turned to mush.
Meanwhile put the peppers onto a baking tray and cover them in olive oil. Put them under the grill until they have softened and the skins are blistering. This makes them infinitely easier to peel, plus tastier. When they are done remove the seeds, retaining the juice on the baking tray, and peel them. Chop them into largish squares and add them to the other vegetables. Then pour boiling water into the tray to remove all of the juice. Add this water, in total about 1.5 to 2 litres, to the vegetables. At this point I would add a bay leave if I had any. Stir from the bottom to remove any cooked on residue, then add two chicken stock cubes, or enough to make it as you like it.
At this point you can leave it for about 40 minutes. Serve with round upon round of hot buttered toast.