The best soup recipes this Autumn. Autumn has arrived here in Jersey and we have had some wonderful crisp, bright sunny days and cooler evenings. These are perfect for walking along the coastal paths and beautiful country lanes and building up an appetite. I love Autumn because there are some wonderful fruit and vegetables in season such as cooking apples for crumbles and pies. You can find Savoy cabbages, the first Brussel sprouts and parsnips, which always seem sweeter after a frosty night. But the start of Autumn really heralds the arrival of pumpkins and squashes ready for Halloween. Try them roasted with spices, pureed with lots of butter and they make amazingly versatile soups.
Soup is Awesome
I love soups they are so varied, and such a tasty option and most recipes are quick and simple to make. If you are able to omit lots of cream and butter ( in my case that’s rather difficult ) soup can be extremely healthy. You can try substituting low fat crème fraiche for cream and olive oil for butter. I often find the best soups are made with what is easily available. A handful of vegetables, a tin of beans or some dried pulses and plenty of herbs. I always have celery, carrots and onions in the bottom of my fridge, a mix called mirepoix, which goes back to my earliest training. Mirepoix is a classic base for soups, stocks and sauces adding a depth of flavour.
Soup is not just great for lunch or supper. You can serve soup as a starter for an elegant dinner party. I have the perfect recipe a cauliflower veloute, and you can find out all about how chef’s make and use veloutes in traditional kitchens. Finally if you like your soup with a bit more kick how about a Spanish recipe full of Chorizo sausage or the spicy Seafood Tom Yam. Whatever you like I hope you will find some inspiration and get cooking. Enjoy
The six best soup recipes
“Patatas Riojanas, is a very simple rustic soup or stew from La Rioja. La Rioja is a small region in the north of Spain, most famous for its high-quality wines, and it has some lovely indigenous dishes. No one is sure about the origins of Patatas Riojanas, but it would not have existed until at least the 19th century and the introduction of potatoes into Spain during the Napoleonic Wars.”
“This is a really easy, comforting recipe. This soup freezes exceeding well so could be made well in advance. Roasted red pepper and tomato soup is fantastic, full of sweet, smoky flavours and great served in a mug as you stand to watch the fireworks. So, for the perfect fifth of November feast make sure you have some crisp-skinned jacket potatoes freshly baked in the oven, a plate full of toffee apples for the children and a big, big pan of this delicious soup.”
“If you want something a little more elegant this recipe is a sophisticated soup ideal for a dinner party and perhaps as the starter for your Christmas Dinner. This rich, silky smooth cauliflower soup is an ideal partner to the spicy flavours of the pakora’s and curry oil. A veloute is a traditional soup made with a stock thickened with a roux. This recipe also contains potato for extra body.”
Fish and shellfish soups
“One of the most classic French shellfish soups is called Soup Billi Bi. A delicious mix of white wine, cream, onions, and mussels. A deconstructed moules a la crème, with none of the hassle of removing the mussel meat from the shells. Although for me that is part of the joy of eating mussels. Soup Billi B was first made at the famous French restaurant Maxim’s. This is my rather more hearty version…. “
“As you would expect living on an island and working as a chef, I have recipes for lots of different fish soup recipes. Perhaps the most are for shellfish bisques. Traditionally a bisque is another French soup. You can make your shellfish bisque from almost any crustacean. Try lobster, crab, prawns, and crayfish. Use the shells are used to make a stock with a mirepoix and herbs. You can incorporate the meat into the finished soup.”
“As there is no single definitive recipe my chowder recipe is a purely personal and uses some of my favourite and best produce available to anyone cooking in Jersey alongside a couple of unorthodox ingredients. If you are not so fortunate as myself living with wonderful seafood almost washing up on my doorstep, quality natural smoked haddock, freshly cooked prawns and some plump tasty mussels from a reputable fishmonger will make an excellent chowder.”