Old School Soup

20 Aug

A couple of months back we held a 1950’s themed birthday party. Everyone dressed the part and brought a 1950’s inspired dish to share.

There were devilled eggs, tangy cheese balls, cheeseburgers, apple pies – it was delicious.  As a party theme I can totally recommend it – we all had a blast!

Looking for recipe inspiration before the big night, I purchased some 1950’s cookbooks on eBay.  Apart from interesting food ideas, the books were fascinating to look through. It’s amazing how much of a feel for the era you get just from reading the recipes.

One recipe I particularly liked was for potato soup.

I found something about the humble ingredients really appealing. The techniques used were equally simple yet really gave the soup a ‘just like your gran used to make’ flavour.

Although I followed the recipe to the letter for the party dish I’ve since re-used the basics of it to make other soups, with whatever produce I have available to me at the time.

Recently we found ourselves with an abundance of broccoli and cauliflower. My partner – being an avid gardener – gets understandably frustrated when our home grown produce gets wasted.

What better way to make the most of our winter veggies than by making a big batch of yummy soup!

Suggested Shopping List – like I said, with this technique you could pretty much substitute anything to suit your veggie glut or taste.

  • 6 cups stock (I prefer chicken but other stock would work just as well)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 brown onions finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 3 large potatoes chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets chopped
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 8 thin slices of salami finely chopped or 8
    bacon rashers (optional)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Cream
  • Cayenne Pepper

Get your biggest saucepan and put it on the stove at medium heat.

Add the butter, garlic, onion and nutmeg and stir till the butter is melted and evenly coats the other ingredients

Add the chopped potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli florets to the saucepan. Use a bit of elbow grease and a big spoon here to distribute the butter, garlic and onion evenly through the veggies.

Add the 6 cups of stock and 2 cups of water. This should just cover the veggies. If not – add a bit more or a bit less water to suit.


Add the bay leaves and the salami/bacon

Leave to simmer for approximately 30 mins.

Do your best to find the bay leaves – I may have forgotten this step so if you do the same or just can’t find them don’t worry – seems they are no match for the blender.

No-one will be the wiser.

(a side note though – many people are under the impression that bay leaves are poisonous and shouldn’t be eaten. This is untrue. Whole bay leaves can be sharp and and a choking hazard, but powdered or blended bay leaves are fine.)

Using a stick blender, puree the now well-cooked veggies. At this point I put my oversized oven mitts on and use the pot lid as a shield. The soup is still pretty hot and tends to spatter a bit. Those of you with more patience than me may wish to wait until the soup has cooled somewhat before attempting this.

How long you blend it for depends on how smooth you prefer the texture to be. If you find the soup is a little thick just add a bit more water, simmer for a bit longer and blend some more. It’s very flexible.

What you end up with is a really easy, incredibly tasty soup. Cooking the veggies in butter to begin with makes them taste
wonderful.  This soup has just enough butter to enhance the flavours but not so much that you get the guilts. Plus there’s a stack of veggies in this soup which more than compensates.  Stuff that’s good for you that’s also full of flavour – the perfect balance.

And if  happen to have some cream in the fridge just going to waste maybe a drizzle of that wouldn’t hurt either – there are a lot of veggies in this soup after all!


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