Thursday, 3 September 2009

Garden Soup

There is nothing like an unseasonably cold and rainy day (think 11 degrees and torrential rain in September) to make me hanker after a steaming pot of soup. It was too wet to venture out to the shop so I got soggy wet digging the last of the summer vegetables fresh out of the garden, jewel-like rainbow chard, fragrant young garlic, and every size and shape of carrots.

I've been thrilled in my first year of growing produce by my garden's ability to nurture real food. I'd love to take the credit myself but I really don't think I've been as involved in the process as I'd like to pretend. This deeply flavoured forest green, iron and vitamin hit should rival the copious variety of supplements I'm taking to ward off winter colds. It has an intrinsic healthiness to leave you feeling sated and smug and the added bonus is that children seem to like it too.
As with all home made soup, you don't have to stick religiously to the recipe, this soup can be made from any assortment of fresh vegetables, whatever you have in your vegetable plot or can find in the farmers market. Spinach can replace chard, sweet potatoes can substitute for carrots, peas for beans, leeks for shallots etc.

Garden Fresh Soup with herby marscapone swirl
25g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots (or 1 onion), finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 large handful of spinach
1 large handful of rainbow chard
200g fresh peas or broad beans(frozen would be fine)
1litre of chicken (or vegetable stock)
Salt and pepper to taste

for the marscapone swirl:
50g marscapone cheese
1tbsp finely chopped chives
1tbsp finely chopped parsley
1tbsl finely chopped oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper

First prepare the herbed marscapone. Add the chopped herbs to your marscapone cheese and beat together with a wooden spoon. Set aside to come to room temperature.

Heat the butter and olive oil togeher and add the finely chopped shallots.
Sweat over a low heat for a few minutes then add the garlic and diced potatoes.
Sweat for a further 2 minutes stirring constantly to stop the potatoes from sticking.
Finally add the rest of the vegetables and saute for a further 2 minutes.
Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
Allow to cool a little and liquidise.
Check seasoning then serve topped with a swirl of herbed marscapone.


  1. mmmmmm - sounds delicious - welcome back!!!!

  2. mmmmmm - sounds delicious - welcome back!!!!