Unexpectedly delicious and comforting root vegetable soup

To be honest I wasn’t very excited at the idea of making this soup. But I had most of the ingredients in my fridge, and it was the end of the month, so I decided to give it a go. And… actually… I was really pleasantly surprised. Its so warm and comforting and the bright yellow colour made me feel like it was a bowl of sunshine. ( Thats what happens to you when you don’t see enough of it! : ) )

Anyways give this a go and see if you agree!

The Recipe: Avoca‘s Root Vegetable Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 onion, peeled and chopped
50g butter
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks, washed and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
4 teaspoons double cream or créme fraíche (optional – I didn’t bother))
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method:
Cook the onion in the butter for 10 minutes without colouring. Add the potato, carrot, celery and leek, and sauté gently for 5 minutes. Add the parsnip and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Allow to cool slightly and purée in a blender.

Reheat, check seasoning as you go, and serve with the cream and parsley.

Ham, Leek and Pea Soup

This is possibly the easiest AND tastiest version of pea and ham soup I have ever found. It uses frozen peas rather than the dried split peas which gives the soup a brighter colour and a fresher flavour…and it uses gammon steaks which is great if you like to avoid the likes of ham hocks etc.

The Recipe: Paul Rankin’s Ham, Leek and Pea Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1½ onions, chopped
300g gammon, chopped
6 leeks, chopped
600g frozen peas
900ml chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6tbsp double cream (optional)

Method:
Heat some olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, gammon and leeks and cook for around 6 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the peas and stock to the saucepan and cook for around 10 minutes. Season.

Take the saucepan off the heat and blend the mixture until the soup has a smooth texture. Heat the soup through without boiling. When its ready, pour into bowls and garnish with the double cream if using.