Posts tagged fiona kirk soups
Trip Down Memory Lane!

I recently came across a recipe for my Mum’s seriously-delicious and oh-so-morish venison broth. This was her great grandmother’s recipe - so that makes it my great, great grandmother’s - bit of history or what!

Here’s what was written!

Ingredients: Shank of venison, Cloves, Peppercorns, Cinnamon, Salt, Carrots, Turnips, Onions, Port or Sherry, Water to cover. Method: Fill stockpot with the above except port or sherry. Simmer for about 8 hours. Sieve. Thicken with flour browned under grill. Add port or sherry to taste.

No amounts, scant instructions - brilliant! However… my Mum had watched her great grandmother making the soup on very many occasions so, of course it all made enormous sense to her.

When it came to including this recipe in my Soup Cookbook, I remembered some of the details, having watched her cobbling it together, but I have a suspicion that those who bought my book may not have been overly-impressed with Mum’s devil-may-care methods - don’t suppose great, great, grandmother had a Highly Accurate LCD Precision Scale then!

So I worked and worked at this soup to come up with something that resembled the same glorious taste (with all the required amounts plus a detailed method) but I am still rather leaning towards the off-the-wall approach! Oh, and the ‘flour browned under the grill’ in the original recipe is inspired - adds cracking nutty taste! See how you go…

It's Nearly Time to make Pumpkin Soup - Again!
turnip small.jpeg

When I was a kid, in Scotland, we employed a big knobbly turnip/swede/neep/tumshie (how many names can a vegetable possibly have, you ask?) to make our scary halloween lanterns that we carried from door-to-door, rehearsing our little song, dance or poem along the way - you certainly didn’t get away with telling a lame joke back then! And, if you didn’t totally ‘freeze’ under the stare of a few overly-stern neighbours (who didn’t really get into the whole thing and only under peer pressure, opened their doors), there was a chance that you might get some sweets, a tangerine, a few monkey nuts and maybe even a sixpenny bit for your efforts!

DISCLOSURE: A few real ‘Scrooges’ were known to put all the lights out and went to bed around 6 rather than part with a few monkey nuts - yes, Mr and Mrs P at number 9 and Mrs F at number 18 - I mean you!

Anyways… it was a total relief to us Scots that we have generally accepted the American habit of using a pumpkin rather than a turnip as they were notoriously hard to scoop out and even worse to carve any kind of creative design, but we knew no better - all we knew was that Cinderella’s carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight, not that it was some kind of massive and carvable vegetable!

And best of all, the pumpkin flesh and seeds we laboriously scoop out can be turned into loads of delicious food!

Here are 2 recipes you might want to make with all the pumpkin flesh that is cluttering your kitchen counters! I have to warn you that the squash/pumpkin and sage soup is a thing of complete and utter beauty and one bowl is never enough plus it’s very hard to say no to a generous helping of the pumpkin/squash and sage pasta which is a favourite at any time of the year.

UPDATE: me and the other kids on our road haven’t necessarily forgiven Mr and Mrs P from number 9 and Mrs F from number 18 but after around 15 years or so, we decided to let the whole ‘halloween thing’ go - grown-up or what?

Pumpkin/Squash & Sage Soup (click on the image for the recipe)

Pumpkin/Squash & Sage Soup (click on the image for the recipe)

Pumpkin/Squash & Sage Pasta (click on the image for recipe)

Pumpkin/Squash & Sage Pasta (click on the image for recipe)

Some Like It Chilled!
squash and sage soup.jpeg

Some like their soups hot and shy away from the 'chilled variety'. But when the weather is warm and sunny chilled soups come into their own! Many Mediterranean countries have their own delicious recipes - think Ajoblanco, Gazpacho, Solmorejo, Tarator, Vichyssoise, Avgolemono etc.

There is something rather pleasing about a crisp, clean and refreshing soup starter when the temperature soars and/or they can be served in little shot glasses pre-drinks. Have a go with some of my own soups!

Click here to download the recipes