Quickest Fish Soup Ever

Fish soup can be very complicated to make. It can start with fish stock, often made out of several different kinds of fish, with the heads and the bones boiled and stinking the house out. This is different. This is the quickest thing imaginable. And delicious.

 

About the ingredients:

Lidl sometimes sells whole big Greek anchovies on special offer and they are fantastic for this soup. You can use any oily tinned fish such as sardines or mackerel. You could make it with tuna but it probably needs a good hit of some very salty anchovy fillets to go with it.

You can serve it just plain, or with a bit of cream in it, perhaps with some chives chopped in. Or you can serve it the traditional French way with croutons (just little bits of toast), some garlicky mayonnaise and some grated cheese.

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Mushroom Soup

Most soups start with softening onions and other vegetables and then adding other vegetables and possibly other things too, and finally blending the whole thing. This one, from the divine Elizabeth David, is very different. It’s a lovely simple soup – Elizabeth David knew everything there was to know about unfussy food – and it doesn’t start with onions and doesn’t need blending. Like most soups, it freezes well and possibly tastes even better when it’s been left for a while or frozen.

About the ingredients:

You can use any kind of mushroom. It works fine with normal supermarket mushrooms but if you’ve got something special to add, go ahead. Also, Elizabeth David puts bacon rinds in with the mushrooms when she cooks them. I don’t eat meat so I might use a bit of parmesan rind (be sure to remove after cooking).

Makes about 8 generous servings.  Cost per serving 30p

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Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup is not, as the name suggests, something that comes from the Gulag. It’s nourishing and good for you and delicious.   This recipe uses half a cabbage (that would have a medium-sized cabbage) which means it’s great for when you realise that you used half a cabbage last week lightly steamed with loads of butter and black pepper alongside some fish or sausages or pie, and now it’s sitting in the drawer of the fridge looking a bit lost. So you can take it out of the fridge, chop it up and make a lovely soup out of it.

About the ingredients:

The special Life is Jam principle of soup is that almost every soup in the whole world is made extra special by the addition of a little sprinkle of something just before serving. No, not cocaine. A herb, a spice, a dash of cream, some croutons. In the case of cabbage soup it’s chopped rosemary.

The stock can be meat-based or vegetable. You can find out all you need to know about stock here.

Enough for about eight servings.  Cost per serving 26p.

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Super-Quick Courgette and Pea Soup

This is ridiculously easy but has the lip-smackingly great taste of something much more complicated. It always gets comments of ‘yum how did you make this?!’

I didn’t make it up, it comes from the River Cafe Easy book.  I scrawled it down from a friend’s book, and I can’t remember if I’ve adapted it, but I think not. The quantities below are based on what I’ve end up doing myself, as I do it from memory when I make it, but it’s basically River Cafe’s recipe. 

I use a net bag of value courgettes, and cheap frozen peas. It takes about half an hour from ‘ooo I fancy some soup’ to spooning it into your mouth. What’s not to like?

The trick, as with many of the recipes on this blog, is in the GARNISH. It’s all in the garnish, man, if you leave out the parmesan and basil at the end, it’s still nice, but it’s not….. quite as lush.

Here’s how to make it:

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