Don’t you just love a good soup? I eat soup every day and love experimenting with local produce and great flavours. I usually use a pressure cooker to make soups, but I got to thinking recently, what if you don’t have one?
Using a pressure cooker makes a 15-minute soup possible. Of course you could boil the vegetables and add seasoning, but it is so much easier to pop everything in the pot at once. A baked soup admittedly, it takes longer, but hands on time is the same as using the pressure cooker.
To make great soup you really need a food processor or blender or a mouli if you can find one. Whilst you can eat chunky soup, a smooth mix goes down better with most people.
7 Key Tips for a Great Soup
- Always add onion and garlic.
- Avoid adding potato, it can give the soup and unpleasant texture when blended.
- There’s no need to add stock, spices and herbs will bring all the flavour you need.
- If you are using a vegetable that’s difficult to peel, such as Jerusalem artichokes or squash, leave the skin on and peel afterwards.
- Cut pieces evenly so they cook at the same rate.
- Be generous with your herbs and spices
- Use up vegetables that are a little past their best. A great way to avoid waste.
You can vary the vegetables and herbs used depending on the season. Be generous with the herbs. You’ll need a large dish where the vegetables can be laid out in one layer if possible and foil to cover.
- 750 grams Mixed vegetables: eg squash, sweet potato, peppers, carrots, parsnips
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed and peel removed
- 200 grams onions, red or white
- 1 handfuls Mixed fresh herbs: bay leaves, rosemary, sage, thyme etc
- 20 millilitres Oil - rapeseed or olive
- Salt and Pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC /Gas 6/400°F
- Wash the vegetables and peel the root vegetables. Chop into equal sizes
- Chop the onions.
- Place all the vegetables in the dish with the herbs and half the oil. Mix so that each piece is covered with oil. Add the half of oil.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for approx 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft
- Remove the bay leaves if using as they will not breakdown when processing the soup.
- Add to liquidiser or food processor add 500 ml water and process until you have a smooth puree. You may well need more water.
- Return to the pan and check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Sweet Potato, Pepper and Tamarind Soup
Sweet potato and pepper soup
- 150 Red, green or yellow peppers
- 500 grams Sweet potato
- 200 grams Red onion
- 1/2 Fresh red chilli
- 15 millilitres Tamarind paste
- 1 clove Garlic, peeled and crushed
- Salt and pepper
- Chop all the vegetables into equal size pieces 1 inch/ 2 cm.
- Pop all the ingredients (except salt and pepper) into the pressure cooker and add 500 ml water.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 to 15 minutes. Release the pressure and then taste
- Add salt and pepper or a little more tamarind paste if needed
- Blend adding more water as required to a consistency you like and serve.
What’s your favourite soup?
Roseann Thompson (@HoneybourneLine) March 5, 2017