There’s something about the flavours of this rich vegetable
soup that really evokes autumn for me – the heartiness of the potato, the
slight sweetness of the carrots, a smoky dash of Worcestershire sauce and the
buttery taste of the dill, which seems not to get lost even through it’s
beautifully delicate, all make me think of cold clear days, full of the smell
of wet leaves.
About 2 pints of vegetable stock
Makes about six
servings (don’t forget you can always freeze it).
Soup is a really, really easy thing to make - the only
thing you need to do is give it some time for the flavours to build up. If you’re
on a budget and you feel like you should eat more veg, get yourself a cheap hand blender and start making
soup for lunch each week. Check out my recipe page for plenty more soup ideas.
First of all, peel and dice your onion and get it
sizzling in a large pan, in a mixture of butter and olive oil – I think it’s
really important to use butter at the frying stage of soup, because it brings
so much more flavour to the final dish. Peel the carrots and potatoes, then
chop roughly and add them to the pan. Finely chop the dill, then sprinkle generously over the vegetables with a bit of salt and white pepper (again, I think this is an essential
ingredient for soup – there’s a bit more fire in white pepper which I think
makes it more exciting, but you can of course use black pepper, if that’s all
you’ve got). Make sure everything is sizzling away in a lovely froth of golden
melted butter – add a bit more if not. I reckon the high vegetable content
means you can get away with being slightly free with the butter knife…
Boil the kettle and make up your vegetable stock, then
pour enough into the pan to make sure the vegetables are all well-covered – you
may not need all of it. Bring the soup to the boil, then turn the heat down and
put the lid on, and leave it to bubble for at least half an hour, but longer if
When you’re ready to serve up, take the pan off the heat
and, using a hand blender, liquidise until you have a smooth, thick soup.
Season well again (you’d be amazed how much seasoning a big pan of soup can
absorb without it making any difference!) and add a generous sprinkling of
Worcestershire sauce – as I’ve said before, this is a really great thing to
have in the cupboard, just to add to pretty much any recipe which needs a
little something. Stir well and have a taste, then add anything else that you
think the soup needs.
Finally, serve up a big fragrant bowl topped with grated
Cheddar, and bread and butter on the side – delicious.