Sunday, November 11, 2012

A good day for soup

We have been away for a few days and I can't tell you how happy we were to get home and to our own beds. We had a great time away but the kids had a hard time settling at night. It was hot because we needed to close all of the windows to block out the sound of crashing waves (Mum! too noisy!) and both children woke at least 3 times every night. Each night I swapped beds with my son at about 2.00am because he wasn't sleeping well in his single bed. Needless say our nights were not the most restful.

So it was a lovely night last night, home and in my comfy old bed with fresh cotton sheets and fluffy doona. I drifted off to sleep to the sound of heavy rain. Just perfect - it was still raining this morning, I awoke to a dark and cold morning. I absolutely love days like this, usually rainy days in Queensland are hot and humid and not enjoyable, but today was fresh - cardigan weather. A good day for soup.

We put on our beanies and jumpers and ate our Sunday morning pancakes outside. Then, with family coming and going all day, I put on a couple of pots of soup. I really wanted to make about five pots of soup, but I thought that was just a little bit ridiculous.

Have I mentioned, I love soup!

It has been a great day, staying cozy and sharing soup made from homemade stock and vegetables picked from our garden, just moments before going into the pot. There was many cups of tea consumed and perhaps a few too many pieces of baklava (I'll post my recipe soon) The kids are in a bubble bath now and my husband is reheating some soup, buttering some sourdough and pouring a nice glass of red.

I hope it rains again tomorrow.

Irish Spinach Broth 

serves 6

• 4 tablespoons butter
• 2 onions (finely diced)
• 2 carrots (finely diced)
• 2 sticks celery (finely diced)
• 4 tablespoons plain flour
• 9 cups chicken stock
• 4 tablespoons oatmeal
• 230 grams spinach (roughly chopped)
• 4 tablespoons cream
• 1 tablespoons parsley (finely chopped)
• salt/pepper

In a large stock pot, melt the butter and gently sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the oatmeal and spinach and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir through the cream and  parsley and season to taste. Gently heat through and serve with crusty rye bread.

I have been making this recipe for years and have no idea where it originally came from.

I know, I know, all that butter, but please don't substitute it, the soup just won't be the same. The recipe states that you use oatmeal, but I have always used normal oats, as I always have oats at hand and it turns out perfectly.

I remember the first time I ever made this Potato, Bacon and Dill soup. I had only been in London for 2 weeks and I cooked this for lunch for my friend and our two Greek flatmates. It was a day not unlike today, although, a lot colder of course, it was typical February weather, very grey and very wet. This was the perfect food to warm our bones, after a morning of sightseeing. The recipe has been adapted from this book. I had bought the book from Jerry's Home Store a few days earlier.

Potato, Bacon and Dill Soup

serves 4

• 125 grams bacon (diced)
• 1 onion (diced)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
• 2 tomatoes (diced)
• 3 tablespoons dill (finely chopped)
• 6 cups chicken stock
• 3 potatoes (peeled and diced)
• salt/pepper

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and gently sauté the bacon and onion. Stir in the flour and cook the flour for a few minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes and dill and cook for a further few minutes. Gradually stir in the stock 1 cup at a time, making sure there are no lumps. Add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste and serve immediately.


  1. I love soup too. I have it even on the hotest summer days. My husband, well he isn;t so willing on those days. Filing the Irish spinach soup aw for the next time I am in a soup mood.

    1. I can't really 'do soup' in Summmer, although I have tried it. My favourite here, is the spinach one. Yesterday I ran out of chicken stock and made the potato soup with beef stock instead. I didn't like it as much, but everyone else at the table loved it.

      Oh, and you will notice that I used silverbeet instead of spinach, but that worked just as well:)



Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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