Displaying items by tag: soups

For the best stock, use chicken backs and necks and add a few wings for extra flavour. (Remember to save and freeze any uncooked necks or bones from other chicken recipes; they will keep in the freezer for up to six months.) You can also throw in stalks from any kind of mushroom, which enriches the flavour. To keep your stock light in colour, use uncooked chicken on the bone; stock made from cooked chicken (such as a roasted chicken carcass) will be deeper in colour.

When I make chicken stock, I first poach a small chicken for about 30 minutes in the water, then remove it, pull off the meat (which I reserve for chicken salads, sandwiches and soups) and return the bones to the pot. Backs and necks are the easiest bones to buy. Onion skins give the stock colour. Never add salt because you can't reduce it for sauces, which would be too salty if you did.


4 pounds chicken bones

16 cups cold water

2 unpeeled onions, quartered

3 large carrots, cut into chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in thirds

3 cloves garlic, unpeeled

6 peppercorns


Place chicken bones in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to cover the bones by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam that forms on top with a slotted spoon and discard it.

Reduce heat to low. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and peppercorns and simmer slowly for 4 hours or until stock is reduced by one-third.

Cool stock and strain into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Remove fat before using.

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Cold soups are a snap to make and easy to present; shooter glasses make it a lovely little starter before dinner while larger glass mugs, martini or water glasses give it a summery feel. Rim the glasses with salt or some pesto and add a stick of cucumber to peek out of the glass. The mint pesto gets a little dark when it sits for too long so make it right before dinner if you want the brightest green colour. The taste will not change either way.


1 English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups watercress leaves

½ cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon Indian curry paste

2 cups buttermilk

Salt to taste

Mint ginger pesto:

2 cups mint leaves

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons yogurt


Combine cucumber, watercress, green onions, ginger, garlic and curry paste in a food processor and process until chunky. Add buttermilk and process until smooth. Season with salt.

Combine mint leaves and ginger in a food processor or mini chop. Add vegetable oil and yogurt and puree.

Place soup in shooter glasses and swirl pesto over soup. Serve before dinner as hors d'oeuvre or spoon into soup bowls and serve with dinner. Serves 4 as a first course, 8 as hors d'oeuvres.

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Josh Wolfe of Vancouver's Coast allows the briny flavours of the sustainable seafood he serves to shine. He also serves the best fish and chips. By night, Coast is both a restaurant and part of the thriving bar scene.


1/4 cup butter

4 ounces (125 grams) double smoked bacon, cut into thick strips

1 cup chopped white onions

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup whipping cream

4 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup peeled and diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced fennel

2 cups diced red potatoes

21/2 pounds (1.2 kilograms) clams

1 bay leaf and 3 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle

12 ounces (375 grams) mussels

Salt and freshly ground pepper


4 to 6 smoked jumbo Pacific scallops (optional)


Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and onions and sauté for 8 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add flour and cook 2 minutes longer or until flour is golden. Add white wine and stir to incorporate the little brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream, fish stock, carrots, celery, fennel, potatoes, clams and herb bundle, bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes or until clams have opened. Remove clams and remove clam meat from shells.

Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and chowder is slightly thickened. Add remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream and boil for 2 minutes longer to combine flavours. Add mussels and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until mussels are opened. Use tongs to remove mussels from chowder. Remove mussels from shells and return with clams to chowder. Reheat and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with smoked scallops if using. Serves 6 to 8.

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Jerusalem artichokes - knobby root vegetables that are neither from Jerusalem nor artichokes but provide the same flavour - add an unexpected twist to creamy soup. Garnish with some chives and a grating of Parmesan.


2 tablespoons butter

11/2 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

1 pound plus 12 ounces (875 grams) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)

4 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pinch cayenne

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Shavings of Parmesan cheese


Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add artichokes and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until artichokes are tender.

Purée soup using a hand blender or food processor. Return soup to pot, add cream and season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

Bring soup back up to a boil, and then simmer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle soup with chives, a little grated Parmesan and a swirl of cream. Serves 6


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Top this soup with a few shrimp and, optionally, a crispy parsnip chip (see recipe for chip below). The potatoes give the soup a thicker texture, but you could replace them altogether with parsnips.


2 tablespoons of butter

2 cups parsnips, peeled and diced

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes

4 cups stock

1 tablespoon wasabi paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons heavy cream

4 large shrimp, cut into 3 pieces each


Heat butter in soup pot over medium heat. Add parsnips, onions and potatoes and sauté for approximately 4 minutes (until they are shiny).

Add stock, wasabi paste and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Pour soup into a blender or use a hand blender and purée until smooth. Return to pot and add cream. Bring to a simmer and add shrimp. Poach shrimp until pink (approximately 2 to 3 minutes) and remove.

When ready to serve, add shrimp to each serving and top, if you wish, with a parsnip chip. Serves 6.



These crispy vegetable chips add crunch to soups and purées.


1 large parsnip, peeled

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Use a mandoline or a vegetable peeler to make long strips of parsnip about 1-millimetre thick. Brush the strips lightly with vegetable oil and place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with another piece of parchment paper and another baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes or until chips are lightly brown and cooked through. Cool on baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Use as a garnish for soup.

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My son-in-law's friend made a version of this soup for us on our first night in the chalet. If you serve it without a pasta course following, add noodles to the soup to make it a meal in one.

4 cups good chicken stock, fresh or store-bought

1 cup parsnips, peeled and cut in rounds

1 cup carrots, peeled and cut in rounds

1 cup diced Spanish onion

8 ounces (250 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced

2 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons chopped dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat stock in a pot over medium high heat until simmering. Add parsnips, carrots and onion and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add chicken and simmer 4 minutes longer or until cooked through. Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Add dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

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The secret to this healthy, flavourful soup is to bake all the vegetables unpeeled, then peel and add them to the spices and stock. For the best flavour, I prefer Hubbard squash; other types are more watery.



1 large squash, unpeeled and cut in half

8 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 medium onions, unpeeled and quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing baking sheet

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon seeded and chopped Scotch bonnet pepper (or 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce)

1 cup orange juice

4 cups chicken stock or water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon sherry or balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander


1/4 cup whipping or sour cream

Plantain or banana chips


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Place garlic on oiled baking sheet. Place squash on baking sheet, skin side up, so that garlic is nestled underneath. Place onions on baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until onions are browned and squash is tender.

Peel onions and garlic and scoop flesh out of squash. Place in a soup pot over medium heat. Stir in cumin seeds and chili pepper. Add orange juice and chicken stock. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Purée soup in a blender or using a stick blender. Return to heat and season to taste. Stir in balsamic or sherry vinegar and coriander and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with streaks of cream and banana chips. Serves 4 to 6.

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Featured in my new book, A Year in Lucy's Kitchen, this soup is my favourite winter indulgence. It is based on a recipe that I had in the Auvergne in France, where lentils du Puy are grown.


1 cup dried lentils du Puy or green lentils, rinsed

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 green apple, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

4 cups chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons horseradish


Place lentils, onions, apple, ginger, cumin, lemon rind and stock in a pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are completely soft.

Purée mixture until smooth and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper, adding extra stock if soup is too thick.

Stir together cream and horseradish in a small bowl. Stir into soup and reheat when needed. Serves 4.

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The combination of chicken stock, escarole and sweet potatoes makes a superb soup that is low in calories and full of flavour. I like adding yogurt for a creamier version, but it is not necessary.


4 cups chicken stock

1 cup chopped sweet potatoes

1 cup sliced leeks

1 head escarole, core removed and sliced

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup yogurt or to taste, optional


Combine stock, sweet potatoes and leeks. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Add escarole and maple syrup and simmer for another 5 minutes or until escarole is wilted.

Blend with a stick blender until smooth (not all the escarole will blend properly). Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Beat in optional yogurt if you want it creamier. Serves 4.

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Use mild white turnips for this soup, not the yellow waxed rutabagas.


2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green part only

2 cups peeled and diced turnip

5 cups chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups packed chopped Swiss chard leaves (from one small bunch)


Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add leeks and turnip and cook for 6 minutes or until the turnip begins to soften. Add stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until turnip is soft. Puree using an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return soup to pot, add Swiss chard and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until chard is tender. Makes 6 cups.

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