My grandmother had a thing about soup. She used to keep a saucepan on the back of the stove and add to it from day to day because she couldn’t bear to throw food away. She would bring it to the boil between each addition and it sometimes stayed there for weeks – I have no idea why she and my grandfather didn’t die of food poisoning, but there you go. Occasionally, when a particular saucepanful had been on the go for a while, she would say, ‘William, it is time to bury the soup!’ and my grandfather would take the saucepan (+ terrifying contents) up to the compost heap and bury it, and then she would start all over again. The funny thing was, the soup was usually delicious! Anyway, enough about family soup history. (Incidentally, Clorabella isn’t modelled on my grandmother…)
When the Glue Crew Kitchen testing team got to work on the soup project (no digging in compost heaps involved) we decided that we liked the idea of having a recipe with variations, and tomato soup is great from that point of view. We decided that plain tomato, minestrone and butter bean with chilli would work well. Part of the idea behind Mission Cookpossible is to encourage children to play around with recipes, and so we thought three variations on a theme would encourage them in that direction.
As we know, Clorabella is the Queen of fashion, and likes her food to look good as well as taste good. The green of chopped parsley or basil look wonderful with the redness of the soup, and a swirl of double cream gives an extra special something.
If you would like to make the minestrone into a non-vegetarian option, try adding some cooked shredded chicken.
There’s a lot of chopping in these recipes. Here’s a great little video on the subject.
- make sure your knife is properly sharp. You are much more likely to cut yourself with a blunt blade
- tuck your fingers in when you are holding herbs or vegetables so that your fingertips are not in the way of the blade
- One of these is a lovely (safe!) thing for chopping herbs!
Croutons! The best sort of bread for making croutons is cheap white. Cut it into cubes, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, and if you like, a pinch of thyme. Pop them into the oven at 180°C/ Gas 4/ 375°F, and keep a close eye on them. Turn them from time to time so that they crisp up evenly.
Grated cheese: Cheddar, Parmesan and Grana Padana are all good!
If you have any suggestions for these soups, do get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org