Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Lovely Vegetable Soup with Lemon Croutons & Parma Ham
So I made a soup tonight I was really pleased with, and I wanted to get it down as quicky as possible so I'd remember how I did it. I've done the pic now - sorry it isn't exactly the best one ever, I was in a rush to eat it! :D I won't make this as long winded as my marshmallows post - soup is not difficult to make at all! The great thing about making your own soup is that you can use up whatever vegetables you've got, and if you're dairy free you don't have to be wondering if they fried the veg in butter or if there's milk in it! Quite often soup is out in restaurants for us dairyfree-ers, but it's really easy to make your own homemade soup.
Note: You can use whatever vegetables you have really, but this is what I used
For the soup:
1 large leek, sliced (including the green)
1 courgette, chopped into small pieces
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
3 medium potatoes, chopped into medium pieces with the skins still on
juice of 1 lemon
1 green pepper, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
a bunch of spinach leaves, remove the stalks
some little tomatoes, halves
chicken stock, made up according to instructions (or vegetable if you're vegetarian - please check you buy one which hasn't got lactose in it, or milk if you suffer from a milk allergy. We use Knorr, the chicken one is alright but some of the others are not. Also it's worth noting the MSG in some stock cubes can make you feel ill, so avoid)
Lactofree milk, or if you don't mind the taste (or can't tolerate lactofree milk) you could use oat milk, rice milk or soya milk.
For the topping:
parma ham, sliced or 'shredded'
Basil leaves (fresh)
For the lemon croutons:
4 slices of white bread, without crusts (I used some fresh bread bought from a farm shop, but any will do)
1. Place the potatoes, leeks, courgettes and pepper in a large saucepan with some olive oil and lemon juice from half a lemon. Stir and coat in the oil. Cook until they have softened, probably will take about 10 - 15 minutes.(potatoes can be partially softened - the reason I am placing the potatoes in now is to try and get a big of a yummy/crispy skin on them, which explains why I left those on)
2. Get your chicken stock and add a tiny dash of celery salt and lemon juice from the other half of the lemon. Put in the halved tomatoes and then add all this to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, and then simmer on low until all the vegetables are softened.
3. Meanwhile, you can make the lemon croutons. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Pull apart the white bread with your fingers and make small pieces of bread. Make sure they are all relatively small.
Once the olive oil is very hot (test by dropping some bread in - does it sizzle?), you can add the pieces of bread. Stir them to coat in the oil, and then continue stirring every so often, making sure not to let it burn. Once you have got a crust/toasty edge to each piece of bread, you can squeeze in the juice from the lemon and stir. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl.
4. Once the vegetables in your soup are tender and soft, add some of your chosen milk (probably about 200ml) until the soup goes a delicious yellow colour. Add your spinach leaves and stir them in to wilt. Season to taste, and serve into soup bowls immediatley.
5. Serve top with shredded parma ham, the lemon croutons and a little basil leaf.
Total time to cook and make: approx 1 hour