Carrot Soup or Carrot & Butterbean Soup (posted 15/02/11)

5 carrots
2 onions
2 sticks of celery
1 tsp of sugar
knob of butter

Make up 3 pints of well seasoned stock and boil your chopped vegetables.

When veg suitably soft, either pulp them through a sieve, or blitz with a hand held blender. Then add your butter and sugar.

Return the veg to stock and boil for a bit before serving.

As an alternative, omit the sugar and add some butter beans instead so you have carrot & butter bean soup. Remember to take care when using dried beans- I soak them overnight and then boil them for a good 20 minutes or so......just read the packet for full instructions.

Return the beans with veg to the stock so that they retain their shape and texture. Cook for a bit to let the flavours merge.
Serve with some crusty bread for a lovely, lovely lunch.

This one comes from the Orkney Isles-two versions- one for vegetarians as promised.

It uses pearl barley which when cooked looks just like the cowrie shells or "Groatie Buckies" found on various beaches in Orkney- so the bairns have always called this-

"Groatie Buckie Soup"

300ml- or 1 cup of pearl barley
225g/ 1/2 lb fresh beef
2 leeks
finely chopped onion
bit of fresh parsley

Put the barley in cold water and bring to the boil- removing any scum from the surface.
Chop the beef finely and add to the pot along with a little bit of salt and the onion- boil this for 3 hours.
Chop the kale and leeks and add to the soup and continue to boil until the greens are fine & tender.
Season to taste, sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley and enjoy, perhaps with some lovely Orkney oatcakes and butter.

If you don't want to use beef or beef stock try using some vegetarian stock powder instead. You can find a great selection of  bouillon/ stock powders suitable for vegetarian/vegans from Sky Delights in Leopold Street. And if you haven't been able to grow your own kale- you might just manage to get that there too! Obviously when using powdered or your own vegetable stock you won't have to boil the soup for hours on end.

Lovely to come home to after a morning of hard graft on the plot!

Kale, Chorizo & tattie soup.

Still somewhat chilly so how about this winter warmer. This was taken from a recipie simply entitled "Potato" and has been adapted  and made many times by John, Plot 16. Doesn't sound particularly exciting and let's face it-these are  pretty simple ingredients, but anyone who has tasted this absolutely  raves about it.

You can buy good quality chorizo from your local deli- we use Bruce's in Leopold Street. The recipe  says that better quality sausage will improve the flavour. Anyway, have a go and tell us what you think.


225g/8oz kale- with stems removed
225g/8oz of chorizo sauage
675g/1.5lb of tatties- recipe says to use red but just use whatever you have
1.75litres/3 pints/7.5 cups of vegetable stock
5ml/1tsp of ground pepper.......not that we measured
salt & black pepper to taste

John's additions- some local "easy" garlic and a good sprinkle of fresh parsley

John's omissions- pinch of cayenne pepper- which recipe says is optional in any case
12 slices of french bread, grilled-

So- here we go,

step 1. Chop the kale finely- a quick blitz in a food processor speeds up the process

step2- Prick the sausages and place in a pan with enough water just to cover them. Simmer for about 15mins, drain and then cut the meat into thin slices.

Step 3- Boil the tatties for about 15 mins or until tender.Drain, pop them into a bowl then mash adding a little bit of their cooking liquid so as this makes a sort of thick paste.Add the "easy" garlic.

Step 4- Take your veg stock to the boil, add the kale and chorizo and simmer for about 5 mins. Then gradually add your garlicy,tattie paste and simmer for about 20 mins. Season to taste and sprinkle on the parsley before. serving

You can, it says, pop your toasted bread slices on top, sprinkled with black pepper, but to be honest this is a really filling soup and I doubt it needs it. time something for vegetarians.