Thanks to Robinne Collie, Co-founder of Cook For Good CIC for her finished soup pictures!
At Cookery School we teach to empower so that everyone has the confidence to replicate recipes again and again at home. We also teach by principle – if you can understand how to make one soup, you can make a whole range of different soups using the same principle.
During our time at home, in isolation, these principles have never been more pertinent, when we all need to cook a lot more. We will be sharing simple, home-cooked weekly recipes with you, so that your experience of cooking during Covid-19 is a positive one, with new recipes learnt and delicious dishes enjoyed.
Soups: basic principles
• Almost any vegetable can be used in a soup
• Fry onion in oil or butter over a medium high heat. Do not heat the oil first, heat together. Only stir when the onions start to colour (the sugar in the onion starts to caramelise and cause the browning. Repeat until golden brown, this give good flavour
• If a paler soup is required heat on a lower setting and do not brown the onions
• Add garlic, if using, and fry very lightly until translucent. If burned it can become bitter
• Add diced or sliced vegetables to the pan
• Add liquid – this can be water, stock (meat, fish or vegetable) and any chopped tomatoes
• Add any herbs and spices
• Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked
• Liquidise or leave as a chunky soup
• Season with salt and pepper
Feeds 4-6 / Freezer Friendly
1 very large bunch asparagus (1kg/2lbs 4ozs)
3 tablespoons rapeseed seed or extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
freshly ground salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of vegetable stock powder
dash of cream if desired
6 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 cup cold milk
good pinch of nutmeg
1. Prepare the asparagus by removing any hard woody pieces. The point at which the asparagus snaps easily, from the tip downwards, is edible and the woody part which is usually discarded is kept for making a delicious asparagus stock for the soup.
2. Just cover the woody ends with water and boil well until they have softened. Then drain off the asparagus flavoured liquid in which the asparagus woody ends have cooked. Push the cooked woody ends through a strainer and add the strained pulp to the liquid. This will produce a very asparagus flavoured stock. If it is very liquidy boil to reduce it to about 3 cupfuls of stock.
3. Chop the remaining asparagus spears into pieces. Keep the tips for putting into the asparagus later.
4. Meanwhile gently fry the onion in the 3 tablespoons of oil until lightly browned. Set aside.
5. Place the asparagus pieces in the asparagus stock along with the fried onion and bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer until the asparagus pieces are soft.
6. Blitz this mixture so that it is smooth.
7. Add the vegetable bouillon powder to the hot stock. Mix in well and then set aside.
8. In a saucepan off the heat, mix together the flour and the 4 tablespoons of rapeseed oil and slowly add the cold milk, whisking all the time to ensure that the mixture is lump free.
9. Beat in the asparagus cooking liquid so that the stock and cold bechamel are well amalgamated.
10. Add the reserved asparagus tips now. Then place the saucepan on the cooker and cook until the mixture is thickened.
11. If the soup seems to thick once the flour in the bechamel has been cooked, thin with a little milk.
12. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
13. A dash of cream added to it before serving is very good.
1. Soup needs to have some flavour and the fried onions will give you this. You can also use fried leeks if preferred.
2. This soup is delicious served hot or cold. If cold, you may need to thin it down with a little veg or chicken stock or even milk, so that it is not the texture of baby food.
3. Try to use as little water as possible when making the original stock – just to cover the stems so that you extract as much flavour as possible, without diluting it.
4. Use leftover old bread to make simple croutons by dicing, drizzling in olive oil and salt, and baking for 10 minutes.
5. Asparagus supports good gut health. It is packed with fibre, contains a decent amount of protein and vitamin B, and it is digested more easily than other vegetables.
Cooking during Covid-19
We have a wealth of experience to share in these unprecedented times if you need help cooking during Coronavirus. We’ll be giving you tips and recipes on using store cupboard ingredients, preserving, pickling & above all making the most of your valuable ingredients & not wasting food. PLEASE let us have YOUR questions and SHARE on Facebook or Instagram what you’ve been cooking & our founder Rosalind will be able to get back to you with answers so we can all learn from each other.