Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Spicy leak potato parsnips pear soup

January 23, 2023


  • leek
  • celery stick
  • medium potato
  • parsnips
  • 1 large or 2 smaller pears
  • garlic clove
  • ginger
  • bunch of rosemary
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • walnuts


Trim and slice the leek. Roughly dice the celery.

Splash of oil in a large pan and cook the leek and celery gently for 10 mins, until starting to soften.

Meanwhile, peel the potato, parsnips and pear and chop them into rough 2cm pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and half the ginger. Strip the leaves from 2 large rosemary stalks and finely chop them; you want about 1 tbsp of chopped leaves in total.

Add the potato, parsnips and pear to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger and rosemary, along with the cumin and garam masala. Cook gently for 2 mins, making sure the spices don’t catch and burn.

Add water, bring to a simmer, and season with salt and pepper.

Pour contents into a sauceapn. Wash pan out with boiling water, add to the saucepan. Add more water if needed. Leave to simmer for a couple of hours.

Season if need be with salt and pepper.

Ladle out into bowls. Add a slosh of olive oil. Season if needed with salt and pepper. Garnish with broken walnut pieces.


Wonderful Middle Eastern aroma as the soup was simmering.

As I prepared, I was drinking an Americano. Erm, thought I, a slosh of Campari and Cocchi sweet vermouth.

Soup was spicy and sweet. A strange combination. Was it sweet due to the parsnips, or sweet due to the Cocchi sweet vermouth?

What is left, I will chill, then later, add a red onion, celery, water (possibly stock), simmer for a couple of hours. Anything then left, can be used as stock.

Chicken soup

December 31, 2022

In a large pot

– chicken carcass from Christmas Ay

– three small onions (two fed one white)

– three carrots

– two sticks of celery

– garlic clove

– stock

– season with salt and pepper

– red wine vinegar

– balsamic vinegar

Finely slice onions, carrots, celery sticks, garlic clove before adding to the pot.

Cover chicken with boiling water, bring back to the boil, pop lid on, simmer for hours.

Pho at Coco Tang

March 29, 2022

Previous week, a cappuccino at Coco Tang. A week on I thought try the food. Compared with my previous visit, a grave disappointment.

Lunchtime, packed. I wandered off to Kigali, had a coffee, returned mid-afternoon, now empty.

Pho, Vietnamese soup, not to be confused with Pho a corporate chain serving fake Vietnamese street food coupled with poor service and high staff turnover.

A long wait from taking my order. A very large bowl of soup, slivers of beef, noodles, with a side dish of red hot chilli peppers and bean sprouts and a couple of leaves.

Only when my soup bowl was taken away, did the waitress tell me what I thought was a side dish, was meant to be added to the soup. Why would I add a cold side dish to hot soup, why was I not told this at the time it was delivered to my table?

The slices of red hot chile pepper on the side plate, were not deseeded, hence very hot, but I was not warned. Contrast with Paste, nearby Thai restaurant, where they do warn.

Pho ok, but at the end of the day a bowl of soup, albeit a large bowl of soup. £10-50 for a bowl of soup.

I followed with a cappuccino. A disappointment compared with what I had the previous week.

I looked at the cocktails, £10 for an espresso martini, using poor quality coffee liquor.

To add insult to injury, 10% service charge sneaked onto my bill. Discretionary. No, it is not discretionary if added to my bill without my consent. And for what, a bowl of soup and a coffee brought to my table.?

To put in context, a three course lunch at Paste, less than a tenner. Or excellent lunch at Ugly Bread Bakery for a fraction of the price.

A very disappointing visit.

The Soup Dwagon

January 29, 2020

I stumbled upon The Soup Dwagon, a tiny little shop  hidden down a little alley, Chain Lane.

Serving soup, a choice of three different, and that was all the shop served.

A wonderful find. What I love to see, a shop with the emphasis on quality, not serving paninis

A choice of Stilton and broccoli, carrot and coriander or  mushroom. I chose mushroom.

The soup came with a choice of bread  rolls.

I was their only customer, sadly soup in takeaway,  for which the lady apologised. I was shown some beautiful bowls they will be using once a dishwasher installed.

My mushroom soup was excellent.


Carrot soup in Gail’s

November 25, 2017

A cold afternoon in Farnham.

A heron catches my eye as I walk along the riverside walk.

From Gostey Meadow I cut through alleyways to Castle Street.

Soup, maybe something savoury, a cheese and tomato bread roll, in Gail’s artisan bakery.

No bread rolls, I settle for the carrot soup, carrot and ginger.

Service has been appalling in Gail’s ever since it opened sometime last summer, today no exception. Rarely see the same staff twice though individual members of staff try their best and are always polite.

First find a clean table. Tables piled with dirty dishes. I find one that does not have dirty dishes, but it is not clean.

My soup comes, or what jokingly is called soup arrives. A few spoonfuls of puree carrots, bowl filled with cubes of soggy bread, is not soup.

I use the serviette to rest my phone on, as I did not wish to rest on the dirty sticky table.

I have to ask for butter, then ask for a  knife.

Waitress walks by, looks at the disgusting soup, stops and asks is it ok? I say no, it is disgusting. She offers to do something, I am not sure what, I say no.

During the summer, one thing that could be relied upon at Gail’s, when  available, was the soup.

The coffee is awful, they are using Union, and not doing Union any favours.

I leave for Krema, where I know I will at least get a decent cup of coffee.

Soup and cappuccino at Krema

October 22, 2016



I was pleased to find, now the weather has turned cold, that soup is back on the menu at Krema.

Excellent tomato and pepper soup, with a I think they said Wenslydale cheese. Big chunk of bread. Generous portion size.

A trip to the butcher, then back for a cappuccino and flapjack.

I noticed cascara on the board. I asked. Yes, it was a new addition.

Krema serve as tea, in a tea pot. Contrast with Coffee Lab who prepare and serve cold.

Excellent soup in Barista Lounge

September 3, 2016

Fine drizzle. As I reached Downing Street, the heavens opened. I just made Barista Lounge before I was soaked.

Excellent soup. Wild mushroom with spinach and rice. Nice presentation too.

I am not sure why, the cook came and had a chat with me. Asked me what I thought. I told her it was excellent. I am not sure she believed me.

I cannot say that of the coffee. It was not good. Not bad, but could be better.  They need to source better coffee beans. It was also too hot.

The coffee is variable.

I have had excellent coffee, undrinkable coffee and not so good coffee.

Barista Lounge closes at five. I am surprised for summer not six, though Farnham is quiet after four. I was there to almost six. I would have got soaked if I had left earlier.

Soup at Wild Food Cafe

April 20, 2016

Wild Food Cafe

Wild Food Cafe

Turkish lentil soup

Turkish lentil soup

The only reason I was here, Home Slice was busy and I had an hour to kill.

On walking in, very noisy, oppressively so.

All the tables were taken. I was invited to take a bar stool, sit at a shelf overlooking the kitchen.

When taking the order, neither I nor the person standing in the kitchen, could hear each other, such was the level of oppressive noise.

Turkish lentil soup, tasty, generous portion size, but like everything else on the menu, expensive and overpriced.

When paying over a fiver for a bowl of soup, expect at least the bread to be free.  But no.

Did I want bread. No.

I then changed my mind, and ordered what I thought was seeded bread. No, what appeared was a minuscule portion of seeds, somehow glued together, not much bigger than a 50p piece.

staff fare

staff fare

One of the staff came and sat with me. I asked what she was eating. She explained, adding, it was not on the menu. Staff apparently get a far better deal. It looked marginally better than what I saw being served from the kitchen.

Pretentious, noisy and overpriced, Wild Food Cafe very poor compared with Food for Thought, which is sadly no more, closed down last year, much loved and much missed, driven out of business by a greedy grasping landlord driving up the rent to unaffordable levels.

I then departed for Home Slice where I knew I would get an excellent pizza.

Wild Food Cafe is located in Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden.

Sopa en Selma y Lovisa

February 29, 2016

mushroom soup

mushroom soup

Excellent mushroom soup.

Broccoli and cheese soup at Caffe Macchiato

July 9, 2015

broccoli and cheese soup

broccoli and cheese soup

Too late to eat, and not feeling hungry, I asked for broccoli and cheese soup. It was excellent.

Summer soups

  • pea soup
  • tomato soup
  • watercress soup

Summer soups are light.

As it was a pleasant afternoon, I then sat outside with a cappuccino.

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