Tag Archive: cold soup

So, Friday night was our taster menu meal, except the boys seem not to understand the term ‘taster’. I have seldom eaten so much in one evening!


I drew the veggie straw and decided to make a soup. I think soup can easily be a main course, and would work well as part of a taster menu. I wanted to be seasonal so I decided on beetroot soup. It seems beetroots like being in cold soup only but I decided, after consultation with my mother, to make a warm soup.

So I made beetroot and cumin soup.


You need:


500g of beetroot. I found baby ones – it was two Pick n Pay bunches.

600ml boiling water. This is to make the stock so if you use homemade stock just have as much.

1 large onion – sliced

250g sweet potato, peeled and sliced. In real life we buy potatoes by the individual and not weight. This was a medium sized thin skinned potato. I think it doesn’t matter if you have a bit more or less.

425ml milk

Ground cumin. I used a generous teaspoon


Salt and pepper

1 stock cube – only if you don’t use your own stock

Juice of half a lemon – about a tablespoon.


You do:

Boil the beetroot until cooked. I learnt a good trick for boiling beetroot. Cut the stalk off leaving that rough bit behind. Then, to check if the beets are cooked, rub a finger along one rather than poke with a fork. The beets are cooked when the skin comes off easily. If you don’t do the poking thing, less of the colour and flavour escapes.

Once they are cooked take the beets out of the water. Keep the water. Let me repeat that – Keep the water. Do not drain the beets into the sink and remember half way through you were supposed to keep the water. Peel them by sliding the skins off while still warm.


Cook the onions in the butter in a large saucepan until just turning colour. Add the peeled and sliced sweet potato . cook over a medium heat for a while and then add the milk, stock and cumin. Let this simmer until the potatoes are really soft.


Whizz the beets in a food processor with their cooking liquid. Then add the potato mix. It’s best to let it cool a bit or you may have splattered beet and potato mush on your walls. And I learnt not to over load the food processor with beet – a mighty mess was only just avoided.


Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with a swirl of cream and chopped chives or parsley.


I decided to get fancy and made bread with the beetroot stalks. Recipe tomorrow

white gazpacho

I always assumed that gazpacho meant cold tomato soup. Seems I have always been wrong. When I was told by a friend she would be serving white gazpacho I could not work out how tomatoes could ever produce a white soup. They didn’t need to as it seems gazpacho really means any cold vegetable soup; it just usually means tomato based.

This white cold soup has become a favourite very quickly; in addition to having it at my friend’s home, I have served it twice in the last month, both time to rave reviews.

It is also really easy.

You need: stock (2 cups), stale (or not) bread (2 cups), blanched almonds (1 cup), seedless white grapes (2 cups), cucumbers (2), garlic (as much as makes you happy – I use about 4 cloves), olive oil (1/4 cup), salt, sheery or cider vinegar (2 – 3 Tablespoons), a food processor.

You do:

Heat the stock and then break the crustless bread into it. The recipe says use good bread so I have used French loaf. A long french loaf is about the right amount of insides. (And the crusty outsides are not very hard to dispose of with butter and cheese.)

While the stock and bread are getting soggy together, whizz the almonds, garlic and salt in a food processor.

Add the cooled stock bread mush and all (if there is any) unabsorbed stock. Whizz that up with the skinned, seeded, chopped cucumber and halved grapes. Stop when it is all mixed and a rough-looking puree. My food processor can do half of this at a time only. Check the capacity of yours and if that is true for you too, I advise you actually make two distinct batches rather than try to divide the stock and bread, or the garlic, almonds and salt after combining them.

Add about a tablespoon of vinegar to the mix and taste. I have not needed to add more than 2 Tablespoons but apparently some grapes need more. Then drizzle in the oil while the food processor is on.

The most recent time I made this I used half chilli and garlic oil, and half plain oil. The little bit of a bite it added was a nice addition, but it is not necessary if you are not a chilli fan.

Taste and add salt if necessary (I have never found it necessary) and chill.

Serve in teacups (if you wish) garnished with chives, almonds or grapes

Absolutely delicious. A perfect starter to a meal and in summer could be a whole meal very easily. But hard to photograph especially after drinking wine while cooking :-). You can google images it if you want to see better pics

The soup is textured and filling.

It got high scores at both outing at my house, and at my friend’s house.