Soup is a wonderfully nutritious, filling and warming food and I love making soup - I just wish I could make soup like my grandmother did! No soup has ever tasted the same as hers, it was wonderful. My two boys loved soup when they came home from school for lunch (they still love it, although number 1 son (now married) makes his own)!
I have quite a casual approach to making soup - I just use whatever I've got available. This week I made ham soup.
Ingredients; a piece of ham, assorted vegetables and a couple of handfuls of dried pulses (I used dried lentils, barley, peas and butter beans), but you don't have to use them if you don't want to.
Use whatever vegetables you have available.
Method; soak pulses in cold water. Put ham and chopped vegetables in large pan, bring to boil and then simmer for a couple of hours (at least two - until ham is cooked). Remove ham from pot.
I then have a very untechnical way of making the soup - I squash the vegetables with a potato masher until I get them to the right size. Drain pulses and add. Stir well and simmer for a further wee while (until pulses have cooked). Don't add salt unless you have to, ham can be salty.
I use this method for whatever soup I am making - the all in one, time saving method!
I usually wait and have soup the next day - it has had time for all the flavours to blend together. It is delicious with warm crusty bread.
We had the piece of ham with boiled potatoes and veg - not very fancy, but delicious. Having previously cooked the ham with the vegetables for the soup gives it a wonderful flavour.
Soup is great comfort food. Just right for this time of year.