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Great Homemade Soups

 

BOOK REVIEW

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To order a copy of Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler <click here>

 

Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler

Great Homemade Soups by Paul GaylerMemories of hotel dining rooms (they were not called restaurants then), when I was a child, remind me that the soup course was a very important part of dining back then but today you rarely see soup on the menu in so many places which is a great shame. Has the great British public fallen out of love with soup? Not so judging by the massed ranks of tins and packets (and tubes) of the stuff you will find on the supermarket shelves. But how many of us actually make our own soup?

When I think back I often think I was raised on soup. Of course I wasn't but we did seem to eat a lot of soup during the winter months . . . and it was always the same soup! We still liked the soup but a bit of variety would have been nice. With no helpful cooking shows on the TV to aid our mothers nor any of the glossy cookery books of today it was no wonder the repertoire of the home cook was limited, not to mention the availability of ingredients or the lack of them.

I am as guilty as my Mother for always making the same soup, although in my defence at least I do make home-made soup. It was with great pleasure that I discovered Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler.

Great Homemade Soups takes the making of your own soup to a whole new dimension. There are soups for all occasions and soups for all seasons. There are soups to impress and there are soups to bring comfort, whatever you are looking for there will be something here you will just love.

In the great British tradition of publishing cookery books this is a beautifully produced book with the quality of photography we have grown to expect as the norm in such books. Just looking at the photographs makes you want to have a go at making so many of the different soups. If they look that good imagine how good they must taste!

In his introduction Paul Gayler says “ . . . soups are making a real comeback. I urge you to join the trend, get out your pots and pans and discover the great soups of the world”. Just take a peak inside the covers of this book and you will not need any further urging. It has brought a whole new range of dishe to my repertoire of starters and light meals.

Don't miss out, this is one souper book you have to add to your cooking library! (Sorry but I couldn't resist the bad pun.)

Paul Gayler

Paul Gayler is well known as Executive Chef at London’s prestigious hotel, The Lanesborough. He has made many appearances on British TV and now has over twenty cookery books to his name, selling over 500,000 copies worldwide in ten languages.

Paul has won The Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Book of the Year, has been nominated for a prestigious André Simon Award and, in 2012, was awarded an MBE as well as the top “Catey” from Caterer and Hotelkeeper – the equivalent of an Oscar in the hotel business – for his “outstanding contribution to the hotel industry”.

Paul also acts as a consultant, advising on product development to a number of food companies.

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  • Get Ready to Make Some Delicious Soup! - Dad of Divas (Amazon review)

    This was an amazing collection of soups in just one place. The author has done a great job at collecting and sharing a wide array of soups from every part of the world that will warm you inside and out. The soups in general were easy enough to make. I will say that because some of the soups were from other countries, I could tell that I would have to search a bit more for the items needed for the soups, but they were still accessible. All-in-all this is a comprehensive cookbook with amazing images throughout that will leave your mouth watering (and that is not even saying anything for the soups you can make either). Kudos to the author - he has put together a cookbook that you will want to keep coming back to over and over again!

Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler

  • Souper -Jane Brackfield (Amazon review)

    Paul Gayler is a chef I admire and have other books by him. This does not disappoint he again mixes flavours and textures to produce a varied and delicious selection of recipes. If you are buying someone a liquidiser, food processor or vitamix as a present this will compliment it perfectly. I would give this as a gift to girlfriends or to men I know enjoy cooking.

Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler

  • A great many of the soups here could happily grace the menus of some of the UK's finest restaurants . . . this really is a collection of some of the finest soups around - Caterer & Hotelkeeper

Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler

Great Homemade Soups SAMPLE RECIPES

courgette and basil soup with prosciutto tartines

courgette and basil soup with prosciutto tartinesThis elegant soup is derived from a very humble vegetable – the courgette – and is infused with basil, one of my favourite herbs. The soup is finished with a little cream and unsalted butter to enrich it, while the simple-to-make tartines lift it to another level. I sometimes forgo the tartines and instead flavour the soup with some curry powder and a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, added at the same time as the courgettes and lettuce. Both recipes are equally delicious.

Ingredients

25g unsalted butter
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g floury potatoes, peeled and finely cubed
4 large courgettes, thinly sliced
1 small round butter lettuce, leaves removed and well washed
1 litre hot white chicken stock (see p.17)
12 basil leaves, shredded, plus extra to garnish or 10g (¼oz) baby basil, chopped, plus extra, unchopped, to garnish
100ml double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tartines:
2 slices of white bread, crusts removed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g (3½oz) sliced prosciutto (Parma ham)

How to make

  • Firstly make the tartines. Toast the bread on both sides then brush one side with a little oil. Top each slice with a layer of overlapping prosciutto, then cut into 1cm (½in) wide fingers. Set aside.

  • For the soup, heat half the butter in a heavy-based pan, then add the onion, garlic and potatoes. Cook over a gentle heat for 4 – 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the courgettes and lettuce and cook for 2 – 3 minutes more.

  • Add the hot stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for no more than 5 minutes to preserve the fresh flavour. Add the basil leaves or baby basil and stir.

  • Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held stick blender to blitz to a smooth purée. If you want a smoother soup, strain it through a fine sieve.

  • Return the soup to a clean pan and bring it back to the boil. Add the cream, whisk in the remaining butter and season to taste.

  • Divide between 4 hot individual soup bowls, sprinkle with the extra basil leaves or with baby basil and serve with the tartines.

Serves 4

 

oxtail soup with guinness

oxtail soup with guinnessThis soup needs to be made over two days for the tastiest results. The bouquet garni plays an important role. You can easily make one by tying together a small bunch of thyme, a bayleaf and a few parsley stalks with a piece of kitchen string.

Ingredients

1.5kg oxtail, excess fat removed and cut into pieces
50g plain flour
50g unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tbsp tomato purée
1 onion, studded with 2 cloves
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped
2 litres beef stock (see p.22)
275ml Guinness or other dark beer
1 tbsp demerara sugar
1 bouquet garni (see introduction)
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make

  • The day before, dredge the oxtail pieces in a little of the flour. Heat 25g of the butter with the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the oxtail pieces to the pan and fry for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden all over.
  • Add the tomato purée, onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour the stock, Guinness or other dark beer over, add the sugar, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then add the bouquet garni and simmer, uncovered, for 3 – 4 hours, or until the meat is almost falling off the bones.
  • Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, leave to cool, then cut it into small cubes. When cool, transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
  • Meanwhile, strain the stock into a bowl, discarding the vegetables and the bouquet garni. When cool, transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
  • Next day, remove every vestige of fat from the top of the stock.
  • Heat the remaining butter in a pan over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a roux.
  • Cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes, or until the flour is cooked.
  • Meanwhile, reheat the stock in a clean pan. Add the hot stock to the roux, a little at a time, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to the boil and becomes smooth.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the redcurrant jelly. If the soup is too thick, add a little more stock or water.
  • Season to taste, add the reserved cooked oxtail, then continue to cook for a few minutes more to heat the oxtail through. Divide the soup between individual soup bowls and serve immediately.

Serves 4

 

chilled tuscan tomato soup

chilled tuscan tomato soupToasting the garlic and bread in olive oil adds a hint of a warm, nutty flavour to this classic soup, known in Italy as pappa al pomodoro. It is simple to prepare, requiring minimal cooking while achieving an impressive result. Ensure that your tomatoes are ripe and sweet. With this in mind, I suggest you wait for summer to make this soup, as that is when tomatoes are sweet, juicy and at their best.

Ingredients

600g very ripe, sweet and juicy tomatoes
120ml extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 slices of crusty white bread, crusts removed and cut into small cubes
2 shallots, finely chopped
150ml tomato juice
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
3 tbsp pesto (see p.163)
sesame grissini

How to make

  • The day before, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, then remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of iced water. Drain, then peel off the skins. Chop the flesh into small pieces, put in a bowl and set aside.

  • Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is fairly hot, add the garlic and cubes of bread and fry until they are both lightly golden, taking care not to burn them.

  • Add the fried bread and garlic to the tomatoes, then add the remaining oil and all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Mix together well. Leave to marinate overnight, covered, in the fridge.

  • The next day, transfer to a blender and pulse-blitz using the on/off button until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Season to taste.

  • Divide the soup between 4 individual soup bowls and drizzle with the pesto.

  • Serve immediately with the grissini.

Serves 4

To order a copy of Great Homemade Soups by Paul Gayler <click here>

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Published 31 January 2014

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