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Recipe for :

Tallyrand's Nutritious Vegetable Soup

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Classical French cuisine soup recipes more often than not call for prolonged cooking times, something I feel came out of the ignorance centuries ago of good food science rather than necessity.

The following soup recipe, I developed after my many visits throughout Asia, where they cook their soups quickly, this creates a freshness of flavour and retains the natural bright colour of the vegetables. Is there anything worse than a grey, broccoli soup?

It also retains the full nutrients of the vegetables by not over cooking them and destroying with heat.

The method is great for using up the stalks of vegetables like, broccoli, etc that are normally trimmed and discarded.


50 gm butter or a good olive oil
50 gm shallots
50 gm flour
400 gm vegetable of choice
1 lt white stock (chicken or vegetable)


  • Finely chop your vegetable (or finely shred leaf vegetables: cabbage, lettuce, brussels sprouts etc) by hand or in a food processor and set aside
  • Over a low to medium heat, melt the butter in a thick bottom pan
  • Add the finely chopped shallots (onion or spring onions can also be used) and cook gently for two minutes until softened
  • Mix in the flour and cook for another two minutes (other dried flavouring ingredients: curry powder, spices, etc can be added at this stage)
  • Add the finely chopped vegetables (other fresh flavouring ingredients: chopped chilli, sliced, crushed or roasted garlic, ginger etc can be added at this stage)
  • Gradually add the warmed stock
  • Stir to the boil and season lightly
  • Simmer for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally adding more stock if a thinner soup is required
  • Add cream, crème fraiche, plain yoghurt, etc to taste and serve

Chef's Note:

When making the soup with vegetables like bean sprouts, there is no need to chop them, just add them whole.

For an un-thickened Asian style soup when using ingredients like
bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, shredded cooked chicken prawns, etc proceed as above but leave out the flour. Or it may be slightly thickened at stage #8 with a cornflour or arrowroot slurry / slake (mixed with a little water or stock).

If using vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, etc (the hardier vegetables), they are best pre-cooked (boiled) and then finely chopped / puréed.

For the likes of French green beans, blanch and refresh them before chopping.

Serve with slices of toasted French bread (baguette), rubbed with
garlic or with melted cheese of choice.

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

sufficient quantity (add to taste)
piece, meaning a whole one of