COLD SOUPS

 

Quantities are approximate; it usually does not matter much if more or less of any ingredient is used. Generally, cold soups need to be more heavily seasoned than hot ones.

Chicken stock is usually specified; but stock made from other birds (but not grouse) will also do, as will vegetable stock (although it will not be quite as good), or stock made with a stock cube.

Quite a few of the soups are thickened with potato. Potato goes gluey if liquidised or processed other then briefly, especially if it is cold. This can be avoided by using a vegetable mill (mouli-légumes), or by liquidising the other ingredients first and only adding the potato to be briefly liquidised at the end. But as the latter process will leave lumps, the soup should then be put through a strainer. Soup made with whole tomatoes or unskinned peppers should also be strained after liquidising to eliminate bits of skin and pips.

 

 

CHILLED AUBERGINE SOUP  (for 2)

An intriguing soup: people find it difficult to identify the main ingredient.

1 medium-sized, firm and shiny aubergine

¾ pint/500ml chicken stock (made with stock cube will do)

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons (5 fluid oz/150ml) Greek yoghurt or fromage frais

1 cinnamon stick

pinch of ground mace

olive oil, salt

Cut aubergines into 1 inch/2 cm cubes. Put into a colander, sprinkle with salt, and leave to drain for an hour, then rinse and squeeze out excess moisture. Soften the onion in some olive oil until just browning. Add the crushed garlic cloves and the aubergine, mix well and cook covered until the aubergine is soft but not coloured. Add the stock, cinnamon stick and ground mace, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Fish out the cinnamon stick and liquidise the rest. Cool, and stir soup gradually into the yoghurt or fromage frais. Serve chilled, adding a little milk if it is too thick.

 

COLD CUCUMBER SOUP  (for 2)

1 large cucumber

1 medium onion, peeled and halved

1 small potato, peeled and cut into chunks

500ml chicken stock

approx. 200ml yoghurt, preferably Greek or Greek-style

salt, pepper, sugar, chives

Peel the cucumber, reserving the peel. Cut half the cucumber in chunks. Simmer the onion and potato, cucumber skin and chunks in the stock for 20 minutes or until the potato is cooked. Liquidise and train the soup back into the saucepan. Grate the flesh of the remaining half cucumber on the large grater. Add to the soup and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste, along with ½ teaspoon sugar. Leave to cool, and chill in the fridge. When ready to serve, put the yoghurt into a large bowl and gradually stir in the soup. Serve sprinkled with chopped chives.

 

 

INSTANT COLD AVOCADO SOUP  (for 3)

A good instant soup if you happen to have a ripe avocado.

1 large avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

400gr tin of beef consommé, chilled in the fridge

¼ pint/140ml milk

1 small pot/150ml soured cream or creme fraiche

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2-3 tablespoons dry or medium sherry

chopped chives (optional)

Liquidise all the ingredients except the sherry and chives. If not serving immediately, cover the surface with cling-film to prevent it going brown. When ready to serve, stir in the sherry, and serve with chives sprinkled on top.

 

COLD APPLE SOUP (for 4-6)

4 Granny Smith apples (approx. 400 gr)

3 sweet apples (approx 400gr)

1 onion

1 teaspoon curry powder

700ml/1¼ pints broth (made with a stock cube will do)

1 lemon

200-300ml cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves

salt, cayenne or chilli pepper, cooking oil.

Peel and slice the onion and soften in some light cooking oil. Add the curry powder and a small pinch of chilli or cayenne and cook for a further minute or two. Peel, core and chop the apples. Add them to the onion together with the broth and a little salt. Simmer, covered, for half an hour, until the apples are very soft and pulpy. Liquidise until quite smooth and pass through a sieve. Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge (this can all be done the day before). Before serving, check the seasoning, stir in the cream and lemon juice to taste (about a tablespoon – it depends how sweet the apples are). Sprinkle a little chopped mint over each plate of soup.

 

COLD FENNEL SOUP (for 2)

This soup brings out the taste of the fennel unexpectedly strongly.

1 medium fennel bulb, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

¾ pint/400ml chicken stock

2 tbsp soured cream

olive oil, salt, pepper

 

Sweat fennel and onion in a little olive oil over a low heat for 10 minutes without colouring. Add the stock and simmer, covered, for 5-10 minutes, until fennel is soft. Liquidise, season with salt and pepper to taste and chill. When ready to serve, put the sour cream into a bowl and gradually stir in the soup. Decorate with chopped feathers from the top of the fennel bulb or chopped chives.