Family Favourites Soups

John’s Lentil Soup

Makes about 10 Bowls


  • 3 Cups Lentils
  • 1 Cup Yellow Split Peas
  • 1 Smoked Gammon Joint
  • 3 Small Leeks
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Large Carrots
  • 1 Small Turnip about equal quantities to the carrots.
  • ½ Head of Celery
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Ham Stock Cubes


In a large soup pot, boil the ham for 1 ½ hours, then add the yellow split peas and boil for a further 30 minutes.

Remove the gammon and use for main meal (Dress and Roast) cut of the ends and chop up for putting in the soup later.

Into the pot add all your lentils and chopped veg.

Add about 2.5 litres of water or enough that it looks about right!

Boil for 40 minutes on a rolling simmer.

Blent everything. If it is too thick add more water.

Taste – if not hammy enough add another Ham stock cube, before seasoning, then season to taste after.

Add back the chopped up ham.

Chicken Soups

Chinese style Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup

Ingredients for 4
1 tin creamed sweetcorn
4 tin measures of chicken stock
1/2 tin measure frozen corn
1 chicken breast, poached and shredded

2 sliced spring onions
Splash of sesame oil to taste, careful it is strong

Put all ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, add garnish.  Check for salt and serve.

Main Courses Soups Vegetarian

Mexican Soup for 2

1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chicken stock using tomato tin to measure
1/2 cup each of carrot, turnip, onion, courgette & mushroom all chopped
1/2 tin red kidney beans
1/2 teaspoonful of cumin
Chilli flakes to taste, some like it hot!
1/2 teaspoonful dried oregano

Put in pan and simmer until cooked for about 20 minutes, easy!

Hot & Spicy Soups Vegetarian

Indian Chickpea & Vegetable Curry Soup for 2

2 teaspoonfuls of vegetable oil
1 chopped onion
1 teaspoonful of grated ginger
1 chopped garlic clove
2 teaspoonfuls of garam masala
Chilli flakes to taste
3/4 pint chicken stock
1 large chopped carrot
1/2 of a 14oz tin of chickpeas, drained
2 oz of chopped green beans
2 sticks of chopped celery
4 halved cherry tomatoes

Heat the oil and fry the onion, ginger and garlic for one minute. Add the garam masala and chillies and give one more minute. Then add the stock and carrot. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the chickpeas. Use a stick blender to whize the soup a little or use a masher. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 more minutes. Decorate with some fresh coriander if you have some.

Hot & Spicy Soups Starters

Mexican Tomato Soup

1 jar passata

2 jars chicken stock

1 onion sliced

1 carrot peeled and sliced

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons mild chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup red lentils

Soften onion, garlic and carrot  in a little olive oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer until veg and lentils are tender. Blend in a liquidiser or with a stick blender until smooth-ish. Can add some fresh chopped coriander to serve.

Family Favourites Soups

Mulligatawny Soup

  • Quantities here are VERY flexible depending on the size of your pot and the number of portions. I have never been very good at making a half pot of anything! The basic ingredients however are as follows.
  • Oil
  • chopped onion
  • chopped celery
  • chopped carrot
  • curry powder (i have recently discovered schwartz crushed medium madras powder )
  • Chopped apple
  • chopped tomatoes
  • brown basmati rice if possible but white will work
  • a small amount of red lentils
  • chicken stock

Heat the oil in your soup pot. Sweat the onion celery and carrot for a few minutes then add the curry powder. Stir around for a few minutes then add all the other ingredients. Simmer for half an hour then check for salt and pepper. Thats it basically although I have been known to add chopped coriander if available.


Corn Chowder

  • Serves four
  • 2 cups sweetcorn-frozen is fine
  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 sweet potato diced
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 oz butter
  • 1 litre chicken stock

Heat butter in pan and add onion. Cook gently until soft but not coloured.
Add the two kinds of potato and 1 cup of corn with the chicken stock.
Simmer for about 20 minutes then liquidise.
Put the liquidised soup back into the pan and add the rest of the corn and the grated carrot. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Family Favourites Holidays Soups Starters

Auld Grannies Chicken Soup

  • 3 Medium Carrots Chopped
  • 1 Large Leek Chopped – Include the Green
  • 2 Long Stalks of Celery Chopped
  • 1/2 New Turnip Chopped
  • 2 Medium Potatoes Chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 1 Medium Carrot Grated
  • 2 x Chicken Leg Quarters Small or 1 x Large
  • 3 x Chicken Stock Cubes
  • 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Grinds of Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Handful of Chopped Parlsey
  • 1/2 Cup of Rice
  • 2 1/2 Litres of Water

Pour the water into the pan and add the stock cubes and the chicken pieces and start boiling.

Add all the chopped vegetables and the grated and chopped carrots, hold of with the rice just now and also the parsley.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Now add the rice and boil for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces and remove the meat from the bones, chop and put back in the soup.

Add the chopped parsley, adjust seasoning, add more water if it is too thick – remember you want a medium thick texture and the rice will probably puff up more so don’t think it may be too runny.

Hot & Spicy Soups Starters

Spicy lentil soup

  • For at least eight
  • 300gm red lentils
  • 2 litres chicken stock[made from cubes is fine]
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 med carrots chopped
  • Thumb size piece of ginger sliced into small matchsticks
  • 2 med tomatoes chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 teasp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teasp chilli flakes
  • 2 teasp med curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion garlic celery ginger and carrots for about 3 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook for 1 min. Add the stock tomatoes and lentils and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Taste for salt and pepper , liquidise and serve.

Hot & Spicy Soups

Spicy Chickpea & Squash Soup

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 celery sticks finely sliced
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 level teaspoon ground coriander
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 or two fresh red chillies (depends how hot they are and how big) or you could use 1 level teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 butternut squash about 1.5 kg in all peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock(cubes will do)
  • seasoning
  • 1 x400gm tin chickpeas or equivalent drained and rinsed
  • 150gm baby spinach leaves coarsly chopped

Heat a little oil in a large pan and fry onion and celery gently for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic, spices, chilli and squash to the pan and stir about in the hot oil for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, stock and seasoning and simmer for 20 minutes or so. use a pototo masher to squash the squash in the pan. On no account be tempted to liquidise as the texture will be ruined! Stir in the chickpeas and the spinach and simmer for a few minutes longer. Check seasoning and serve.

Soups Starters Vegetarian

Parsnip Soup

  • 2 tbls oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic glove crushed
  • 1 tbls mild curry paste or powder
  • 450g / 1lb parsnips, cut into 21/2/1in chunks
  • 600ml/1pint chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tbls low-fat natural yoghurt
  • fresh chopped chives to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Then add the curry paste or powder and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly.

2. Add the parsnip chunks to the onion mixture. Pour in the chicken stock and stir well. Season with the salt and pepper, bring the soup to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the parsnips are tender.

3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Return to the pan, add more salt and pepper, if necessary, and reheat.

4. Pour the soup into serving bowls and top with a swirl of yoghurt. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve.

Serves 4

Holidays Soups Vegetarian

Onion Soup

  • 1350g/3lbs onions
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 large tbsp beef dripping
  • 4-5 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 4 pints stock
  • Tomato puree
  • Pesto
  • Fresh parmesan to serve

1. Slice onions and place in a pan with coarse salt and beef dripping. Cook in low oven for about 2 hours.

2. Add plain flour and boiling stock until pan is full again, about 4 pints of stock. Put back in oven and cook until creamy.

3. Remove from oven and liquidise. Add some tomato puree and a small quantity of pesto.

4. Serve with freshly grated parmesan. Flavour improves with maturity.


John’s Onion Soup

Ingredients – Serves 6 People

  • 6 Large Onion
  • 1 Packet of Knorr Oxtail Soup (powdered)
  • 3 Pints of Water
  • 1/2 Bottle Red Wine – cheap stuff
  • 2 Tbsp of Sugar
  • 50gms Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic

Peel and slice the onions and chop the garlic cloves.
Melt the butter and the olive oil in a large pot.
Add the onions and the garlic and brown over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar and caremalise the onions.
Then add the packet of oxtail soup and stir into the onions.
The mixture will thicken similar to a rouxe in the pan.
Add the water slowly to bring to a soup like consistancy.
Add the 1/2 bottle of red wine.