The Purple Potter's Umra Archives
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Brritski's Gazpacho
Chris Toodles's French Garlic Soup
Chris Toodles's Garlic Get Well Broth
Chris Toodles's Garlic Soup (2)
Chris Toodles's Parsnip Soup
Chuckler's Eyball Soup
Colin's Garlic Soup
Kate B's Tartlets
Linda T's Cullen Skink
Lizbuff's Three Colour Soup
Peter's Tsatsiki
Robin-the-fish's Nettle Soup
Stephen B's Pumpkin Soup

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Brritski's Gazpacho

We had guests today and I made a kind of gazpacho that went down rather well. It does help with the wonderful "cuore di bue" (sp, = beefheart) tomatoes fresh picked this morning and still warm from the sun.

Cut off any gungy bits of the skin and put 4 large toms in the whizzer. Transfer pulp to a metal sieve and put in the fridge to drain. After half an hour determine that the sieve is all gunged up so transfer to a jelly bag.

Go into town to buy more tomatoes as there obviously won't be enough juice for 4 people. Return from town and discover that there IS enough. Squeeze bag (not recommended for jellies) to remove last few drops of tomato water.

Grind up a fat juicy clove of garlic with salt crystals in a pestle and mortar. Add to juice and rinse mortar out with some white wine vinegar to taste and add to juice. Add pepper and torn basil leaves. Check seasoning and adjust vinegar, salt, pepper etc as required. After a few minutes strain again thru a metal sieve to remove the basil, bits of un-pestled garlic, large bits of pepper etc. Add a couple of ice cubes and put back into fridge until ready to serve. Chill soup bowls also.

Chop cucumber, (red) onion, chilli pepper and red and green sweet peppers and serve separately as a garnish. Croutons too if desired. Also have on hand some ice-cubes into which have been frozen borage flowers, or some other edible pretty little flower like oregano, thyme or mint.

Put an ice cube into each of the bowls and a few sprigs of fresh basil into the toureen and serve with garnishes and olive oil that can also be poured in.

Looks beautiful, pale coral, thin but intense flavour. Delicious on a hot day !

Chris Toodles's French Garlic Soup

Serves 8

24 garlic cloves, peeled but not cut
2 tbs oil or dripping
8 cups boiling water or stock
pinch each nutmeg, tarragon and ground cloves
4 egg yolks, beaten

In a large heavy soup pot, lightly sauté garlic cloves in oil until they are golden.

Add boiling water or stock and seasonings and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly, then put in a blender or through a food mill.

Heat slightly and add egg yolks gradually, stirring continuously. Do not allow soup to boil. Serve immediately poured over toasted French bread.

Chris Toodles's Garlic Get Well Broth

For one

1 onion, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, peeled but not cut
˝ tsp grated ginger
˝ cup water
mixed herbs such as parsley, thyme, rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Boil all ingredients until onion and garlic are soft. Strain and serve hot.

Haven't tried this but I wouldn't strain it: I'd liquidise it (so would Toodles) as that's what we do with all our soups.

Chris Toodles's Garlic Soup (2)

Serves 8

1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled but not crushed
1 tbs butter
8 cups boiling water
salt and pepper to taste
˝ cup chopped parsley
whole grain bread slices

Separate cloves of garlic, peel but do not cut.
In a large heavy pan sauté cloves in butter until golden brown.
Add water, salt and pepper and parsley, simmer for 10 mins.
Place 1 slice of bread on bottom of each bowl and pour soup over it. Serve very hot.

Chris Toodles's Parsnip Soup

OK: this is what we did with those ingredients:

Toodles bought 5 VERY large parsnips, to which I added a small onion and a medium potato.

I sliced the parsnips thinly in rings (I started lengthwise and then changed my mind). Put them, the onion and potato (all sliced fairly neatly) into a huge saucepan, with plenty of butter and let it soften.

Then I added two chicken stock cubes (as I didn't have vegetable ones) and about a pint and a quarter of water, grated some nutmeg, added parsley, mint and thyme (dried) - maybe a teasp. or two but I didn't measure.

Let that lot simmer for 10 mins. and then liquidised it. Almost all the liquid had gone so I added some more at this stage. Now that makes it into a smooth puree - and that's how we eat our soup: so if you like your soup looking like water, you need to add lots more liquid!

Eating the way we do its a main meal with lots of home made bread. It has a lovely parsnip sweet taste.

Chuckler's Eyeball Soup

Make a fresh tomato soup. When soup is nearly ready, gently slip whole egg yolks into it to poach. Make sure when serving that each dish has its own egg yolk.

(Acksherly, it does taste nice....)

Colin's Garlic Soup

Heat 4 tbs of olive oil over a medium-low heat, sweat 3 heads of garlic (their cloves peeled, but not chopped) for a few minutes; you could add a pinch of saffron with the garlic if you are feeling wealthy.

Add 3 pints of vegetable stock )non-veggies might try chicken stock), bring to the boil, season and then simmer for 15 minutes. Let the broth cool a little and then liquidise to a smooth consistency. Bring back to the heat, season further if necessary and add some (a lot of!) chopped chives (or parsley) before serving, with garlic bread :-)

You can use more garlic if you wish, this doesn't affect the taste, which isn't as overwhelming as it might sound, but does result in a soup with a richer, more velvety texture.

Eat only with close friends and on a Friday night.

This could be used as the base soup for a possible, ie untested, alternative to Lizbuff's Three Colour Soup Use basil for the green, tomato paste as you have done for the red and leave the third portion white. Then using fiddly bits of foil and slow clever pouring create an Italian tricolour in each bowl.

Kate B's Tartlets

I find tartlets remarkably painless, especially if you buy Mr JusRol's excellent shortcrust pastry (sometimes you can find an all-butter version which is really good). If you have a tart or muffin tin (I found one of those silicone baking tray thingies in TKMaxx - it makes tiny ones about 3cm across, perfect for nibbles) you can do individual ones - make minipizzas with tomato puree, an olive and a sprinkling of grated cheese, or bake blind and fill with creamy goats cheese and slivers of parma ham, or chopped smoked salmon mixed with fromage frais and horseradish sauce. If no appropriate tin, then roll out puff pastry as thin as you can, prick it and bake blind weighted down with beans or whatever so it stays flat and dense, then spread with the above-mentioned fillings and cut into small squares. It sounds a bit fussy but is less trouble than bits of toast or bread and you can do it well in advance and heat up things if necessary at the moment.

I also make these little tarts for dessert if I'm serving cheese instead of a big pudding - tiny mincemeat tarts, or fig jam, or thick prune jam and walnuts.

Linda T's Cullen Skink

1 large Finnan haddock
1 onion chopped
1/2 lb mashed potato
1 oz butter
Salt and Pepper

Place the haddock in a large pan with sufficient water to cover. Bring to the boil, add the chopped onion and simmer for 10-15 mins., until the fish is cooked. Remove the fish, retaining the stock, and flake the flesh from the bones and skin. Set the flesh to one side and return the bones and skin to the stock. Boil for 30 mins. Remove from the heat and strain the stock into clean pan. Add the flaked fish and return to the heat. Add the milk and salt to taste and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Stir in the mashed potato, butter and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

A hearty fisherman's soup traditionally always made with Finnan haddock.

Lizbuff's Three Colour Soup


Diced potatoes(preferably King Edwards)
White wine
Vegetable stock
Tomato Puree
Chopped Green Herbs (Parsley and whatever)


Sweat onions until they are soft.
Add garlic and potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add white wine and stock and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are falling.
Blend until smooth.
Split the soup into three.
Add saffron to one,the herbs to another and the tomato to the third.
Simmer until all three have taken on the different flavours and colours.
Now for the cheffy bit. In flat bowls place the green soup and garnish with the red and yellow soups.

Colin's Garlic Soup is suggested as a variation of this recipe.

Peter's Tsatsiki (a Greek starter)

Serves 4

About 1 lb cucumber
Salt to taste (some experimentation required)
300g plain Greek-style yoghurt
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp vinegar

Chop the ends off the cucumber and grate the rest into a basin. Sprinkle with salt and mix. Leave for an hour in a cool place, stirring after half an hour. Tip into a colander and squeeze out the juice. Put back in basin and stir in other ingredients.

Serve chilled accompanied by slices of bread.

It keeps for longer than you would think if kept in fridge.

Robin-the fish's Nettle Soup

Main recipe comes from 'Wild Food' by Roger Phillips

A good handful of nettle leaves
1 large onion, 1 clove of garlic
2 potatoes
Olive oil, salt, pepper
1 chicken stock cube
1/4 pint double cream

Peel and chop the onion, garlic and potatoes and fry them for 3 or 4 minutes in a large saucepan in a little olive oil. Trim away the stems from the nettle tops using gloves and scissors, wash well and add them to the pan. Make up stock cube with 1 1/2 pints of boiling water (or better still use home-made stock). Boil fairly rapidly for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. Liquidise and return to the pan to keep hot, season with pepper and salt, pour into a large serving bowl and stir in the cream. Serve with croutons made in butter.

Quantities for other nettle soup recipes include:

4 cups nettles rinsed with boiling water and chopped
2 litres rinsed leaves of stinging nettle
1/2 carrier bag full of nettles, tops or young leaves
5 oz young nettles, washed and chopped
300ml/10fl.oz.finely chopped Young Nettles
1 pt Nettle tops
8 large handfuls of young nettle tops
6 oz. of washed and chopped fresh young nettles
3 - 6 handful of young nettle leaves
1 quart boiled young stinging nettle greens
100 g
2pts of nettle leafs (sic)
2 lbs fresh nettle shoots
2 cups Nettle Leaves

Stephen B's Pumpkin Soup

Mireille Johnston, she say:

140g finely chopped shallots
70g unsalted butter
225g diced bread toasted
freshly ground black pepper
170g grated cheese (Gruyere, Permesan or Romano)
1 2.75Kg pumpkin
1.1l single cream
freshly grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves

Cook shallots in 40g butter over low heat for 10 mins. Add bread and cook for 2 more mins. Sprinkle with s&p and add the cheese. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 200/400/GM6.

Cut top off pumpkin, reserve lid. remove seeds with a long-handled spoon. sprinkle salt over inside and outside of pumpkin. fill with mixture of shallots, bread and cheese. stir in cream, s&p, nutmeg and bay leaves. replace lid on pumpkin.

Bake for 2 hours on large ovenproof dish. twice during cooking lift top, stir vigorously, reaching into pumpkin with long handled spoon.

When ready to serve, place pumpkin over folded napkin on a shallow serving plate. check seasoning, stir carefully, add remaining butter and serve.

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