This recipe takes me back to my childhood, it’s my mums homemade vegetable soup. She tended to make it in autumn/winter and I remember coming home from school starving, walking through the door and smelling the delicious smell of this soup wafting through the house. I would prowl around the kitchen like a caged tiger waiting for the moment she’d leave the room so I could sneakily dip a spoon in and have some.
From upstairs I would hear her voice telling me to stop poking in the saucepan as it wasn’t ready yet. No matter how quietly I lifted that lid, it was as though she had it alarmed, she always knew.
Our eldest daughter loves her veg and she also loves soup for lunch, so I make quite a few different soups and freeze batches of them. This one would be her favourite, so I’ll share it with you too.
I make my own stock for this, but you could use shop bought stock to save you time.
For the stock
3-4 large on the bone chicken portions.
3 pints water
1 onion quartered
a couple of bay leaves
Handful of peppercorns
Put everything in a large pan and bring to the boil, turn down and simmer gently for a couple of hours. Remove the chicken, onion, bay and peppercorns and leave the stock to cool. Skim off any fat
4 – 5 Large Carrots
Bunch of soup celery – that’s what we call it in Northern Ireland. I believe in England it may be called red celery. It’s not ordinary celery, it is a much thinner version, a little like really fat stemmed flat leaf parsley - I found this picture of what you are looking for
3 cups of dried soup mix, the one with barley, split peas and lentils
Bunch of parsley
Peel and Dice your carrots
Thinly slice your leeks
Chop the soup celery
Chop the parsley
Bring your stock to the boil and add the carrots, leeks and soup celery. Let it boil for about 5 mins, then add the dried soup mix, boil for a further 5 mins. Turn down the heat, add half the parsley and leave it on a low simmer for a couple of hours to let the flavours really come out. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. Add the remainder of the parsley.
You can eat this straight away or freeze it for future use. I make such a huge pan of this we tend to eat some that day and freeze the rest.
This is a very simple, old fashioned soup, but it honestly is delicious, it’s a real comfort soup, especially on a wet, cold autumn or winter day.
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