Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 2 – Soup – Nigel meets three of Britain’s best home cooks to discover well-loved soup recipes that have come from around the world.
He meets Miles, whose mum brought her recipe for spicy fish tea with her when she moved to Trowbridge from Jamaica in the 1960s, and Sumiko, for a lesson in the art of Japanese miso soup. Finally, he heads to 87-year-old Regina’s kitchen in Leeds to find out how she makes the Jewish classic chicken soup, joining her family for a Friday night Shabbat dinner.
As a thank you, Nigel brings them all together around a soup inspired by them all.
Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 2 – Soup
Pea soup with pancetta
Nigel Slater makes his simple pea soup recipe next-level with crisp, fried pancetta. So simple, but classy enough to serve as a dinner party starter.
- Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan until it is simmering. Add the peas and simmer for 2 minutes, or until just tender. Stir in the tarragon and salt.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend for a few short blasts to a rough-textured soup. Return the soup to the saucepan and keep warm over a low heat.
- Using a pair of tongs, heat each slice of pancetta over the gas flame of your hob for a few seconds until it crisps up. (Alternatively, preheat your grill to its highest setting, lay the slices of pancetta onto a baking tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp.)
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Break the crisp pancetta into pieces and sprinkle on top of the soup.
Beef cheek and butternut broth in sourdough
This hearty, filling soup requires very little washing up – just eat the bowl when you’ve finished!
- Pour the boiling water into a large bowl and add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside to infuse for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the beef cheek on all sides for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a large lidded casserole.
- Add the onions to the frying pan and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened and just golden-brown. Transfer to the casserole. Repeat the process with the butternut squash.
- Pour the porcini liquid and the mushrooms into the casserole and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Half-cover the casserole with the lid, then simmer gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally and topping up with boiling water if the volume of liquid reduces significantly.
- After 3 hours, tip the orzo into the casserole and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, slice the top off the sourdough loaf and hollow out the inside.
- Ladle the broth into the empty sourdough loaf, sprinkling over the chopped parsley to garnish.
Comforting chicken noodle soup
This comforting chicken noodle broth is the perfect antidote to Christmas excess. Serve alongside dumplings or matzo balls – or both!
Sumiko’s miso soup
This light and healthy Japanese soup is the real deal, made with homemade dashi for added authenticity.
Nigel Slater’s gazpacho
This simple, refreshing, chilled Spanish soup is perfect on a hot day. Crumbled boiled egg makes a tasty garnish.
- Blend most of the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and shallots to a rough purée in a food processor, reserving a couple of chunks of each vegetable for the garnish.
- Add the garlic, soaked bread, olive oil and sherry vinegar to the food processor and blend again until smooth, or to a more textured consistency if desired.
- Transfer the soup to a jug, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes, or until cold.
- Cut the reserved vegetables into small cubes. When ready to serve, pour the gazpacho into bowls and garnish with the vegetables.
Miles’ fish tea
This hot and tasty Jamaican fish soup is speedy, spicy, easy to make and full of flavour.