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Butternut Squash Soup (serves 1)

Butternut squash¼ large one or ½ small one
Garlic½ clove
Vegetable stock150ml / 1/3 pt

Peel and chop the squash. Chop the onion and garlic. Sauté the onion and squash in a pan with a little oil for 3 minutes. Add the garlic. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Squeeze in the orange. Put into a blender. Garnish with parsley.

Cullen Skink (serves 4)

Smoked haddock undyed2
potatoes600g / 1.25lb
Full fat milk450ml / 1pt
Unsalted butter25g / 1oz
White pepper 

Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel and finely chop the potatoes. Put the haddock in a large pan with 300ml ( ¾ pt) water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Remove the fish and flake into large chunks. Add the onions and potatoes to the pan with plenty of white pepper. The water should cover the vegetables. If not, add some milk. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes. Then add the milk and butter and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 3 minutes. Season to serve.

French Onion Soup with Gruyere Crouton (serves 6)

onions450 g / 1lb
Beef/chicken stock900ml / 2pt
Plain flourPinch
Red wineSplash
Vegetable oilSplash
Olive oil1 teaspoon
Butter112g / 4oz
Brandy/cognac2 tablespoons
French mustard2 tablespoons
baguette4 slices
Olive oilDrizzle
gruyere225g / 8oz

Thinly slice the onions. Crush 2 cloves and then crush the third but keep separate. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a pan. When hot add the onion and two-thirds of the garlic and mustard. Cook for 6 minutes until dark. Reduce heat and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Stir well, scraping the pan. Add the red wine. Add the stock nd mix. When soaked up, cook for another 10-15 minutes. Add brandy before serving.

For the croutons – lace the slices of baguette with the remainder of the garlic and the olive oil and bake one side till its crusty. Add the grated gruyere to that side and glaze. Pop a crouton on top of each bowl of soup.

Minestrone Soup (per person)

Dried spaghetti30g / 1oz
Celery1 inch stalk
Garlic1 clove
Cabbage30g / 1oz
Flat leaf parsley1 sprig
Small carrot¼
Small onion¼
Stock112ml / ¼ pt
Tomato puree1 teaspoon
butter60g / 2oz
Bacon1 slice

Chop the potato, celery, onion, and tomato. Shred the cabbage. Heat the butter in a pan. Add all the vegetables and puree, except the garlic, add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Wrap the spaghetti strands in a tea towel and break into small pieces. Add the spaghetti and simmer for 5 minutes. Fine chop the bacon, parsley and garlic to paste and drop into soup to cook.

Mushroom Soup (Serves 1)

mushrooms4 oz
Onions1 oz
Garlic¼ pint
Chicken stock¼ pint
Butter½ oz
Thyme1 sprig

Chop mushrooms, onion and garlic and pick thyme leaves. Add butter to pan then sweat onions and garlic adding mushrooms and thyme, then cover with stock. Boil then simmer to cook. Blend soup and serve.

Pea and Ham Soup  (serves 4)

split peas200g
Celery Stalks2
Bouquet garni *1
Vegetable Stock3 pints
Ham hocks1
Salt and white pepper 

*(For the bouquet garni place 2 cloves garlic, a sprig of thyme, 2 bay leaves, 8 sprigs parsley and 1 all spice berry into muslin and tie into a parcel)

Wash, peel and chop the vegetables. Wash the ham hock. Wash the peas and pick through. Place all ingredients in a pot, season with salt and pepper and simmer until tender- skimming as required. Remove the ham, bouquet garni and puree the soup in the liquidizer. Return to the pot, taste and season and adjust the consistency if required.

Potato and Watercress Soup (serves 1)

Watercress60g / 3oz
Vegetable stock1/2pt

Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

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