Food | Not just a pretty plate – Soup, Soup, Soup

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Soup is definitely a student staple for us, and for so many good reasons. It’s healthy, cheap, freezes well, warms you up, and makes a really easy on-the-go lunch if you invest in a thermos. We have two of our favourite soup recipes for you – the first is a tried-and-tested family recipe courtesy of Catie’s Mum. This hearty and filling Scotch Broth is packed with beans, peas and barley, and has been sustaining the family through harsh northern winters for decades! The second is Zoe’s favourite Mary Berry Winter Vegetable Soup. We used chopped tomatoes when we couldn’t get our hands on any passata – it is totally delicious either way, with the tomato element adding a fresh, lightness that is very spring-appropriate despite being called a ‘Winter Vegetable Soup’. We recommend you try them both – they really are souper (sorry).

Kirsteen’s Chunky Scotch Broth

IMG_0424For 6-8 servings you will need…

1 small swede

2 sticks of celery

1 large leek

4 or 5 carrots

1 bay leaf

Chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup of pearl barley

1 cup each dried butter beans and dried marrowfat peas OR 3 tins of assorted beans if you can’t find dried (I like to use 2 butter bean and 1 cannelini)

Salt and pepper

You will need to…

– If using dried beans and peas, these will need to be soaked in cold water overnight.

– Chop all your root veg into smallish chunks depending on how chunky you like your soup. Slice the leek.

– Sauté all the veg in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for about ten minutes until softened.

– Add enough stock and boiling water to cover the veg. Pop in your bay leaf, barley and beans (drain and rinse them beforehand if using tinned) and stir to combine.

– Bring your soup to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Put the lid on and leave to cook on a low heat on the hob or in the oven for about an hour and a half or until all the beans, barley, and veg are soft.

– Once cooked, season your soup well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or, if stored in the fridge in an airtight container it should keep for about a week.

Mary Berry’s Winter Vegetable Soup

For 6-8 servings you will need…

50g butter

2 small red onions

2 leeks, finely chopped

3 sticks celery, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tablespoons flour

500g passata or chopped tomatoes

2 large potatoes

400g tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons tomato puree

2 pints / 1.1 litres Chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper


You will need to…

–  Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, leeks, celery and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened.

– Whisk the flour with the passata or chopped tomatoes in a bowl until well blended and smooth.

– Add the potatoes, tomatoes, sugar and tomato puree to the pan. Stir in the passata and the chicken stock and allow it to thicken.

– Bring to the boil and season. Cover and turn down the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

– Check the seasoning and serve hot sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and a swirl of cream if you fancy.

If you liked this you can find more of our recipes on our blog, Not Just A Pretty Plate. Don’t forget to check out our Instagram page too whilst you’re there!

For something sweet, check out the Not just a pretty plate recipe for Flapjacks

Zoe Warde-Aldam and Catie Collins

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