Seven ways to soup up au­tumn days

As the nights draw in, noth­ing says com­fort food quite like a bowl of steam­ing broth, prefer­ably ac­com­pa­nied by freshly baked bread. Try th­ese hot recipes from our favourite cooks…

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - BODY MIND -

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

4 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 red onion, peeled, halved root to tip then finely sliced into half-moons 2 cel­ery stalks, finely sliced

10 basil leaves

1 litre warm chicken or veg­etable stock, or hot wa­ter

3 heaped tbsp tomato purée

1kg Swiss chard or spinach leaves (no stalks), roughly chopped

¼ tsp dried chilli flakes

6 small slices of thick crusty bread, toasted

1 gar­lic clove, peeled

6 eggs

METHOD

Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid over a low heat. Add the onion, cel­ery, basil and a splash of the warm stock or wa­ter, and cook for around 15 min­utes, un­til the onions and cel­ery be­come soft and translu­cent. Stir the tomato purée into the re­main­ing stock and pour into the pan.

Add the chopped chard or spinach, chilli flakes and a tea­spoon of salt. Stir through un­til the spinach wilts and the soup bub­bles. Re­duce the heat, loosely cover the pan and leave to cook for 30 to 40 min­utes un­til the soup is well com­bined. Taste and ad­just the sea­son­ing and chilli as nec­es­sary. Re­move from the heat.

La­dle a 1cm layer of soup into the bot­tom of a wide saucepan or casse­role. Rub the toast slices with the clove of gar­lic lightly on one side and lay them into the pan gar­lic side up. Spoon the re­main­ing soup over the bread and crack the eggs on top. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat un­til the eggs have just set.

Re­move from the heat and leave in a warm place for five to 10 min­utes so that the bread can ab­sorb the liq­uid from the soup.

Serve in warm bowls with an egg for ev­ery­one.

Recipe from Tus­cany by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant, £26) 100g al­monds, chopped Rye bread­crumbs (or other bread­crumbs)

1 bunch of wa­ter­cress

METHOD

Roughly chop the cauliflow­ers, po­ta­toes and onion, then put in a large saucepan with the gar­lic, but­ter and half of the oil.

Gen­tly heat un­til the veg­eta­bles start to siz­zle, then pour in the wa­ter and add the bay leaves and some salt and pep­per. Cover, bring to the boil, lower the heat and sim­mer for 10 to 15 min­utes.

Re­move the bay leaves, add the cream and blitz un­til smooth. Re­heat in the pan, adding more wa­ter if nec­es­sary to get the right con­sis­tency.

Melt the but­ter in a fry­ing pan and add the bread­crumbs, ca­pers and al­monds. Sprin­kle over the soup and top with wa­ter­cress to serve.

Recipe from Scan­di­na­vian Com­fort Food by Trine Hah­ne­mann (Quadrille, £25)

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