Chilled garden herb soup

Chilled garden herb soup

By
From
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This soup has been appearing on my menus for years in various guises. You need to be careful with the herbs though, as more pungent varieties are likely to be too overpowering. Parsley, chervil and chives can be used in abundance, but herbs like lovage, coriander and tarragon should be added in moderation.

Finish the soup with goat’s curd or a milder goat’s cheese or crème fraîche, or serve it just as it is.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
a good handful parsley, washed
a good handful chervil, washed
a good handful basil, washed
1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil
1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, trimmed, roughly chopped and washed
1 tablespoon plain flour
1.5 litres vegetable stock
salt
freshly ground black pepper
10g chives
mint leaves

To finish (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
herbs, finely chopped, such as chervil, chives and parsley
goat's curd
or soft goat's cheese
or creme fraiche

Method

  1. Break off the thicker stalks from the parsley, chervil and basil and set aside; keep the leaves separate.
  2. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan and add the fennel, onion and leek. Cover and cook gently for 4–5 minutes until soft, stirring every so often. Add the flour and stir well, then gradually stir in the vegetable stock. Season to taste.
  3. Bring to the boil, add the herb stalks and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the herbs, including the chives and mint leaves. Simmer for 2 minutes, no longer.
  4. Purée the soup in a blender until smooth, then pass through a medium sieve (rather than a fine one, to let the herb bits through) into a bowl.
  5. Set the bowl over another larger bowl of iced water to cool the soup down as quickly as possible (this helps to preserve its green colour). Re-season if necessary.
  6. Serve the soup straight from the fridge. If you like, top with a dollop of goat’s curd, goat’s cheese or crème fraîche and a sprinkling of chopped herbs.
Tags:
Hix Oyster & Chop House
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