Monday, 23 November 2009

Broth for a rainy day

I once made this soup for my grandmother when she was poorly, devoted grandson that I am. A couple of hours later a fax arrived with a handwritten note from Grannie.

Dear Jammy,

Thank you for the soup. It cheered me up. Just a few criticisms:

The bits of cabbage and bacon are rather large and difficult to eat, and so as a soup it requires a knife, fork, and spoon to eat it. Perhaps next time you could chop the bits up a little smaller.

Your grandfather says it was too salty.


Now there's gratitude. I'm sure Grannie was right, yet part of this soup's charm is its very ruggedness - it's big and brutish and slurpy and utterly warming; ideal for this bout of miserable weather. It is also very much a blank canvas of a soup. You could tinker around with it until the cows come home, adding fennel seed and sausage, pasta and Parmesan - even some mushrooms. It's a t'riffic fridge slut. This is just how I happened to do it today.

(PS here is a 'music for making soup' spotify playlist)

Bacon and Cabbage Broth

Serves 6

150g smoked lardons, or 8 rashers of streaky smoked bacon sliced
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
2 large spuds, cut into large dice
150g cherry tomatoes
a savoy cabbage, sliced
1 sprig rosemary
parsley stalks
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 litres chicken stock
Oil, salt, pepper

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and fry the bacon until crispy. Add the onion, garlic and spuds, along with the herbs. Season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes, cabbage, and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Serve as you like.


  1. Liking the sound of this soup. Seems to contain a whole slew of ingredients Im fond of. Will be making this for lunch very soon - and the added bonus of a playlist to listen to as I make it. genius!

  2. Oh that's just priceless, make Grannie some soup and she goes all A.A. Gill on you. Gratitude indeed!

  3. A recipe to lift our rain-sodden spirits: how perfect!

    LOL at Grannie's fax; relish and delight in 'a blank canvas of a soup'. ( :