Z is for Zucchini NoodleSoup

A gluten free soup option to end our alphabet.


zucchini noodle


1tbsp olive oil

100g red onion – chopped

80g red pepper – chopped

120g red potatoes chopped

1l low sodium vegetable stock

2 cups zucchini noodles

2 garlic cloves – minced


Parsley – to garnish


  1. In a large pot over high heat, add olive oil. When the pan and the oil are hot, turn the heat down to medium and add the red onions, red peppers and potatoes.
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add broth and bring it to a boil. Add zucchini noodles, cover and simmer the zucchini for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Taste and add any extra seasonings, if necessary. Serve topped with fresh parsley.

N.B only put in  zucchini noodles at the end and not at the same time as the potatoes or they will go mushy and disintegrate.


Y is for Yellow Split Pea Soup with Frankfurters

Here’s a variation on the classic yellow split pea soup.

Yellow split pea


1 onion

1 carrot

1 clove garlic

1 stick of celery

2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoon ground mace (can be substituted with nutmeg)

500 grams yellow split peas

1½ litres chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

2 bay leaves

approx. 8 frankfurter sausages


  1. Peel the onion, carrot and garlic and cut the onion and carrot into rough chunks. Put them all, along with the roughly cut up stick of celery into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz till all are finely chopped.
  2. Spoon the oil into a heavy-based wide saucepan and put on medium heat.
  3. When warm, add the chopped vegetables from the processor and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
  4. Add the ground mace – this may be a small amount but it’s crucial to the taste – give a good stir and then add the split peas and stir again till they’re glossily mixed with the oil-slicked, cooked-down vegetables. Pour over 1.25 litres / 5 cups stock and add the bay leaves, then bring to the boil. Cover, turn down the heat and cook for about an hour until everything is tender and sludgy, adding more stock as needed. Sometimes the peas seem to thicken too much before they actually cook and need to be watered down. Taste for seasoning once everything’s ready.
  5. You can add the frankfurters as you wish. It’s probably easiest just to cut them into slices – I tend to add them in chunks of about 3cm / 1 inch each – and throw them into the soup to warm, but I just put them into the microwave (40 seconds on high is about right for one or two franks; fiddle about with times when there are more), then slice them hot and add them to each person’s bowl as they come. Not an elegant soup, I’ll admit, but a near-perfect one.




X is for Xavier Soup

This recipe is from the book Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf.

It is made to celebrate the life  of St Francis Xavier and is traditionally eaten on the 3rd December although it can be eaten at any time.

xavier soup.jpg



1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

pinch of nutmeg

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon parsley – chopped (for dough)

12 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoon chervil (or tarragon) –  chopped

2 tablespoon parsley – chopped (for soup)


  1. Over low heat work the flour, cream, butter and Parmesan cheese to a solid dough. Work in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and egg yolks and parsley.
  2. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a big nozzle and pipe pea-sized balls onto a buttered tray. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime heat some salted water until it boils, then drop in all the “dough peas”. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and add to the warm chicken stock.
  4. Season soup to taste and add the chervil and 2 tablespoons parsley.


W is for Watercress Soup

This is Gordon Ramsay’s quick recipe for watercress soup. He serves it with a poached egg. If you don’t fancy an egg you could always top it of with a little drop of crème fraiche.

I enjoy having this with some oatcakes and the new range from Orkney’s finest oatcake producers, Stockans, is there beremeal oatcakes – Mmmmmm delicious!

If you would like to see Gordon cooking the recipe it can be viewed here



Olive oil

1 packet of watercress

1 large potato – finely sliced

1 free range egg


Boiling water to cover

2-3 knobs of butter


  1. Heat olive oil and add watercress. Place the sliced potatoes on top and season
  2. Add enough water to cover the vegetables then add the knobs of butter.
  3. Blitz in a blender
  4. To prepare the egg
  5. Whisk water in a saucepan so it is going round
  6. Add the egg so it spins in the motion of the water and wraps itself into a ball.
  7. When lifting out put into cold water to stop it cooking firm.
  8. Serve in a bowl with the egg placed in first and then pour the soup around.



V is for Vegetable Soup

veg soup


4 medium carrots –  peeled and cubed

1 medium potato –  peeled and cubed.

1 large onion – finely diced.

1 leek ( white part and some of the green) – washed and diced.

1 celery stick – washed and diced.

2 garlic cloves –  peeled and crushed.

2.5cm fresh root ginger – peeled and finely diced.

1 red chili –  deseeded and finly diced.

1 vegetable stock cube.

250ml warm water.

Oil or butter for sweating off.


4-6 fresh parsly leaves

2 slices of bread.


  1. In a large saucepan, sweat off the onion for 3-4 minutes without colour. Add the potato, celery and garlic and cook for another 4 minutes.
  2. Add the leek, ginger and the chili, cook off for 2-3 minutes before adding the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a light boil.
  3. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile with the bread, cut the sides off and cube (1cm cubes). Heat a frying pan with oil or butter for a minute, add the bread and stir constantly making sure each side gets a even  golden brown colour. Leave to one side to cool.
  5. When the soup has had 20 minutes it is ready to eat. Serve with parsley and some croutons. If desired you can use a food processor to puree the soup prior to adding the croutons.


U is for Uzbek Beef Noodle Soup

This recipe is from leelalicious.com from a wonderful lady called Regina. It is with her permission that I have been allowed to share her recipe and her amazing photo.

Personally I feel that I could not do justice to her description of how she was able to recreate this recipe which her mother use to make so please have a look at her website for the full story, here Continue reading

T is for Tomato and Basil Soup

This is possibly my favourite recipe. I grow my own tomatoes so enjoy making pasta sauces and soup from them as well as salad dishes. If I never had any tomatoes then here in Orkney the best place to get them (in my opinion) would be Birsay Bay Tearoom. Their tomatoes are amazing!

Obviously you can use tinned tomatoes but this goes against my #notfromatin approach. Continue reading

Q is for Quahog Soup

A quahog is a clam which is native to some parts of America. In Britain we would call this clam chowder but unfortunately for me this doesn’t fit with my alphabet so a bit of creativity was needed.

If you are interested in quahogs and their history, I mean not just the Family Guy series, then click here to read about the many uses of Quahogs throughout the ages.


Continue reading

Rhubarb and Raspberry Chilled Soup



1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 vanilla bean (seed and pod)
3 cups chopped, fresh rhubarb
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups red raspberries
vanilla ice cream, optional
fresh raspberries, optional


1.Combine the sugar, vanilla bean, rhubarb and water in a large pan.

2.Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often to avoid sticking and burning until the sugar is well dissolved. Then reduce heat and simmer, (stirring often), for about 5 – 10 minutes until rhubarb is tender.

3.Remove from heat, and add the raspberries and the 2 tbsp. sugar (or add sugar amount “to taste” – you may want to add less, or no sugar at all at this step, depending on the sweetness of the mixture).

4.Allow soup to cool for about 30 minutes.

5.Gently mash the fruit with the backside of a large spoon.

6.Strain the soup mixture through a coarse sieve or colander into a large bowl, and discard the solids.

7.Chill soup for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

8.Garnish each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries.