My fellow blogger recently bought me ‘Roast Chicken and Other Stories’ by Simon Hopkinson. Voted the ‘most useful cookbook of all time’ by somebody or other, it’s a superb book which is not only packed with inspirational recipes, but also makes excellent bedtime reading. It doesn’t have any photographs (usually a prerequisite for any cookbook), but it doesn’t seem to matter as Simon Hopkinson’s writing is so descriptive. I am going to pretend I bought it when it was first published in 1994 and snort with derision at anyone who doesn’t own a first edition. This parsley soup is the first recipe I’ve tried.

Parsley soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Serves: 2


  • butter – 75g
  • 2 leeks – white parts – sliced
  • 2 large bunches of parsley – dividing the stalks from the leaves.
  • 1 large potato – chopped
  • vegetable stock – 750 ml
  • s & p
  • double cream – 150 ml

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the chopped leeks and the parsley stalks and sweat uncovered for 20 minutes.

Add the potato and stock and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

Parsley soup

Add half of the parsley leaves (roughly chopped) and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile plunge the remaining parsley in vigorously boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and immediately cool under a cold running tap. Squeeze out as much water as you can using a tea towel.

Remove the soup from the heat, add the squeezed parsley and liquidise.

Force the soup through a fine sieve into another saucepan, return to the heat, add the cream and season to taste.

Verdict: A subtle luxurious soup. The technique of heating and cooling the parsley ensures that it retains its colour and produces a wonderful vivid green soup.

Drink: A midweek bottle of red.

Entertainment: Revisiting ‘The Wire’, series 1, episodes 4 and 5. ‘D’ tries to teach his troops to play chess “Now she’s the Queen, but she ain’t no bitch” and McNulty and Bunk conduct an investigation using only the word ‘fuck’. Best viewing ever.


  1. You two must be feeling sick as sobakas with your unfashionable fresh ingredients and creative photography when all the hip cats are tipping mince out of tins and stamping frozen slabs of mash all over their pies. Could this be the end of yumblog??

  2. Hi Teenzzz, I’ve read between your lines and have cleverly deduced you are referring to Delia Smith’s latest TV show and bestselling book, ‘How to Cook at Cheating’. Have you seen the taste test in todays Guardian? I love the way the Wild mushroom risotto costings includes the £62 cab fare to and from the Isle of Dogs Asda.

    The end of yumblog? Nope. We’ll keep it going up until the end of the world – which as you know will be in about 4 years time.



  3. Hi there

    Well, clever you lot for just reading about it in The Guardian as your latest delish dish filled the atmosphere with freshly perked parsley while other poor sods sat through the Queen of Charisma opening tins and freeing pre-chopped veg from its hermetically sealed habitat. She had even changed her cooking environment from her formerly huge bright kitchen with great sweeping vistas of coiffed garden behind (which is one reason I used to sit through this in the past) to what seemed like a nasty kitchenette with terrible lighting. Not being able to get fresh ingredients is just nonsense. But what was simply silly (and I paraphrase from some journo somewhere) was that it attempted to be a cooking programme for people who aren’t interested in cooking. It’s got nothing to do with sticking up one’s nose at her attempts to teach the nation to cook cheaply. What tosh to say that to be cheap it needs to come from a tin. I bet your parsley soup didn’t set you back a Minsky bread van.

    Anyway, let’s at last willingly do something Soviet when it comes to cooking and declare Delia a non-person.

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