Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soup on the Menu

Recently, I headed to my neighborhood grocery store here in London searching for some cream of mushroom soup for a recipe. Not sure if I would find it here locally, I was pleased that I did. My quick search was very enlightening, because I discovered that London has a grand assortment of flavors, excuse me--"flavours" of soups that I had never considered.

The vegetable combinations were a bit different than we have in the US.

I don't think the US ever-so-popular Campbell's brand is making a Cream of Parsnip,

nor a Scotch Broth, which is a barley, split pea, and vegetable medley.

Actually Root Vegetable and Butternut Squash sounds pretty yummy.

Would Carrot and Coriander be your first choice?

How about Courgette (zucchini) and Gruyere, Broccoli and Stilton (a popular cheese here in the UK) or Cullen Skink? What is Cullen Skink, you might ask? Researched it for you--it's a haddock, onion and potato broth named for the town of Cullen in NE Scotland where it originated.

You might like a hot bowl of Mulligatawny, which literally means "pepper water," and has an Anglo-Indian origin. It's a curry flavored soup with vegetables, rice, sour cream and often chicken. 

I think I'm passing on the Slow Cooked Oxtail, and the Highland Game. The Oxtail soup would include oxtails, of course, red wine and vegetables. I went straight to the Baxter Soup Company website for their scoop on the Highland Game soup and here's their take on it: The intense flavour of the Highland Estate venison is complimented by the rich and deep flavours of hare, woodpigeon, pheasant and game stock, all enriched with a generous splash of sherry. 

 Any takers?

Baxters also makes their version of Cock-a-Leekie soup. This soup actually dates from the 16th century and sounds intriguing: chicken, leeks and prunes. Fancy a bowl full?

And I have to hand it to the Heinz company here for their take on convenience. Squeeze and Stir soup--all you add is your own boiling water!
See, that's what makes life in London so interesting--an education even when you head to the grocery store. So which one do you think you'd like to dish up for your dinner?

Full disclosure here: if you go to Waitrose, my grocery store, think twice before photographing the soups--it makes them very nervous!


  1. My choice, Debi would be to try the Heinz/
    Mulligatawny with Chicken!

    An interesting blog however; why do you think it makes the grocery store "nervous" to see you photographing?? Just curious...

    Hugs, Lou

    1. Lou,
      I really think they imagine I am snooping for a competitor and recording their prices. They actually asked me to stop taking photos. It wasn't worth the trouble to try and explain what I was really doing..... Mulligatawny sounds tasty to me too.

  2. Precious!
    They get nervous when I take photos at the piggly wiggley too (there she goes blockin' again)

  3. Such a fun post, Debi! I agree about the Oxtail and Game soups. I loved Waitrose's soups – especially the Thai Coconut Chicken. But I never tried to photograph them. :) We enjoyed shopping most at Marks and Spencer for all the different and interesting prepared foods, but Waitrose was nearest our cottage. So we went there regularly. So many different types of milk and cream. David calls it WeightRose. :)

  4. Great post, Debi! And thanks for explaining all the different kinds of soups. I am frequently inspired to take photos in the supermarkets here, but I try to do it when no one is looking so people won't think I'm crazy. (I'm sure they do, anyway!)

  5. I love this post! I'm always amazed at some of the things I find at the grocery store. We're finally settled in London!

    1. Why don't we try to meet sometime? Have you considered joining the American Women's Club? A great way to meet friends and stay busy.

  6. Such interesting choices!! I'd like to try most of them!! Not sure about the "mulligatawny" or the "cock-a-leekee"...hmmmm!

  7. Aww! I have actually been to Cullen. And I have eaten Cullen Skink, although I think that it was homemade rather than from a can. I wasn't very impressed though. I am not a big fan of fish and the soup I had was pretty fishy.

  8. HOW FASCINATING! Prunes in a soup? Hmmmm....not sure. But the very differences in how we all perceive food combinations is WONDERFUL! Hello there dear; thank you so much for your visit today!! Anita

  9. I just love shopping in French supermarkets, and now I think I would love shopping in British ones, too!! I grew up on Scotch Broth soup, but had totally forgotten it until just now!! Good show!!!

  10. Great Post honey. I found this very interesting.
    Not sure though which one I would want to try but I do know the ones I would not. lol
    Laughed about not taking pictures. Most places do hate for us bloggers to dig out the ole camera. If they blogged they would understand. Right?
    You ask if I have been to the Livestock Show and Rodeo recently. No it has been at least five years which is hard to believe since I use to go there a lot. My best time ever was when Elvis performed there. lol
    Have a great week and keep your camera out of that store. haha

  11. What a great post! Who would have thought of writing about soup!!! Great job on the writing and the pictures you shared!!! LOL I'll never think of soup the same way again~ God's blessings on you in London! ♥♥♥