Recipes: Warm yourself with soups, broths and breads from Rachel Allen’s new book

A humble bowl of soup is always a comfort, whether nursing a cold or a broken heart. Rachel Allen, a food writer and teacher at Ballymaloe Cookery School, shares her gratifying recipes


Recipes: Warm yourself with soups, broths and breads from Rachel Allen's new book

Cauliflower, Cashew and Coriander Soup

Serves 6

This smooth and creamy golden bowl of goodness gets its silky texture from cashew nuts and its soothing anti-inflammatory qualities from the yellow turmeric. Serve on its own, or with toasted cashews scattered over the top.

  • * 1 cauliflower head
  • * 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • * 1 large onion, chopped
  • * 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • * 100g cashews
  • * 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • * ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • * A few good pinches salt
  • * 1.1L vegetable or chicken stock
  • * 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • * 4 tbsp chopped coriander (leaves and fine stalks)

To serve: 20g cashews

Pumpkin, Cheese and Rosemary Scones

Makes 9

Deliciously savoury and gorgeously light in texture, these scones are great served with a hearty bowl of soup. You can use any squash instead of pumpkin and, if you fancy, add lardons of crispy bacon or diced chorizo to the mix.

  • * 175g peeled and deseeded pumpkin (weight when peeled and deseeded)
  • * 1 tbsp olive oil
  • * 200g plain flour
  • * 1½ tsp baking powder
  • * Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • * 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • * ½ tsp salt
  • * 50g finely grated cheese (Cheddar or a hard cheese such as Parmesan)
  • * 1 egg
  • * 100ml milk, plus 1 tbsp extra for brushing over the top

Roasted Parsnip, Garlic and Haricot Bean Soup with Sage

Serves 6

This is a supremely smooth and silky soup, topped with deliciously crisp fried sage leaves. The garlic cloves, when roasted in their skins, deliver a sweet but rounded depth of flavour that I adore. This is the perfect soup for a cold and blustery day.

  • * 3 medium or 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • * 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • * 6 very large, whole unpeeled garlic cloves
  • * 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • * Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • * 1 x 400g tin haricot beans
  • * 1L vegetable or chicken stock
  • * 1 tbsp chopped sage

To serve:

  • * 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • * Handful sage leaves

NB: If using dried beans, use 125g haricot or cannellini beans. Soak in water for at least 5 hours, then drain, cover with water and boil for 30-40 minutes, until tender.

Soup Broth Bread’ by Rachel Allen (Penguin Michael Joseph, £22)

Photographs: Getty Images (main photo) and Maja Smend (recipe photos)