Bowl them over: Skye Gyngell counts down the top of the broths with her pick of seasonal soups

If you're bored of turkey leftovers but don't have the energy to cook anything complicated, Skye Gyngell has just the answer...

Sometimes, simplicity is everything. If soup is hearty enough, for example, no other course is needed. These soups are bold, filling, and just the thing for a midwinter supper. Accompany with good, crusty, warm bread.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627, www.petershamnurseries.com

Salt cod and potato soup

At the restaurant we cure our own cod. Simply fillet and skin the fish, season with a tablespoon of sea salt per kilo, lay on a trivet and leave for 48 hours. Then bathe in cool water for two hours; the water needs to be changed twice. And there you have a delicate fillet that's ready to use. If you buy it from a Portuguese or Spanish delicatessen, it will have been salted over a much longer period of time, and needs to be soaked overnight before it is ready to use.

Serves six

1kg/2lb potatoes
1kg/2lb well-rinsed salt cod
1 pint of milk
4 sprigs of lemon thyme
1 bay leaf
20 little plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
A second pint of whole milk
3 tbsp double cream
Plenty of freshly ground pepper

Peel and slice the potatoes into chunks, put in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and cook until tender enough to just pierce with a fork. Drain and set aside. Pat-dry the cod and put in a saucepan as a whole piece. Cover with the milk, add the thyme and bay and place over a low heat for five minutes, or until the fish is no longer translucent. Drain and discard the milk. When the fish is cool enough to handle, flake into chunks – this is easiest done using your fingers – and return to a clean pan. Add the whole tomatoes, garlic, potatoes and second pint of milk and place over a low heat for five minutes, then add the cream and plenty of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning; if it is a little too salty, add a drop or two of lemon juice, and serve in warm bowls.

Squash and sage soup

This is a lovely, thick soup with sweet and musty undertones.

Serves four

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
3 bay leaves
1 small bunch of sage, leaves only
1 dried red chilli
1 butternut or onion squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper
1 jar of good-quality Italian plum tomatoes
2 slices of peasant-style white bread
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Place a large pan over a medium heat and pour in the oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion, bay and sage. Crumble in the chilli and sweat for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. It may be necessary to turn the heat down slowly so the onions do not brown. Add the chopped squash and garlic and cook for a further 10 minutes. Season well with salt then add the tomatoes and one cup of water (230ml/ 71/2fl oz). Put the lid on and cook until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Tear the bread into the soup and turn off the heat. Allow the soup to sit for 10 minutes then return the heat to low. Once the soup is warm, taste and add more salt if needed and a little black pepper. Divide into warm soup plates and drizzle with the oil. It is very nice with a little Parmesan grated on top just before serving.

Spinach soup with nutmeg and crème fraîche

This is a thick green tangle of a soup that is deliciously comforting to eat.

Serves four

300g/10oz young, tender spinach
25g/1oz unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (230ml/71/2fl oz) of chicken stock or water
100ml/31/2fl oz crème fraîche
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Wash the spinach well. Put a large pan on top of a gentle heat and add the butter. As the butter begins to melt, add the shallot, garlic and a little salt and sweat for five minutes or until translucent. Add the spinach and cook until it just wilts, then add the stock and cook for a further minute. Remove from the pan and purée the spinach in a blender until velvety smooth. Return to the pan and stir in the crème fraîche, add the nutmeg and taste for seasoning. Don't add too much salt, but plenty of black pepper is good. Serve warm – do not boil, as the spinach will lose its vibrancy – with warm bread and butter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world