Six of the best winter soup and sauces from Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:28 24 October 2015
In the cold months, when you need something warming and a bit spicy, here are six of the best soup and sauce suggestions...
Whenever my kids ask me what it was like when I was a boy — and, frankly, that’s once in a blue moon because they’re not terribly interested— I tell them that things were much better back then, writes Tony Greenway. There was no t’internet, texting, Facebook, TOWIE and Simon Cowell. Except, actually, when I stop to think about it, things weren’t that great when I was in short trousers. For starters we had the three-day week, power cuts, flared trousers, Love They Neighbour and Val Doonican; but the worst thing was the soup. It was terrible. Plus the flavours were so limited. There was chicken, mushroom, chicken and mushroom, vegetable, tomato, minestrone and — if you were lucky, and mum was feeling adventurous — she’d buy a tin of mulligatawny. And, er, that was pretty much it.
Today, there are myriad flavours of soup, and — if you seek out the right ones — you’ll find that they are fresh, local, inventive and fabulous. Apart from some excellent soup-makers there are also wonderful sauce producers in our county.
Juliette Brown Forden knows her soups. She was a runner-up on Masterchef back in the day when Loyd Grossman was in charge. Her cauliflower and white stilton soup was once reviewed by the late, lamented Alan Coren. He said: ‘This soup has legs as it dances on your tongue’, which was a nice comment, remembers Juliette. Using Yorkshire ingredients where possible, Hayloft makes a range of excellent soups, including Flat Cap and Blue (Yorkshire mushroom with Yorkshire blue cheese) and the award-winning and best-selling Sag Aloo and Rice (spinach and potato curry). How best-selling is it? ‘Well, at one point,’ Juliette tells me, ‘we thought we could just be the Sag Aloo and Rice Food Company.’
Belinda Williams, the woman who co-founded Yorkshire Provender, is the author of the Delicious Soups cookbook and recently launched her roast chicken soup with traditional vegetables (while her cauliflower cheese soup with ham and Fountains Gold cheddar also sells a storm). And why? Because a recent survey for Yorkshire Provender found that the full Sunday roast is back as Britain’s favourite meal. And this is it in soup form really. Delicious.
The Good Soup Company
The Good Soup Company is, actually, the Dobson family, who have been growing veg on their farm in West Yorkshire’s rhubarb triangle for two centuries. The flavours they produce are traditional but never boring: creamy mushroom with parsley and garlic, for example, or spicy parsnip with carrot and ginger. My favourite is probably the Yorkshire ham hock with minted peas, but please feel free to choose your own..
Chilli Devil Sauces
This Hull producer of mighty fine chilli sauces can be found at a variety of farmers’ markets (the website has a full listing of when and where) and local stockists. Made by hand, the sauces come in mild, medium, hot and extra hot.
Gursharon and Amrik Rauth from Leeds produce an exceptional cook-in curry sauce (in mild, medium and hot) which, in November, won a prestigious Quality Food and Drink Award at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel. Made with fresh chillies, garlic, root ginger, onions and tomatoes, plus a blend of spices, it’s easy-peasy to make an authentic Indian meal without having all the bother of popping out to the takeaway. Found at farmshops, food festivals and farmers’ markets — plus you can order online.
A family-run Sheffield-based firm — producing conserves, chutneys, mustard and marmalade — who also do a mean sauce range. Yes there’s Catherine’s Choice tomato ketchup and brown sauce (and very nice they are too) — but don’t forget the sweet pepper relish and hot sweet chilli sauce. Apart from anything else, the chilli sauce looks as gorgeous as it tastes.