Monday, 27 October 2014

All Day Scottish Breakfast Soup Recipe

Sausage, bacon, black pudding and more Scottish breakfast soup with poached egg

Sausage, bacon, egg, black pudding and mushrooms are integral parts of the full Scottish breakfast (or indeed any British fried breakfast) but it's probably not often that we find them collectively incorporated in a soup. It is for this reason that I should perhaps offer a bit of an explanation.

This idea came about one day last week when I had a conversation with a family friend about a delicious black pudding and mushroom soup he had tasted recently in a hotel in the Lake District. His wife had a go at making it when they returned home with what he assures me were delicious results. Me being me, however, I immediately started thinking about how I could adapt the concept further and (hopefully!) take it to new levels of deliciousness. What follows are the results of my experiment and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Simple vegetable stock ingredients


1 large carrot
1 medium white onion (1/2 for stock and 1/2 for soup)
4 ounces mixed sliced bell peppers
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
5 pints cold water

1 large baking potato, peeled and roughly chopped
8 medium closed cup mushrooms
4 slices black pudding
20 Wee Willie Winkie or other small cocktail sausages
4 slices Ayrshire middle bacon or 6 rashers of back bacon (do not use streaky bacon/standard American bacon - far too fatty and greasy)*
Vegetable oil for frying
1 egg per person
White wine vinegar
Freshly chopped parsley to garmish

*If American/streaky bacon is the only kind you have access to, instead of incorporating the bacon in the soup, try frying until ultra crisp, chop and use as an additional garnish.

Preparing simple vegetable stock


Wash, top and tail the carrot. Roughly chop and add to your soup pot with half the peeled onion, the bell pepper slices and the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and pour in the cold water. Bring to a very gentle simmer for one hour. Turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly for a minimum half hour.

Straining vegetable stock

You could simply strain the stock through a sieve but I like to line the sieve with two or three sheets of kitchen paper. This catches the small grains of pepper and any other smaller items that may have broken off and gives you a much purer and clearer stock.

Vegetable stock

Rinse out the pot and return to it the sieved stock. Add the chopped potato and the sliced remaining half onion. Bring to a simmer for ten minutes.

Potato and onion added to vegetable stock

The mushrooms should be wiped clean and the heads and stalks separated (both are used in the soup). Be sure to remove any remaining plastic rind from the black pudding slices before breaking each in to four or five pieces.

Black pudding and mushrooms

Add the mushrooms and black pudding to the soup. Stir well and bring back to a simmer for ten further minutes.

Black pudding and mushrooms added to soup

I always like to let hot liquids cool considerably before blending. While this is happening, you can use some of the time to attend to the sausages and bacon.

Ayrshire middle bacon and Wee\Willie Winkie cocktail sausages

The sausages and bacon can be fried in batches, as they are to be left to cool anyway. This means you need use (and subsequently have to wash) only one frying pan.

Frying Wee\Willie Winkie sausages
Pour a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in to your pan and fry the Wee Willie Winkie sausages for about seven or eight minutes over a medium heat until done, turning frequently.

Wee\Willie\Winkie Sausages are drained on kitchen paper

Lift the cooked sausages to a plate covered with kitchen paper and add the first two slices of bacon to the pan to fry for a couple of minutes on each side.

Frying Ayrshire middle bacon

Set the first two slices of bacon on some kitchen paper to drain and get the remaining two on to fry.

Ayrshire middle bacon is drained on kitchen paper

You will need to blend your soup in two or three batches. Remember never to overfill the container. Blend until smooth.

All day Scottish breakfast soup base ready for blending

As you blend each batch of the soup, you can either have a bowl handy like this or simply pour it straight back in to the pot.

Blended black pudding and mushroom soup recipe

Cut all the fat off the bacon and discard. Moderately finely chop. I then cut each of the mini sausages in to three equal sized pieces.

Ayrshire middle bacon and Wee Willie Winkie sausages chopped for soup

Add the sausages and bacon to the soup in the pot and bring to a simmer. The soup is then ready to serve.

Ayrshire middle bacon and mini sausages added to soup

If you don't like the idea of an egg in your soup, you can serve it immediately, garnished with a little fresh parsley.

Basic Scottish all day breakfast soup

If - like me - however, you think no full breakfast can be complete without an egg, you may want to add a poached one to the bowl with your soup. While a fried egg would of course be more common on a traditional breakfast plate, I'm not too sure how well it would work in a soup (maybe I'll give it a try sometime and let you know).

Egg ready for poaching

Get a deep pot of water on to reach a strong simmer, adding a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Break the egg carefully in to a small bowl or ramekin.

Poaching egg

When the water reaches a simmer, turn off the heat. Use a large spoon to stir at first slowly and then more rapidly until a strong whirlpool is formed. Carefully and gently, tip the egg from the ramekin in to the vortex of the whirlpool. Allow to cook for three minutes.

Poached egg is laid in bowl of all day Scottish breakfast soup

Use a large slotted spoon to lift the egg from the poaching water. Allow it to drain briefly before carefully laying in to the centre of a plate of soup. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Chopped parsley garnishes all day Scottish breakfast soup with poached egg

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