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Pub/hotel soup

  • #1
    Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,240 mod Mystery Egg


    Anyone here worked as a chef in a pub or hotel?

    The crappiest pub or hotel always seems to deliver a delicious cream of mixed vegetable soup that is wonderfully savoury.

    My cream of veg homemade soups always seem to be sweet, or if I try to counter the sweetness with green veg, kind of bitter.

    Can anyone share a recipe to replicate the kind of soup I'm looking for? You might just change my life!


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Comments



  • I worked in a pub and it was how we used up left over mash and veg so there was no exact recipe but the following would be typical:

    In a large pot add:

    Left over spuds/mash
    Left over veg (typically carrots, I think I discovered green veg wasn't good)
    A raw onion
    A raw leek
    Chicken Boulion
    Enough water to cover well

    Cook the bejaysus out of it, blend - add water if needed and adjust seasoning to taste (using more boullion)




  • Cork Boy wrote: »
    I worked in a pub and it was how we used up left over mash and veg so there was no exact recipe but the following would be typical:

    In a large pot add:

    Left over spuds/mash
    Left over veg (typically carrots, I think I discovered green veg wasn't good)
    A raw onion
    A raw leek
    Chicken Boulion
    Enough water to cover well

    Cook the bejaysus out of it, blend - add water if needed and adjust seasoning to taste (using more boullion)

    No butter/cream?




  • No butter/cream?

    There would've been some butter and milk in the mash (it was always mash) but I don't know if it was enough to make a difference.

    Edit: We'd put a dob of whipped cream into the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup on top. You get the nice marbling and the soup keeps for longer.




  • YES! It's the eternal question. It tastes so good, and those little bread rolls are the stuff dreams are made of.

    My husband worked in hotels donkeys years ago and I think he said there is a LOT of potato in the soup, so it's closer to potato soup than vegetable.




  • Jaysus, I'd have never ever thought of putting mash into soup!

    Nicest veg soup I've made involves onion, celery, cauliflower, carrot and broccoli all sweated in butter, then simmered in beef stock (adds most flavour for my taste, knorr stock pots are the business) seasoned and blitzed, cream added when heating to serve.

    I rarely use potato (a throwback to my low carbing days), but cauliflower does as good a job of thickening.


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  • Yes all the veg left over from the day before, when I worked in hotels we also added some soup mix powder to thicken it, usually a plain one without bits, asparagus was a big favourite, practically no taste but nice and white and creamy :)




  • Lots of potato makes a soup seem really creamy, and I often find that adding a leek makes soup taste much more like one you'd get in a pub or hotel.




  • I went down a bit of a soup rabbithole a decade or so ago and found that potato, leek, carrots and a lot of salt and pepper did the job well enough, particularly for copying the Mother Hubbards soup. There'd be less left over veg in a place that mostly shifts frys and burgers but obviously in a hotel its leftover central - essential to keep the kitchen profitable to cut waste to the minimum

    Never figured out how to get the rolls right, suspect they're microwaved before service to provide the steaming interior! Generic McCambridges style bread and an obscene amount of butter works as an alternative.




  • I find celery gives the soup a more hotelly flavour too. Can't stand it in normal food but i keep a bag of chopped frozen celery for throwing into soup




  • I wonder if veg left over from customers plates is ever re used. Wouldnt be a bit surprised which is why I always prefer homemade. I must add carrots to the leeks and potatoes next time. Would an oxo cube do the trick, although this is unhealthy with Palm fat? It's so cheap to make homemade soup. I use a blender but this is inclined aerate the soup if too aggressively blended.


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  • Have to say I love pub / hotel veg soup. Nice crusty roll, lots of butter on it and a nice dose of pepper- preferably the powdered pepper and not any of that fancy pepper corn ****e from one of those twisty mills. Put a pint of plain beside it and I'm a happy man. Jaysus I've an awful hankering for that just now :(




  • Yyhhuuu wrote:
    I wonder if veg left over from customers plates is ever re used. Wouldnt be a bit surprised which is why I always prefer homemade.


    Absolutely not. Food left over from customer plates gets scraped straight into a large food waste bin.




  • Absolutely not. Food left over from customer plates gets scraped straight into a large food waste bin.

    Yes in your restaurant kitchen however, I'm quite sure unused food from customers plates is reused. In fact I was told by chefs I know that it was done but dont know how common it is. The same chefs told me they would not eat in lot of restaurants due to poor standards. Just look at reports on the Food Safety Authority website some of which is frightening, rodent activity etc. Remember that video of Rat popping up out of sliced pan in the deli of the Service station. There is/ was apparently a shortage of qualified chefs ( pre covid) and many in restaurants had limited or no training.




  • Ah let's not focus on food safety horror stories.

    Thanks for all the ideas. I never have leftover veg normally because we're savages.

    I'm going to try onion, lots of potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, all sweated in butter and boiled in stock. I had a look for powdered asparagus soup to add but no sign of it. Salt, white pepper, cream to serve. We'll see how close I get.




  • Yyhhuuu wrote:
    Yes in your restaurant kitchen however, I'm quite sure unused food from customers plates is reused. In fact I was told by chefs I know that it was done but dont know how common it is. The same chefs told me they would not eat in lot of restaurants due to poor standards. Just look at reports on the Food Safety Authority website some of which is frightening, rodent activity etc. Remember that video of Rat popping up out of sliced pan in the deli of the Service station. There is/ was apparently a shortage of qualified chefs ( pre covid) and many in restaurants had limited or no training.


    I've genuinely never heard of it. I've actually no idea how you would even manage it. It can be time consuming enough separating the rubbish from the food, nevermind dividing out the food too. It wouldn't be cost effective at all to try and salvage any usable vegetables, not to mention it would take far too long to get enough to make any sort of impact on restaurant quantities of soup.
    Maybe the inspector up here was just extra vigilant but they did show up for a spot inspection often enough that keeping poor standards would be difficult, and as far as I know, it's still the same inspector.
    I worked with some very experienced staff when I did work in restaurants, and I would have no problem going into somewhere to eat.
    I should point out that I have a weird thing about unclean food practices where I often don't eat at a house I've never been at before, until I can establish how they do their dishes. I've gone hungry before, rather than eat. Heck, I've even gone hungry in my own house because someone didn't clean off the plates before putting them in the dishwasher and turning it on. It's a very real problem (part of a much bigger one), but I'd still have no problem eating in a restaurant, unless it's grubby from the get go.




  • Ah let's not focus on food safety horror stories.

    Thanks for all the ideas. I never have leftover veg normally because we're savages.

    I'm going to try onion, lots of potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, all sweated in butter and boiled in stock. I had a look for powdered asparagus soup to add but no sign of it. Salt, white pepper, cream to serve. We'll see how close I get.

    The quality of the stock is what gives it depth of flavour.

    I've tried chichen, veg and beef stock pots (haven't used cubes in years), and beef is definitely my favourite (kinda defeats the purpose of veg soup though if you're after "actual" veg soup!)




  • I've genuinely never heard of it. I've actually no idea how you would even manage it. It can be time consuming enough separating the rubbish from the food, nevermind dividing out the food too. It wouldn't be cost effective at all to try and salvage any usable vegetables, not to mention it would take far too long to get enough to make any sort of impact on restaurant quantities of soup.
    Maybe the inspector up here was just extra vigilant but they did show up for a spot inspection often enough that keeping poor standards would be difficult, and as far as I know, it's still the same inspector.
    I worked with some very experienced staff when I did work in restaurants, and I would have no problem going into somewhere to eat.
    I should point out that I have a weird thing about unclean food practices where I often don't eat at a house I've never been at before, until I can establish how they do their dishes. I've gone hungry before, rather than eat. Heck, I've even gone hungry in my own house because someone didn't clean off the plates before putting them in the dishwasher and turning it on. It's a very real problem (part of a much bigger one), but I'd still have no problem eating in a restaurant, unless it's grubby from the get go.

    :eek:




  • You would seldom see asparagus soup in packets in supermarket, think it was more of a catering thing, if you want a packet leek soup would be similar, we used to sieve the leek soup powder to get the leeks out and use the powder in fish soup :) This was years ago now just to clarify, these days you would be getting more specific mixes if using, things a bit more basic back then!

    I never saw veg from plates being used but definitely the veg that is served out in separate little bowls to tables, some of them come back practically untouched, awful waste to throw it away and sure after it's boiled up for ages again, waste not want not!




  • Ah let's not focus on food safety horror stories.

    Thanks for all the ideas. I never have leftover veg normally because we're savages.

    I'm going to try onion, lots of potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, all sweated in butter and boiled in stock. I had a look for powdered asparagus soup to add but no sign of it. Salt, white pepper, cream to serve. We'll see how close I get.

    Please report back! I think my error with vegetable soup has been using roughly equal ratios of veg when I should have gone heavy on spuds.




  • This isnt quite the same but I tried this recently as I just found any time i made soup it was just mushed veg and no flavour. It makes a nice soup.

    Roast onion potato carrots celery parsnip etc in the oven when making a roast chicken. Small bit of oil.

    Make up a roux (less than 10g flour) mix it up with full fat milk, throw in one of those Knorr jel stock pots and some boiling water, throw in the roast veg and season well. (You need more salt than you think)
    Add juices from the roast chicken . Blend and add some of the roast chicken.


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  • Cork Boy wrote: »
    I worked in a pub and it was how we used up left over mash and veg so there was no exact recipe but the following would be typical:

    In a large pot add:

    Left over spuds/mash
    Left over veg (typically carrots, I think I discovered green veg wasn't good)
    A raw onion
    A raw leek
    Chicken Boulion
    Enough water to cover well

    Cook the bejaysus out of it, blend - add water if needed and adjust seasoning to taste (using more boullion)

    Please tell me it's not the leftover mash and veg off customer's plates!




  • Cork Boy wrote: »
    I worked in a pub and it was how we used up left over mash and veg so there was no exact recipe but the following would be typical:

    In a large pot add:

    Left over spuds/mash
    Left over veg (typically carrots, I think I discovered green veg wasn't good)
    A raw onion
    A raw leek
    Chicken Boulion
    Enough water to cover well

    Cook the bejaysus out of it, blend - add water if needed and adjust seasoning to taste (using more boullion)
    That’s why soup of the day is ALWAYS “cream of vegetable” what does “cream of” anything even mean anyway?




  • Faith wrote: »
    Please report back! I think my error with vegetable soup has been using roughly equal ratios of veg when I should have gone heavy on spuds.

    Yes, please report back. I always suspect hotel soup is finished with dollops of cream, butter and salt hence why it tastes so superior.

    I use carrots in my vegetable soup, usually the pre-chopped kind, however they never seem to cook as quickly as the other veg and I'm left with bits of carrot that the processor cannot blend. Any suggestions?




  • I got a very similar hotel soup taste recently with the SuperValu soup mix bag and a few florets of frozen broccoli. I add a tin of cannellini beans and boil for ages, then blitz and add cream. I add a bit more stock than I think I need (2.5l for 2 bags of veg)




  • Yes, please report back. I always suspect hotel soup is finished with dollops of cream, butter and salt hence why it tastes so superior.

    I use carrots in my vegetable soup, usually the pre-chopped kind, however they never seem to cook as quickly as the other veg and I'm left with bits of carrot that the processor cannot blend. Any suggestions?

    I add the veg at intervals depending on how long it takes to soften.... if I'm adding broccoli it only needs about 2 or 3 mins or it goes to mush. So try giving your carrots 5 minutes longer than the other veg.

    Is it possible there's something added to pre-chopped carrots that would affect their cooking time (like pre-grated cheese has flour or something added to stop it sticking). Fresh carrots are awfully cheap and very easy to chop......




  • Yis are all mad. I don't think I've ever had a hotel/pub veg soup that wasn't over-salted mush.

    The rolls are generally par-baked Cuisine de France style bouchons, btw. Lidl and Aldi used to do a bag of similar ones that you finish in the oven, worth checking if they still do for anyone trying to recreate the experience.




  • eastie17 wrote: »
    That’s why soup of the day is ALWAYS “cream of vegetable” what does “cream of” anything even mean anyway?

    That's just telling you the type of soup, creamy, probably lightish in colour, mainly blended as opposed to a broth type or full of chunky vegetables.




  • phormium wrote: »
    That's just telling you the type of soup, creamy, probably lightish in colour, mainly blended as opposed to a broth type or full of chunky vegetables.
    Thanks, we’ll look at that who would have thought I’d learn something on boards today :)




  • Place I know of would sell a lot of Turkey and Ham so would boil up the Turkey carcasses to make the stock for their soup. Delicious.


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  • Turkey stock is the nicest of all! By Christmas Day night I have turkey carcasses in the slow cookers bubbling away.


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