No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes - The Roundup

No Croutons Required was rather special this month. I teamed up with my good buddy Dom from Belleau Kitchen and so No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes was born and what a beautiful baby it is.

31 Glorious soup recipes to warm up with this winter!

Look out for the winning entry at the end. The winner gets a lovely badge for their blog to proclaim their excellence in both challenges.

1. Pea & Pesto Soup (Zuppa di Piselli e Pesto)
Recipe randomly selected from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson.
Cooked by Manu from Cooking Manu

Our first entry is a recipe from good old Nigella. A quick soup that sounds like it is packed with flavour. Manu was lucky enough to be given a signed copy of Nigella Express for her birthday. Pea and pesto sounds like a great combination to me.

Milan, Italy

2. Spiced Parsnip Soup
Recipe randomly selected from The New Soup Bible.
Cooked by Nikki from Food Glorious Food.

Nikki chose The New Soup Bible for her random soup. This was the book she cooked from and posted about in her very first blog entry over a year ago. Nikki was hoping for an autumnal soup and the god of food bloggers looked down happily on her and granted her wish or heck, it may just actually have been random. Parsnips and spices, mmmmmmmm!

Wigan, North West England, UK

3. Roast Onion Soup with Thai Spices
Recipe randomly selected from Real Cooking by Nigel Slater.
Cooked by Lou from Please Do Not Feed The Animals.

Lou used a random number generator to randomly select her cookbook for this challenge and then her soup and it looks like it hit on a winner. Nigel calls it "Sweet, sour, hot and creamy. A soup to invigorate" and Lou totally agrees. Onions, garlic, chillies, coconut milk and lime. Yum!

Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK

4. Spiced Citrus Bean Soup
Recipe randomly selected from the BBC Good Food Website.
Cooked by Gary from Exploits of a Food Nut.

The lovely thing about teaming up with Dom is I have meet some lovely new bloggers and discovered their websites, which is always a joy. Gary is one of the bloggers who entered this month that I had never met before. Gary didn't have much luck on looking through his cookbooks, so he turned to a soup search on the BBC Good Food Website and unfortunately the random generator selected soup number 78. Oh dear! One, two, three, four, five......and some time later number 78. Not quite the soup that poor old Gary was hoping for, but he is a good lad and stuck with it and in his words it being "blooming lovely". More spice than citrus.

NE Linconshire, England, UK

5. Lentil and Pasta Soup
Recipe randomly selected from The Soup Bible.
Cooked by Ruth from Makey-Cakey.

We will gloss over the cheating and the shocking standing on a cookbook, not by Ruth I am pleased to add and we will move onto the soup itself, which looks stunningly gorgeous. This is how I love a soup, all stewy with lots of chunks and texture. There is a place for smooth and creamy soups and I do like them too, but there is something rather special about a soup like this. Oh and Ruth got her brother to make the soup. Lucky lady. Send him round to me sometime please Ruth, a Monday night, when I am really tired would be especially appreciated!

6. Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
More cheating a recipe randomly selected from Elana's Pantry.
Cooked by Victoria over at 21st Century Urban Housewife

Victoria's soup is the perfect blend of seasonal flavours. Onion, butternut squash, apples and spiced with cinnamon. It might be a simple soup with few ingredients, but you can just imagine how the flavours sing. Just what you are looking for at this time of year.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

7. Duffer Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Jamie's Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver.
Cooked by Little Macaroon.

Duffer sounds like a word Jamie might use, but in this case it is what Little Macaroon decided to rename this soup. It was originally called Spring Vegetable and Bean Soup, but Little Macaroon wasn't excited by it. Celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, beans and garlic. She did quite enjoy it in the end, but she was hoping for something a bit more exciting when she randomly selected a recipe. I think it sounds rather good.


8. Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup
Recipe randomly selected from How to Cook Italian by Giuliano Hazan.
Cooked by Emma from A Splash of Vanilla.

The first thing I have to say about this entry is ..... what a stunning photo. Isn't it gorgeous? That is what food photography is all about. I hope someday I can take photos half as good as that. Anyway, back to the soup. Emma tells us a little about the soup. It "is a Tuscan ‘poor man’s soup’ made with a few simple, healthy, fresh ingredients. Historically, this recipe was a way to use up stale bread so it didn’t go to waste". It looks lush to me. I think I am going to have to email Emma for the recipe.

Brisbane, Australia

9. Roasted Tomato Soup with Spicy Croutons
Recipe randomly selected from The Ultimate Cooking Course & Kitchen Encyclopedia.
Cooked by Michelle from Food Football & A Baby.

Michelle made me laugh out loud at her love and yet embarassment too for this cookery title. She acknowledges what a good book it is, but will quickly hide it out of sight if she has visitors. So funny! Michelle is as keen on Tomato soup as I am. Let's face it, you just can't beat it in the comfort stakes and Michelle teamed it with spicy croutons for a bit of crunch. *nom nom*

Edmonton, Canada

10. Moro Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Moro East by Sam Clark.
Cooked by Lucy The Kitchen Maid.

Lucy simplified this soup by using store cupboard ingredients. She used tinned beans instead of soaking her own beans and using tinned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes that lacked flavour. I would do exactly the same. The soup was originally called 'Hassan's celery and white bean soup with tomato and caraway' and is chockablock with cannellini beans, celery, spring onions, garlic, tomatoes, celery salt & caraway seeds. It is a soup I know I will love, but I have to admit I was even more excited by the recipe for celery salt.

New Zealand

11. White Bean, Tomato & Sage Soup
Recipe randomly selected from the New Covent Garden Company Book of Soups.
Cooked by Dom from Belleau Kitchen.

Well this roundup just wouldn't be the same without my buddy and partner in crime Dom. So he is up next with a cheeky little number from The New Covent Garden Soup Company. Dom isn't as excited as I am about tomato soup but he went with it and was suitably impressed with the result. I think what we can all take away from this challenge, is to not underestimate even the simplest soup recipe. They can turn out to be rather spectacular. This tomato soup is given a lift with beans and sage. I will refrain from making any gagging noises or derogatory comments about the butter beans. Don't ask! No not even you Dom!

Lincolnshire, England, UK

12. Spiced Root Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Good Food 101 - Soups & Sides.
Cooked by Jean from Baking in Franglais.

Jean dubbed this soup "absolutely scrumptious" and I am happy to go with that. It's a real winter veg soup. Leeks, carrots, potatoes and parsnips, but pimped like our mothers never would, well at least not my mother (even though her vegetable soup is delish). The added oomph comes from mustard and cumin seeds & curry paste, then served with fresh coriander and yoghurt and not forgetting the gorgeous fresh-out-of-the-oven bread that Jean served with it. Happy days!

Derbyshire, England, UK

13. Roasted Pepper Soup with Garlic Toasts
Recipe randomly selected from The Soup Bible.
Cooked by Susan from The Spice Garden.

Susan was lucky enough to pick up this popular cookbook when her local Borders shut down. A sad day for all of us I think, but a happy purchase. Roast peppers are always lovely. Such a wonderful smoky sweetness and they make such a lush red soup. Susan added basil, lemon thyme and black pepper for a bit of a flavour boost.

Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, US

14. Brazilian Black Bean & Vegetable Stew
Recipe randomly selected from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein.
Cooked by Janet from Taste Space.

Janet has made us this stew style soup. It is a powerhouse of nutrients. It really has just about everything you could need to stay healthy, all in one bowl. Sweet potato, red pepper, green pepper, tomato, kale, black beans, garlic, cumin, thyme, orange zest and lime juice. How good does that sound? Never mind how good it looks. Oh my!

Toronto, Canada

15. Easy Tomato Soup
Recipe randomly selected from The New Vegetarian Cookbook by Rose Elliot.
Cooked by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen.

Janice has a few well used vegetarian cookbooks on her shelves. This soup came from the British Empress of vegetarian cooking, Rose Elliot. Janice, just decided to make whatever the first soup recipe was and so we have a simple, but delicious tomato soup. Now don't let Dominic put you off your love of this soup Janice. It's top!


16. Hot & Spicy Bloody Mary Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Home Cooking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale.
Cooked by Michael from Me, My Food and I.

Michael was eager to try out one of the new cookbooks he got for his birthday, so this challenge was the perfect opportunity and he chose Cooking Made Easy. Michael doesn't like Bloody Mary as a drink, but thinks it is great as a soup. He suggests leaving the Worcestershire Sauce out as it isn't veggie, so I can come forward with some good news. There is actually a few veggie versions available. There is this one, this one and this one to name but a few. I usually by mine from Tesco, in their organic range. Nice soup Michael!

Sunderland, England, UK

17. Fresh Ginger & Parsnip Soup
Recipe randomly selected from the 30-Minute Vegetarian by Johanna Farrow.
Cooked by me, Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes

I randomly, well second randomly, chose my recipe with the help of my hubby and friend Andrew. We had to disgard the butter bean recipe, so I didn't vomit and it was easy after that. We happily discovered a ginger and parsnip soup. Graham wasn't keen as he isn't overly fond of parsnips but he ate it anyway. I quite liked it, although I would say it did really need the spices to counteract the sweetness of the parsnips. I don't know if I would make it again, but I am glad I tried it.

Scotland, UK

18. Celeriac Soup
Recipe randomly selected from mum's folder of recipes.
Cooked by Mel from Sharky Oven Gloves.

Mel had difficulty finding a soup recipe to begin with as most of her cookbooks are more about baking than making soup. Then she hit the problem of finding a veggie soup. Eventually she turned to her mother's folder of recipes and bingo, she she found Celeriac Soup. Mel's mum had scribbled down the recipe whilst watching a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall cookery programme. Celeriac was new to Mel, but she had a bash anyway. Mel thought it could do with a bit extra flavour, so if you have any ideas then pop over to Sharky Oven Gloves for a chat. For me, well I think I should really give celeriac a go, instead of avoiding it.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

19. Feta, Almond & Fennel Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Classic Bull by Stephen Bull.
Cooked by Phil from As Strong As Soup.

Well, with a blog name like that, I was expecting great things and I wasn't disappointed. I hadn't heard of this cookbook before, but after Phil found such an interesting soup within it's pages, I have to admit I am now intrigued. What a lovely, if unusual combination of flavours. I could imagine them in a salad, but would never have thought to put them together in a soup. Maybe salads are the place to go for soup inspiration. I will have to try that. Phil says this soup is a light and refined starter for 4 or a very pleasing lunch dish for two and could be served hot or cold.

Cobham, Surrey, UK

20. Spicy Moroccan Squash Soup
Recipe randomly selected from The New Soup Bible.
Cooked by Debbie from Cooking up a Storm in A Teacup.

Debbie's imagination went off on a magical mystery tour when she found out what her randomly selected soup was to be. She says "I picked up The New Soup Bible and opened it randomly at page 168 to Moroccan Chicken Soup with Charmoula Butter and before you could say 'Sancho Panza' I was on a boat sailing from the port of Algeciras at the southern edge of Spain, to Ceuta in North Africa...". An exciting soup indeed, although Debbie did adapt it to make it veggie by substituting the chicken with butternut squash. A great swap in my mind. Such wonderful flavours. Butternut squash, garlic, harissa, tomatoes, chickpeas, coriander, saffron, lemon, paprika and breadcrumbs. Just fabulous!

Oxford, England, UK

21. Pumpkin Rice Laksa Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Jamie's Dinners by Jamie Oliver.
Cooked by Lyndsey from Vanilla Clouds & Lemon Drops

Poor Lyndsey was feeling really poorly with the cold when she made this soup. There was snow on the ground outside, so its seemed the perfect time to make soup and Lyndsey turned to her would-be friend and favourite chef Jamie Oliver. Unfortunately, as much as Lyndsey loves Jamie, she was disappointed with this soup. She does plan to make it again but will make a few changes. Less rice, more stock and less coconut milk. A good soup, but just not quite there. Well, that is the second disappointing recipe from Mr Oliver. I am beginning to think that soup isn't quite Jamie's forte. Maybe he should take a visit to No Croutons Required for inspiration! Oh and before I move on, I must say, another gorgeous photo.


22. Celery Soup
Recipe randomly selected from The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook.
Cooked by Karen from Lavender & Lovage.

Karen's husband selected the random soup for Karen with a spot of judicious peek over the shoulder from you know who. Karen was really pleased with the choice, so she decided she would make the Celery Soup. Karen posted some photos from the cookbook and it look like a lovely old fashioned book full of home comforts. It is a simple soup, that I think sounds divine. Celery & onion, flavoured with a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, marjoram and bay leaf, then finished with milk and a splash of cream. I am loving this one Karen and I am totally hankering after that bowl.


23. Tangy Red Lentil Dal with Goda Masala
Recipe randomly selected from Sukham Ayu - Cooking at Home with Ayurvedic Insights
Cooked by Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen

Here we have a soup from my other partner in crime Lisa. Lisa is having the month off to allow Dom and I to have fun with this challenge, but not one to rest on her laurels Lisa has been cooking like mad and sent us in this mouthwatering dal. Lisa is the spice queen, so you know this is going to be a tasty dish. Lisa made an usual spice lend for this soup called goda masala. It contains sesame seeds, dried coconut, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, fenugreek seeds, dried curry leaves, cumin seeds, kalonji seeds (optional), coriander seeds, red chillies, asafoetida powder
and turmeric. Wow, that sounds to fragrant and delicious and that is before we get to the rest of the soup. Red lentils, turmeric, tamarind pulp, cayenne, chillies, coconut milk and fresh coriander. I really think if Lisa wasn't the co-founder of this challenge, she would be in with a chance for the winner's badge.

London, Ontario, Canada

24. Green Pea Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Tarla Dalal.
Cooked by Rudra from Mom's Corner.

Rudra first made this beautiful green pea soup a long time ago and has kept making it over and over since then. It was origianlly one of those soups that are designed to use up leftover ingredients in the fridge, but became a family favourite. Simplicity itself. Green peas, onion, milk, pepper and salt. You can't get simpler than that.


25. African Peanut Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.
Cooked by Emily from Triumph Wellness.

Emily grew up in America on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but has found it is not such a phenomenon elsewhere in the world. She now lives in Israel with her husband, where there isn't such a joy for peanut butter and her Israeli husband was rather bemused by this soup. I think it sounds divine and is a slight twist on one of my butternut squash soup recipes. I do have another recipe that uses peanut butter and I confirm that is is a delicious addition to soup. Lovely soup Emily, oh and I am from Scotland and love peanut butter and jam sandwiches.


26. Leek & Potato Soup
Recipe randomly selected from A Celebration of Soup by Lindsey Bareham.
Cooked by Aveen from Baking Obsessively.

Aveen was in a bit of a mushrooms soup rut, so she was really pleased to take part in this challenge. She gathered her most soupy cookbooks together to make a random selection from and came up with this lovely winter soup of leek and potatoes, with lots of lovely black pepper and served with some homemade bread. This roundup would have been up sooner (sorry Dom), but I got distracted when Aveen said she got this book in a batch from The Book People. I got a great batch of books for Cooper from them at a shockingly low prise, so I had to go look and then I got a bit caught up. It is a great site. Thanks for the soup and the tip off Aveen.

Cotswolds, UK

27. Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic Crostini & Parmesan
Recipe randomly selected from The River Cafe Cookbook.
Cooked by Nazima from Working London Mummy.

Knorr sent Nazima a hamper of seasonal goodies, including knorr stock pot, so she decided to try one of the vegetable stock pots for this soup. Butternut squash, potatoes, onion, garlic, herbs and chilli all topped of with some crispy parmesan coated garlic crostini. Mmmmmmmmmm! Just wonderful!

London, England, UK

28. Bajan Gungo Pea, Squash & Coconut Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Lean Bean Cuisine by Jay Solomon.
Cooked by Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen.

Shaheen knocked this book of her bookshelf by accident while she was hoovering. Personally I think it was fate! Shaheen then shut her eyes and flicked through the book for her random recipe. She was really pleased with her soup as it uses gungo peas and she had three tins of these beans in her cupboard. They are also called pigeon peas. Shaheen produced such an elegant soup. Her is what she says about it "The soup was lovely and light, truly embracing the characteristic flavours of the Caribbean: coconut milk, thyme, hot peppers, and rum.". Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

West Coast of Scotland, UK

29. Mulligatawny Soup
Recipe randomly selected from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.
Cooked by Sweatha from Tasty Curry Leaf.

Sweatha's soup is a lovely spicy winter soup. Red onion, garlic, fresh ginger, turnips, carrots and potatoes spiced up with black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves then made creamy with coconut milk. Wow, these soups just keep getting better and better. I have to admit I have never had mullgatawny soup and this wasn't what I imagined it to be. I didn't think of it as a spicy soup. I am glad it is and now might give it a go. Thanks Sweatha.


30. Pea, Lettuce & Lovage Soup
Recipe randomly selected from The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Cooked by Gill from Tales of Pipling Bland.

Gill was a bit mystified by the lovage in this soup and I have to admit to ignorance too, apart from the fact it is a herb, so I will pass on her findings. "Lovage is a plant with edible salad leaves and a flavour and smell not identical but similar to celery but with a slight curry not". In the end Gill couldn't lay her hands on any fresh lovage, but she read that she could use celery leaves instead, so that is just what she did to come up with this tastily different soup.

London, England, UK

31. Get Better Soup
Recipe randomly selected from a google search for soup.
Cooked by Vikki from Cafe Fairy.

And so on to our last entry. This one comes from Cake Fairy aka Vikki. The poor girl is not well, but she is a trooper and still made some healthy soup to help her on her way. She is a girl who loves to bake, so finding soup in her cookbooks was a bit of a problem, so she turned to google and just picked the first recipe that popped up. Tomatoes, carrots, onion, leek, mushrooms, garlic, parsley, stock (change it to veg stock for the veggie soup, we will let Vikki off as she is poorly) and balsamic vinegat. I do hope it worked and you feel better Vikki.

London, England, UK

Well, that is the end of a bumper roundup. Dom and myself really appreciate that so many of you were inspired to join in and we were suitable impressed by the soups.

I suppose you will want to know who the winner is now?

Well there are actually two winners. We were particularly liked both of these soups.

Feta, Almond & Fennel Soup from Phil over at As Strong As Soup and the Bajan Gungo Pea, Squash & Coconut Soup from Shaheen over at Allotment 2 Kitchen.

Congratulations to you both. Your badges are winging their way to you as we speak.

You can check out Dom's roundup here.

I will be posting the next NCR challenge tomorrow night (we are going festive) and the first in my 12 Days of Christmas event, so watch out for that.


  1. fantastic round up!!! I don't really think I cheated...I mean..I randomly came across the recipe....xxxx

  2. That's ok Victoria, I just like to tease!

  3. FABULOUS round up and a GREAT selection of soups too.....thanks both of you!

  4. Thanks for all your hard work hosting this...we've got some great veggie soups to try out this winter...I can' wait.


  5. Glad you enjoyed it Karen :)

    I know, we have enough soups to last us all year, never mind all winter Deb :)

  6. Oh how lovely, just what we need on these cold blustery days and such yummy sounding soups they are too.

  7. What a fantastic selection of soups! I promise I'll play strictly by the rules next month ;o) and try to keep the general cook book abuse to a minimum.
    Thanks for introducing me to the NCR challenge!

  8. What gorgeous looking soups! It's difficult choosing which one to try first!

  9. Dom would have to try a lot harder than that to put me off anything Jac ;) Lots of lovely soup which we are going to need for the coming cold months.

  10. What a delicious lot of soups - I'm bookmarking some of them as I speak. Thanks for such kind words about my entry Jacqueline, you've quite made my day :):)

    Congratulations to both winners!

  11. what a great round up - made me wish I was part of the fun but random just isn't the way I plan my dinners and I haven't had the energy this month (where did Nov go?) to try it - but I do love the idea of being part of Random Recipes one of these days

  12. Just what we need Choclette, just looked at a 5 day weather forecast and the temperatures are definitely dipping.

    Thanks for entering Ruth :)

    I know Sumaiyyah, we are spoilt for choice :)

    Definitely Janice. I will be making a batch today. Just have to decide which one :)

    That is ok Emma, it was easy to say nice things about such a tasty looking soup and such a beautiful photograph.

    I know what you mean Johanna, the winter and all the dark is sapping all my energy. I feel tired constantly. Darn winter!

  13. Wow! Just reading where all the bloggers are in the world in this challenge is amazing in itself!
    I think you both chose the perfect winners.

  14. So many delicious soups! Great job.

  15. What a wonderful and completely unexpected surprise. You know me, I like participating in NCR, just for the fun of it and to win a badge for my blog - wonderful and one I will display with great pride. Thank you to YOU and to Dom. It was good to discover Random Recipes, and hopefully more participating from me in the future.

    I will make noises about this blog badge on my blog later in the week, but once again THANK YOU SO MUCH.

    Also congrats to Phil - interesting and unusual soup indeed.

  16. Thanks Louise, it would have been easy to pick even more winners :)

    Thanks Lisa, it was a bumper turn out this month. Your soup was delicious.

    Awww, I am glad you are so pleased Shaheen :)

  17. What fantastic photos!!!

    Was mine not up to scratch???

    I'm off to read the few I haven't seen already.

  18. Thanks for putting in all that effort - a really great roundup. So many good things to get me through the winter. Thanks for making me a winner - although it's really all down to the truly excellent Mr Bull.

  19. Thanks for including my African Peanut Soup and good to know Scots like PB& J too!

    So, 31 soups and about 31 weeks left of winter? That works out perfectly!


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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