A souper duo!


Soup 008I don't know about you but at this time of year I love having soup for lunch, especially when it's homemade. The great thing about soup is that anyone can make it even if you don't believe yourself to be a good cook.

I mentioned Minestrone on twitter last week and was asked for my recipe so I promised to put it on here, and I also promised to post my Potato and Leek recipe for fellow Crystal Palace fan Denise. I try to keep all my promises so here goes:

Potato and Leek Soup


3 medium leeks,
1 large carrot,
1 large potato,
2 cloves garlic crushed,
1 litre of vegetable stock (made with 2 stock cubes),
1 tbsp olive oil,
A knob of butter or marg

Ingredients for Potato and Leek Soup Leeks cooking

How to make it

1. Top and tail the leeks and cut into 1 inch lengths. Place in large saucepan on a low heat with olive oil, marg, garlic and a little black pepper and sweat for 5 minutes.
2. Whilst the leeks are softening, peel and finely slice carrot then add to pan, then peel and dice potato. 3. Add the potato with the litre of veggie stock and bring to the boil.
4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then blend in a liquidiser.

Serves 4 people and will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Minestrone Soup


1 onion,
1 large carrot,
1 large potato,
1 clove garlic crushed,
4oz frozen chopped spinach,
4oz frozen peas,
1oz spaghetti broken into 2 inch pieces,
1 litre vegetable stock made with 1 stock cube,
2 tablespoons tomato purée,
1 tbsp olive oil,
A dozen fresh basil leaves

How to make it

1. Chop the onion and dice the carrot and place in a large saucepan, with the olive oil, on a low heat for 5 minutes.
2. Peel and dice the potato and add to the pan with the garlic and a little black pepper.
3. Make the vegetable stock using boiling water and stir in the tomato purée, then add to the saucepan. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add the frozen spinach, peas, spaghetti and torn basil leaves and bring back to the boil, then cover and simmer for a further 15 – 20 minutes.
5. Serve with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and a little piece of ciabatta.

I hope you will enjoy these recipes if you try them. On a different note, I mentioned on my blog a couple of weeks ago that I had misplaced my knitting needles. After Chris had searched the boxes stored in the garage, he eventually found my knitting bag which he proudly presented me with when I got home from work.

Slight problem, when I opened the bag there were lots of knitting needles just not the sizes I needed. Then I remembered I had used them to knit a baby hat for a friend of Sophie's so they had been in a bag in the spare room all the time… I was not very popular!

Anyway I have started knitting a little hooded jacket for Sam, my niece's baby, and I will keep you up to date with my progress. Must get ready for work now – I have Penhaligon's fragrance at 3 and my regular Fashion on Friday show at 5. Today we have James Lakeland – classy stuff. I have a great weekend ahead too with Elemis, Susan Graver and Sarah Chapman, including the February 'Beauty Pick of the Month'.

Hope you can join me over the next few days,
Much love, Julia xx


  1. Jess February 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Lovely to see you back. I know you have been on holiday but I have noticed you don’t seem to be on much these days. Have you cut down your hours now?
    Your nails are looking good…………….whats the secret? Mine are dreadful, nothing helps! I must have tried everything.
    Jess x

  2. Louise February 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

    I having a real soup phase at the moment probably because its so cold I make Leek and Potato quite regularly but I’m definitely going to give the minestrone a go – It’s been so long since I’ve had – I’m gluten free and its not something I’ve seen out there. think I’ll make it next week I’ve heard to snow is due back brrr xx I’m veggie too and I love you recipes your lasagne was a real hit xx Thanks xx

  3. Mrs Jean Pugh February 2, 2013 at 8:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Your soup recipes look good, I love homemade soup, you know what has gone in it, and there are no additives. I love Curried Parsnip and Apple soup, they do it at a lovely Restaurant we go to for Sunday Lunch some times, or an evening meal. Everything they serve is homemade, the soups, quiches, Chicken Ham and Leek Pie is something else. And the desserts, wow are they good. Even homemade Ice Cream.
    Were you pleased Chris found your knitting bag, are we going to see lots of your work which you have done in your spare time, ‘spare time what is that’. There is never any of that in our house.
    I have ordered the February Beauty Pick of the Month.
    Will be trying out your soup’s. especially the Potato and Leek.
    Have a great weekend.
    Love Jean X

  4. alana hughes February 2, 2013 at 9:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Your soup recipes sound good! I will definately be trying the leak and potato.
    Not long now until your book is out, hoping I can get my hands on a signed copy. :-)
    Looking forward to Elemis this weekend, finally just been paid after Christmas, so I may have to treat myself!
    Hope to see you on QVC more!

  5. Sue Wright February 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Thanks for the soup recipes especially the minestrone – I have been looking for an easy recipe for this for a while to use in my soup maker bought from qvc a couple of months ago. I have used it so much and find it a godsend when I come in from work.
    Glad you had a good break in Spain – we were in Florida at around the same time and had lovely weather 84f – I shared this with Jill Franks who was also in Florida the same week. I kept up with you on twitter!
    All this seems so long ago now but at least the snow has disappeared.
    Our teams seem to be on a downward spiral at the moment but fingers crossed for today (oh oh I hear we are both 1-0 down at half time). Fingers crossed for the 2nd half!!
    Take care
    Sue Wright

  6. janice reeves February 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, Always look forward to seeing you on qvc, hope you arenot thinking of leaving, as I have seen there are two new presenters, you are one of my favourites along with Kathy and Alison Keenan, and also look forward to your recipes and have always tried them, the Dorset Apple cake, pecan nut cookies and will try both of these soup recipes. Love from Janicexxx

  7. Helen macklin February 3, 2013 at 8:35 am -  Reply

    hi love the soups going to try those this week.
    also noticed how nice your nails are looking.
    Always love reading your blog
    Love helen

  8. Annette Roberts February 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Thank you for sharing your soup recipes on your blog. I will certainly be giving them a go, especially the minestrone, scrummy!
    Just watched your video about ‘One Hundred Lenths of the Pool’ and will be keeping an eye out for the item number and release date…hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to get a signed copy before they all run out, but with all the new customers joining every day, who knows?
    The WinterTrax haven’t turned up yet, but maybe when we have a skip here to have another megga sort out they will!
    Absolutely love the weekends TV…what about ‘Splash’ with Tom Daley…I was so pleased that ‘The Eagle’ has landed and WON!! All the ridicule he had whilst ski jumping for his country and he’s still the only one who has done so, isn’t he, so look who’s laughing now! Tom Daley is such a nice, well spoken young man and alot could be learnt from him.
    Tonight, DOI, Mr Selfridge and Ripper Street, can’t wait, but I always record Mr Selfridge on +1 and watch it whilst having my porridge in the morning. I know you like DOI, but what about the others?
    Annette x
    P.S. Jakie Kabler did extremely well on her first outing!

  9. Pauline Johnson February 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia thanks for soup recipes,can you do them in the CE soup maker,can’t wait for your book to come out.
    Love Pauline

  10. Joy Padley February 4, 2013 at 10:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Ooo so excited your book is on it’s way…..
    I hope one of the chapters is ‘Julia Bakes’.
    Really looking forward to reading it as I am sure all your blogettes are too.
    Do you have a recipe for Tomato Soup that you can share?
    Started back on Pilates with a fab teacher and we do work hard but at least you can breathe at the end and feel that you have worked every mucle well at least my tummy has. Booty like Beyonce well in my dreams, but fun trying.
    Love from Joy

  11. zoe February 5, 2013 at 11:21 am -  Reply

    Hello Julia,
    I also hope we see you more often on QVC soon, glad you are into your knitting again, I am big time a beginner at that.
    Thanks for the soup recipes, it is wonderful to make home made soup, i love it, and will try the recipes- other people here mention other recipes you have given and I was interested in those, is there still a link at all Julia? especially the lasangne one.
    Take care

  12. julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Jess
    It’s nice to feel wanted! We all do fewer hours these days, usually two or three hours on air per shift, as there are now more Presenters. I still do my four days a week but I have quite a lot of holiday I need to take before the end of March so it may seem like I am not on much.
    My nails were incredible until two weeks ago when I broke a couple so I filed them all down. I have been using Decleor nail oil (which we don’t yet sell on QVC), Decleor hand cream and OPI Nail Envy. I think oiling your nails at least once a day in the Winter is essential.
    Julia x

  13. julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Louise
    That’s a good point about the minestrone, you can put gluten free pasta in it if on a gluten free diet.
    I think it has been snowing in the north of England and in Scotland so maybe the rest of us are in for some more of the white stuff.
    Glad you liked the lasagne recipe, still a firm favourite with my family
    Julia x

  14. julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 11:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Alana
    I wonder if you treated yourself to any Elemis?? – or is that a silly question? Poor Keeley was really struggling with bronchitis, I thought she did really well to carry on.
    There will be five thousand signed copies of my book so that should be more than enough for everyone who wants one. Very excitingly I now have the item number, but I can’t give it out until the books are actually delivered into our warehouse in Liverpool which should be in a couple of weeks.
    There will also be a competition on here for the next four weeks to win a signed copy, so four chances ….. hope you are lucky.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    You certainly had much warmer weather in Florida than we had in Spain but it was just lovely to have a bit of a rest.
    I hadn’t thought of using the soup maker to do the minestrone so please let me know if it works.
    You may have spoken too soon about the snow – the north has got it again and it could be heading our way – Mum said you had loads in Nottingham last time.
    We went on to beat Charlton on Saturday – two cracking goals from Glen Murray which he needed as he had been on a bit off a barren spell – so I think we are only two points off automatic promotion. We are on TV on Friday against on form Watford so please cross your fingers for us. I hear Alex McCleish has just resigned over the George Boyd affair …. I hope you get a decent new manager. Who knows, one day it might be my son – remember the name, Daniel Maxwell :-)
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    I was really pleased Chris found my knitting bag as there are all my old patterns in it and it reminded me of the lovely knitted things I have made for myself and my family over the years.
    I know what you mean about spare time there hasn’t been much for me over the past year or so but I am going to try and change that if I can
    Hope you enjoy the leek and potato soup if you make it
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  17. Julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Janice
    No plans to leave QVC we just needed more Presenters for the extra channels, Beauty & Style, so that hours can be especially recorded rather than always being repeats of what has featured on the main channel.
    I make the choc and pecan nut cookies fairly often but I haven’t done the Dorset Apple Cake in a while – need to revisit that.
    Enjoy the soups if you make them
    Julia x

  18. Julia roberts February 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Helen
    Glad you enjoy my blog. Just saw the weather forecast and I think we are all going to need some warming soup over the next few days brrr.
    My nails were fab until I broke a couple so filed them all down. I have been using Decleor nail oil and hand cream and OPI Nail Envy.
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts February 6, 2013 at 12:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Don’t talk to me about sort outs, we really need to have another major one before we move next time – the garage is rammed with ‘stuff’!
    I heard from the publisher today that they have the first copies in their possession so I am hoping to get my hands on one tomorrow and then get one in the post to my mum. It has seemed like such a long time since I finished writing it but it is only seven months – very quick for a publisher apparently. I’m sure there will be plenty of signed copies for everyone who wants one.
    I saw Splash a couple of times – Tom Daley was very confident. I love DOI and Mr. Selfridge, haven’t watched Ripper street though.
    I missed Jackie on air but I saw her at work today and she said she had really enjoyed it
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts February 6, 2013 at 12:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    I haven’t tried the soups in the CE soup maker but I would imagine it would work – let me know. Not long to wait for the book now – I so hope you enjoy it
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts February 6, 2013 at 12:13 am -  Reply

    Hello Joy
    No ‘Julia Bakes’ chapter I’m afraid – maybe in the next book lol!!
    I do have a recipe for tomato soup, I’ll try and post it on my blog soon.
    Glad to hear you are back at Pilates – now that is in my book, Chapter 100 ….. I’m sure you can guess why. Marjolein is back at the end of February
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  22. Julia roberts February 6, 2013 at 12:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Zoe
    Thanks for your kind remark about seeing more of me – once all my holiday is taken in March I will be back to a more regular shift pattern.
    The knitting is progressing well – when I have finished this jacket for baby Sam I want to do something for Carmel’s baby, Flynn and then maybe even something for myself!!
    I’m not sure how many previous blogs you can access but hopefully you should be able to find all previous recipes I have posted. If not let me know and I will re post the lasagne one.
    Good luck with your knitting
    Julia x

  23. Marian Bolton February 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Thanks for reading my tweet out on Saturday. Glad you enjoyed the Elemischief! Here’s what really happened re Dale’s buns! When I arrived at the Beauty Bash, I gave a small box of buns to Keeley. You may recall I had a large box of buns that I was then handing out as I wandered around. Of course, I intended to give some of these to Alison (daren’t not!) but didn’t manage to catch her. At about 5pm, Keeley offered to take the large box off me and make sure Ali got it. I asked her to save a couple for Dale. When Ali summoned me (and my buns!) at the end, Keeley handed me the small box!! Good trick or what?!

  24. janice reeves February 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm -  Reply

    Hello Again Julia, just to say have made the leek and potato soup today and its very yummy, thanks for the recipe Janicexxx

  25. Annette Roberts February 7, 2013 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope you have a good week off and try not to get ‘Repetative Strain Injury’ signing all your books, well obviously, not all of them!
    I think it’s really nice of you to send your Mum the first book!
    Yesterday, I thought about your friend who used to work with you ‘Dickie’, more to do with his name than anything else. I had to phone the electricity provider, because I nearly had a ‘Dicky-fit’ when saw how much the bill was (thank goodness, it’s a mistake!). Then got to wondering where that saying came from? I’ve had a look online, but a few unsavoury things popped up, so to speak…if you get my drift LOL!
    Any ideas? I’ll leave that one with you.
    Annette x

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