Rosemary Soup.

This recipe is from the National Trust Complete Traditional Recipe Book, although they suggest Sunflower oil not Olive oil and instruct the removal of the rosemary altogether at the end of the recipe.

A word of warning: this soup doesn’t keep well at all unless frozen!


1 pint milk

1 large sprig of Rosemary

1 oz cheddar cheese, grated or chopped very small

1 oz butter

1 Lb potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

1 pint water

1 tablespoon olive oil


Place the milk in a saucepan with the rosemary and bring to the boil over a gentle heat. As soon as the milk reaches boiling point switch off the heat and leave the milk and rosemary to infuse for at least 1 hour, or overnight if you can.

Meanwhile put the oil into a large pan and heat over a moderate flame until sizzling, then add the chopped onion and cook until transparent but not caramelised. Add the potato and cook for about 5 minutes then add the water, bring to the boil and cook until the potato is very soft and starting to break up.

Remove from the heat, cook slightly, and then puree in a liquidiser until very smooth (I use a Kenwood Chef on speed 3 for about 4 minutes to achieve this).

Remove the rosemary from the milk and reserve for later. Then add the milk to the stock (this can be done in the larger pan if the liquidiser is not big enough to hold it all) and stir thoroughly.

Strip the rosemary leaves form the stems, discard the stems and stir the leaves back into the soup. Also stir in the cheese and butter

Either allow to go cold and freeze as soon as possible (certainly on the same day) or re-heat over a gentle flame until the cheese and butter are completely melted and mixed into the soup and serve at once.