Minus temperature outside. Feeling under the weather. All done in. Or tummy-rumbling hungry. The best cure for any of the above has to be, without a doubt, a bowl of hot soup. Aldourie chef loves the Castle and grounds during autumn and winter. The colours on the Estate change along with the weather. And guests’ appetites also change. Gone are the desires for fresh salads and cool, refreshing deserts. All they really want – like most of us during the wintry months – are succulent meats coated in delicious sauces, warming soups and comforting puddings – the more custard the better!
Chef has some delightful recipes he brings out year after year as well as new dishes to impress the gourmet connoisseur. Here is one we at the Castle all love for its simplicity, homeliness and heat. It’s devoured time and time again by guests and once an exclusive use party has sampled this particular version they usually request it numerous times throughout their stay at Aldourie. Here, the Castle’s private chef would like to share his favoured, yet simple, autumnal dish with you to make at home during the cold, festive months ahead.
Warming winter recipe: Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
2 tbsp olive oil sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ medium chilli
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 celery sticks
1 medium onion, chopped
pinch cumin seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
pinch smoked paprika
2 pints veg/chicken stock
Chop all the vegetables and sweat in a pan with olive oil. Add the stock and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add splash of cream.
Other traditional Scottish soups to try:
A soup is tastier if it is rich in ingredients and some of these Scottish traditional dishes are also particularly rich in proteins and vitamins.
Bonfire Warmer Soup
Scottish Oxtail Soup
Golden Vegetable Soup
Highland Chicken Soup
Haricot Bean Soup
Where is best to enjoy a bowl of soup at Aldourie?
Exclusive use house parties of guests dine in numerous rooms in the Castle depending on the time of day. A mid-morning mug of soup might be best enjoyed looking out onto Loch Ness from the cosy yet classical surroundings of the Lairds Room. This room is also the closest room to the kitchen for quick access to refills!
The grand main hall would be great for a soup feast, ladle and all. Gather your friends round the large long oak table for a clan-like supper in true Scottish style. The cosy dining room is perfectly designed for eating in so try here for an intimate candlelit dinner beginning with a soup dish starter. The parkland views will help you relax and conversation will flow for hours as you enjoy four delicious courses cooked by the Highlands Castle’s personal chef.
When is the best time to eat soup at Aldourie Castle?
You cannot beat the feeling of a good soup that is both rich in taste and nutritious, trickling down your throat, when you’re either rather peckish, tired or cold. At Aldourie, you could easily be all three of these at the same time if you choose to enjoy one of the many outdoor activities on the Highlands Estate during the autumn/winter season.
Boat ride – during a stint on Loch Ness hunting for Nessie or simply absorbing the spectacular scenery, private groups of guests are always ready to be fed. Out on the exposed Loch you have the wind rushing in your face and all that water around makes you hungry for soup.
Segway ride – the Aldourie parkland is made up of 500 acres of woods, parks, walks, gardens and more. Segway rides let you see more of the grounds than you would on foot. During the autumn and winter months you use up so much energy and will return to the Castle searching for something warming like a bowl of soup.
Archery or clay pigeon shooting – these are popular outdoor activity sports at Aldourie and Chef likes nothing more than rewarding a hard afternoon’s play with one of his delicious soup recipes.
Look out for more recipes from Aldourie Castle by signing up to our newsletter through our blog web page. In the meantime, enjoy our Spiced Butternut Squash Soup in the comfort of your own home this winter. Don’t forget to post us a photo on Facebook or Twitter saying which room you enjoyed eating it in and what outdoor activity inspired you to make it.