Calfs foot soup

Tom Parker Bowles gives calfs foot the slow simmered treatment to make a deeply flavoured soup enriched with Worcestershire sauce and sherry
By Tom Parker Bowles
Calfs foot soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the stock

  • 1 calves foot
  • few beef bones
  • 2.1 litres water
  • 1 bouquet garni, (1 bay leaf, few parsley sprigs and a few sprigs of thyme, wrapped in a leek leaf and tied with string)

For the soup

  • 50 g beef dripping, or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 225 g stewing beef, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni, (see above)
  • 150 ml dry fino sherry
  • splashes Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • chopped parsley, to garnish


1. For the stock: wash the calfs foot in cold, running water and then put in a lidded pan with the other stock ingredients. Bring the boil and then skim any impurities from the surface with a spoon.

2. Cover and simmer very gently for 2½ hours. Strain and measure out 1.5 litres of the liquid (any remaining stock can be refrigerated or frozen for use in another recipe).

3. For the soup: heat the dripping or butter in a large pan, add the onion and beef and stir over a low heat for ten minutes, or until the onion is softened and the beef browned on all sides.

4. Pour in the reserved stock, bring to the boil and then add the carrots, celery and bouquet garni. Simmer for two hours.

5. Either strain the soup into a clean pan, or remove the bouquet garni and liquidise with a hand-blender for a smoother finish.

6. Return the pan to the heat and add the sherry, Worcestershire sauce and lemon.

7. Check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls topped with chopped parsley.

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