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Winter soups

June 21, 2012

vegÇe bowl

Flat mushrooms have been incredibly cheap at my market with some going at just $2.99 a kilo last weekend.

“Lovely mushrooms. They’ll make your hair grow black,” spruiked the man from one stall.  Minutes later he was telling everyone they’d go blonde. So far the fungi haven’t worked either way for me but they really perked up my latest brew of brown lentil and vegetable soup.

Tomatoes haven’t been very exciting for a while though I did get some nice firm small tomatoes – “sweet tomatoes” was the description – and at $3.99kg  they turned out to be a good buy and the greener ones are ripening on the bench. Of course the bench is probably not much warmer than the fridge at present.

Sometimes I find the small cherry tomatoes are a better investment at this time of the year as the flavour is more concentrated and a halved firm cherry tomato is more attractive than a sliced watery large one.

You’ll also see truss tomatoes holding their own. Chances are some of them will be wearing the d’VineRipe tag. They come from a gigantic glasshouse operation covering 17 hectares at Two Wells near Adelaide.  

With the market full of great winter produce going hand-in-hand with the seasonal temperature plunge, it’s all is great incentive to get the soup pot out.

Here are some recipes created by executive chef Andrew Mirosch of Sirromet Winery, Brisbane.

Red curried tomato soup

Curried truss tomato soup
Serves 6-8.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

1kg d'VineRipe® truss tomatoes, blanched and peeled
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
60g brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1.5L vegetable stock
1/2 tsp mild red chilli flakes
50ml balsamic vinegar
100ml water
30ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Peel, reserving the skins, then cut tomatoes in half.

Squeeze pulp and seeds from tomato halves over a bowl so just the flesh remains. Reserve all.
Heat oil in a saucepan until hot then add tomato flesh, onions and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes.
Add sugar, tomato paste, cumin, curry powder, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Strain and discard any solids.
In a saucepan bring reserved tomato skin, seeds and pulp to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and discard solids.

Return liquid to the saucepan and add balsamic. Reduce until syrupy.

Serve soup hot or chilled, drizzled with tomato and balsamic syrup.

white soup

White winter baby fennel and celeriac soup with remoulade

Serves 6-8.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cooking Time: 40 minutes.

4 witlof stems, trimmed and sliced
8 witlof leaves, whole
2 baby fennel, trimmed and sliced
1 celeriac, peeled and sliced
750ml vegetable stock
600ml pure cream
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Remoulade
1/2 cup celeriac, grated
1/2 cup egg mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice

In a saucepan bring stock to the boil and add sliced witlof, fennel and celeriac. Simmer for around 30 minutes, or until tender.

Add cream, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Keep warm.

For the remoulade, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Serve soup topped with fresh witlof leaves filled with remoulade.

winter greens

Deep winter soup with seasonal healthy greens

Serves 6-8.
Prep Time: 6 minutes.
Cooking Time: 45 minutes.

1 Broccolini® baby broccoli, sliced
1 Treviso™ radicchio, sliced
1 Tuscan cabbage (cavolo nero), stems removed
1 baby endive outside leaves, trimmed and sliced
250g baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
1 Spanish onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5L vegetable stock
2 tsp pistachio nuts, chopped
90ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Heat 60ml oil in a saucepan and add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is tender but not browned.

Add all vegetables and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until wilted.

Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve soup sprinkled with pistachio nuts and drizzled with remaining oil. 

duo carrot soup

Orange and purple Dutch carrot soup  

Serves 6-8.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes.

2 bunches purple Dutch carrots, peeled and sliced
2 bunches orange Dutch carrots, peeled and sliced
500ml orange juice
1L water
2 pinches cardamom
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Orange Caramel Syrup
100ml orange juice
50g sugar

In a saucepan bring 500ml water and 250ml orange juice to the boil. Add one pinch cardamom, one tsp salt, 1/4 white pepper and purple carrots. Cook until carrots are tender.

Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Add a little water if too thick. Keep warm.

Repeat first three steps with orange carrots.

For orange caramel syrup, bring orange juice and sugar to the boil and reduce by half.
Serve soups side by side, drizzled with syrup.

broccoflower soup

Broccoflower and witlof soup with vegie salsa verde
Serves 6-8.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cooking Time: 50 minutes.

1 head broccoflower, trimmed and chopped
4 witlof, trimmed and sliced
1.5L vegetable stock

Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste

Salsa verde
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp roasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime
30ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste

Set aside 1/2 cup chopped broccoflower and 1/2 cup sliced witlof.

Bring stock to the boil and add remaining broccoflower and witlof. Simmer for 30 minutes until very soft. Transfer to a blender, purée until smooth and season to taste.

For salsa verde, heat oil in a frypan and add garlic, parsley and reserved broccoflower and witlof. Fry gently until soft. Add macadamias and stand to cool. Stir through lime zest and season to taste.

Serve soup topped with salsa verde and drizzled with oil.

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