June 21, 2012
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.
Curried truss tomato soup
1kg d'VineRipe® truss tomatoes, blanched and peeled
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.
Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Strain and discard any solids.
Return liquid to the saucepan and add balsamic. Reduce until syrupy.
Serve soup hot or chilled, drizzled with tomato and balsamic syrup.
White winter baby fennel and celeriac soup with remoulade
4 witlof stems, trimmed and sliced
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.
Deep winter soup with seasonal healthy greens
1 Broccolini® baby broccoli, sliced
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.
Orange and purple Dutch carrot soup
2 bunches purple Dutch carrots, peeled and sliced
Orange Caramel Syrup
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.
Broccoflower and witlof soup with vegie salsa verde
1 head broccoflower, trimmed and chopped
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.