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Wild Mushroom Soup

5 Nov
wild mushrooms wild mushrooms

I hated mushrooms during my childhood and almost gagged with every mouthful. I would avoid them at all costs, even developed a “mushie-phobia”. I would feel sick as soon as I caught a glimpse of my mother chopping them up. Perhaps it was the rubbery texture that threw me off? I’m not sure.

Nowadays, I love them: oyster, enoki, shitake, shimeji, button, swiss brown, chanterelle, porcini, …cooked any style. I don’t remember how or when I got over my phobia, but I’m glad I did. Have you suffered from a food phobia as a child and grown to like the same food as an adult?

The inspiration for this dish came from a spoonful of porcini mushroom soup which I’d tasted at Vetro, an Italian restaurant in Mumbai. Instead of porcini, I’ve used a mix of chanterelle, oyster and swiss browns. You can use any type that you like. I made this recipe up and served it as part of a 7 course dinner at home. It’s very easy to make and very tasty!

Serves 2 (with leftovers)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs of butter
  • 1/2 white onion, diced finely
  • 500g of mushrooms, chopped coarsely (reserve a few and roast in oven in foil with a knob of butter for presentation)
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp of dill, diced finely
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100ml of thick cream

Method

In a saucepan, melt the butter, saute onion until translucent, then add garlic and cook until garlic is soft.

Add the mushrooms, cover and cook on moderate heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the mushrooms are tender.

Take off the heat, add half the cream. Use a stick blender or food processor to blitz until smooth.

Ladle into small soup bowels, drizzle the remaining cream and then arrange the roasted mushrooms in the centre.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with croutons (not shown) and garnish with dill.

Tip: When frying croutons in skillet, just add the desired herb or spice to the oil to infuse the croutons.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

2 Nov

Tomato Soup Oregano

I recently served this dish with a 7 course dinner whilst in Vancouver. I was trying to replicate a soup which I had at Starbucks at Muir Woods, just outside of San Francisco. Yes Starbucks! To be honest, I was quite surprised to see that just about everything on their menu was either organic, fair trade, pesticide-free or gluten-free.

It may have been the contrast of coming in from the cold weather to a warm cup of soup that made it really special. Not sure. Nonetheless, this soup took us back to that moment, is tasty and very easy to make.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 250g of cherry tomatoes (any tomatoes will do, I just happened to have baby cherry)
  • 3 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced finely
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano or thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Roast tomatoes in an oven for about 30 minutes at 180C (350F) then remove skin.

In a saucepan, saute onion in olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and cook until garlic is soft.

Add tomato flesh, saute for another 5 minutes. Add stock, stir and simmer uncovered until consistency is thick (I like my soup thick, similar to a smoothie).

Take off the heat, add oregano. Use a stick blender or food processor to blitz until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with oregano croutons and garnish with dried oregano.

Tip: When frying croutons in skillet, just add the desired herb or spice to the oil to infuse the croutons.

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