Thursday, June 30, 2016

Soups of the World - Sopa de Fubà

This soup from Brazil is thickened with cornmeal. Sounds interesting!


Ingredients:

6 inches kielbasa sausage
1 handful spring greens
1/2 cup cornmeal
5 cups chicken stock
2 eggs
Salt & pepper


Cut the kielbasa into diagonal slices and saute it in some oil until browned. Eat a couple of pieces (cook's privilege) and set aside for later.


Get a handful of greens ready by slicing up some cabbage or other greens.Or opening a packet of sliced greens like me!


Bring the stock to the boil in a pan and add the cornmeal. Stir in well then leave to cook on a medium simmer for about 30 minutes.


Then you can add the sausage, greens, salt and pepper. Cook for a further 15 minutes until the greens are wilted.


Break the eggs into a dish and beat them. Add some of the soup to the eggs, mix well and then pour it all back into the pan. Stir well again and cook for a further minute.


Serve the soup with a garnish of cayenne pepper if you like a bit of spice.


This one is a really comforting soup. It's so filling with the cornmeal thickening it up. The sausage and greens add a lovely bit of texture and colour to the otherwise plain looking cornmeal mush. It's unlike any soup I've had before but I liked it. I had a second bowl but couldn't finish it due to being so full. Definitely one at the hearty end of the soup scale.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Soups of the World - Vichyssoise

This take on the plain old leek and potato soup is supposedly French in origin but most say it was created in America. It's usually served cold, I'm going to try it both ways.



Ingredients:

1 onion
3 leeks
3 potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 litre cicken stock
4 tablespoons whipping cream
Salt & pepper


Slice the onion and leeks up.


Melt the butter in a pan and saute the onion and leeks until softened. 


Peel and slice the potatoes then add them to the pan along with the bay leaf,  marjoram, salt and pepper.


After a few minutes add the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.


Use an immersion blender to make a smooth soup then add the cream. Stir well and serve.


This soup was delicious both hot and cold. It's nice and thick with the buttered leeks giving a lovely flavour to it. I had to add a bit more salt and pepper once it had cooled. To be honest I'm not really a fan of cold soups, it seems almost like an oxymoron. It was nice to give it a try cold though, it's definitely a different taste. In conclusion, nice!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Soups of the World - Graupensuppe

This vegetable barley soup is a traditional German recipe. Pearl barley is an ingredient I'm unfamiliar with but now I have a whole bag of it I'll have to find some other recipes to use it in.


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion
1 cup pearl barley
1 potato
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
1 leek
2 German sausages (I used bratwurst)
Small piece of bacon (I used lardons instead)
4 cups vegetable stock
Nutmeg
Salt & pepper


Melt the butter in a pan and saute the chopped onion.


Next chop up the other vegetables. Cut them up into quite small cubes. I'm not sure there's anything as dull as carefully chopping up vegetables this way. :D


 Add the pearl barley to the pan and stir while it lightly toasts.


 After about 5 minutes add the stock, vegetables, bacon and sausages.


Simmer for 30 minutes until the sausages are cooked through and the soup liquid has reduced. Slice the sausages and season the soup with nutmeg, salt & pepper.


This soup was a really hearty vegetable soup at it's base with extra flavour and texture from the bacon and sausages. Pearl barley gives a lovely comforting thickness to the soup. It's nice to see how it puffs up from it's grain form into a nice chewy addition to the bowl. I enjoyed this one.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Soups of the World - Tortellini en Brodo

Tortellini en brodo (or in broth) is often eaten at Christmas in Italy. It looks to be one of the simplest soups I'm ever likely to make with only two ingredients plus seasoning.


Ingredients:

Chicken stock
Tortellini (with cheese filling)
Salt & pepper


This is my first time buying fresh pasta, I always buy dried and I've occasionally made my own. These tortellini look like they'd be simple to make so I'll have to have a go at making filled pasta sometime.


Bring the stock to the boil in a pan and then add the pasta. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pasta has a bloated look and is cooked. 


 Serve in a bowl and season with salt & pepper.


This is a lovely, simple soup. I could taste all the flavours clearly as I ate it. The cheese inside the tortellini had melted giving a lovely burst of cheesy goodness as I bit into them. The slightly salty broth went nicely with the smooth pasta with each one having it's own pool of broth on my spoon en route to my mouth. I recommend lots of freshly ground pepper. Yum!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Soups of the World - Avgolemono Soup

This soup is Greek in origin and has many variants. The egg/lemon combination is also used as a sauce.


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of oil
1 onion
3 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of orzo
1-2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 eggs
Salt
Parsley



I haven't used orzo before and had no idea what it was. It's rice shaped/sized pasta. Seems like a great idea for soups. I'm looking forward to trying it.


Chop the onion and saute it in the oil until it's transparent. While you're doing this also cook the orzo in a pan of slightly salted water..



Make up the stock ready to add to the onions. I thought everyone opened a stock cube this way but I'm showing you pictures in case you don't because this way is sooo easy.

Unfold the foil tabs like in the top picture then flatten the whole stock cube with the heel of your hand until it's flat like in the second picture. Now the stock cube is already broken up and you can just open a corner of the foil and tip it out. Saves getting it on your hands.

Add the stock and drained orzo to the onions, season with salt and leave to simmer. Cut up the chicken breasts into small pieces (so it'll cook in the pan quickly) and add that too. Simmer for about 8 minutes.


Break the eggs into a bowl, add the lemon juice and give them a good whisking (it's what they like).



The next part was impossible to photograph because I needed both hands and had no assistants in the house. Ladle some broth from the soup and slowly pour it into the eggs whisking constantly as you pour. Do this with at least 2 ladles of broth, more if you enjoy it!


The eggs can now be added to the soup but again slowly and whisking the soup constantly. This is to stop the heat of the broth/soup heating the eggs too quickly and making the soup all bitty instead of smooth. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with some parsley.


Wow, what a flavour.! I wasn't expecting such a tang from the lemon juice but I loved it. The soup is smooth and creamy with added texture from the orzo and chicken. The orzo was nice but I'm not sure I could tell the difference from rice. It's a lovely light soup, not too filling but with lots of flavour. Very nice indeed. :)