Category Archives: soup

celeriac velouté

The humble celeriac is transformed into a luxurious velouté through generous amounts of wine, port and cream. (The 400ml cream are not a typo…) Easy and fast.

60 g butter
50 g shallots or onions, coarsely chopped
500 g celeriac, coarsely chopped
1 litre chicken stock or good vegetable stock
125 ml white wine, not too dry
80 ml white port
400 ml full fat cream
lemon juice
salt, pepper

Gently fry shallots and chopped celeriac in the butter. Add the stock, wine and port. Simmer for 30 mins. Blend until smooth, add cream. Let reduce a bit if necessary. Season with salt, pepper and a couple of dashes of lemon juice.

Garnish with deep fried parsley, celery straw or Jerusalem artichoke. Apples, truffles, porcini or other mushrooms should also work.

after a recipe by Austrian cook Werner Matt

Winter minestrone

This is a tasty dish out of peasant veggies.

2 tb olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 head celery, chopped, reserving the leaves
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
1 kg swiss chard or silverbeet, leaves shredded, stalked chopped
small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1 kg cavolo nero (spinach can be used), stalks removed, leaves shredded
125 g cooked cannellini beans
500 ml chicken stock, boiling
sprigs of thyme & sage, chopped
parmesan, grated

First make the soffitto. Slowly fry the carrot, onion and celery uncovered in the oil until soft and dark – a long time. Add garlic, chard stalks, half the parsley and cook. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

Add half the chard leaves and half the calvalo nero, 3/4 of the beans and the stock. Bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes. The soup should be very thick. Add remaining leaves, blanch briefly, season. The leaves should be crisp and green.

Puree remaining beans and add. Add herbs, parmesan and olive oil to taste.

From: The River Cafe Cookbook

Onion soup (serves 4)

Not quick to make, but a meal in itself. The goal is a velvety, evenly coloured soup, so use a good heavy pot and take care during cooking to avoid it catching.

600 g thinly sliced onions (yellow or white), outer layer removed
3 tb butter
1 tb oil
1 tsp salt
3 tb flour
2 l stock
125 ml dry white wine
3 tb cognac

Heat butter and oil in pan until foaming has subsided (this means the optimum temperature is attained), add onions and cook slowly, covered, for 15 mins. Uncover, raise heat to moderate, add salt, cook 30 mins until onions are golden brown. Stir frequently. Add flour and cook 3 mins. Remove from heat and stir in stock and wine, season. Simmer partially covered for 30 mins. Add cognac right at the end.

And for the croutes:

4 slices french bread
garlic clove
grated gruyere

Toast both sides of bread under the grill, rub one side with garlic, sprinkle with cheese, return to grill until melted. Place one on top of soup in each bowl, serve.

Source: Julia Child ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’

jerusalem artichoke and rocket soup

The rocket enhances the artichokes’ earthy flavour, then the yoghurt lightens things up.

400 g jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed clean and roughly diced

45 g rocket, roughly chopped plus extra to garnish
1 l chicken stock
10 garlic cloves, crushed
6 spring onions, minced
1 egg
350 g Greek yoghurt
Put first 4 ingredients in a pot and simmer for 1/2 hour, blend smooth, remove from heat.
Whisk egg into yoghurt. Slowly add about half the hot soup to the yoghurt, ladle by ladle, to bring the yoghurt temperature up without splitting it. Pour yoghurt back into the soup pot, bring very gently to a simmer for a minute or two. Add spring onions, season, and garnish.
Source: Ottolenghi