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How to make a hearty soup this winter

In Europe they have a saying, "If you meet a girl who cooks good soup, marry her!"

Soup reaffirms that wintery days are upon us. Soup nourishes us and nurtures us. Soup makes the heart glad. And the senses tingle. The nicest thing about soup is that it is not pretentious. We slurp it. We savour it. We scrape the bottom of the bowl to capture every last spoonful. A soup worshiper, full of adoring praise, once said "Beautiful soup, so rich and green, waiting in a hot tureen."

Soup can be a meal in itself or a tempting first course.  A bowl of piping hot homemade soup is one of the nicest ways to start a meal. A hearty soup, thick with vegetables, pasta, ham or sausages is one of the most welcome winter meals you can have.  There are thick vegetable purees, soups enriched with cream and egg yokes, soups with thick chunks of beef or chicken.Mmmmmmmmmm.

Our autumn and winter conference groups have long recognised that our chefs just love making soup.  And they are very, very good at it.  So we prized a couple of favourite recipes out of the kitchen to share with you.  Guests often ask for a recipe of a soup that has them swooning.  Why not give them a try? It's easy to make good soup. Once you've discovered the pleasures of soup making you'll want to include soup in almost all of your meals.

Potato &Fennel Soup

SOUP

Pea and mint Pesto

1/2 bunch Mint leaves
1/4 bunch Parsley
1 tsp Garlic, minced
75ml Oil
200 g Peas – frozen
30g Pinenuts, toasted

PEA AND MINT PESTO

1/2 bunch Mint leaves
1/4 bunch Parsley
1 tsp Garlic, minced
75ml Oil
200 g Peas – frozen
30g Pinenuts, toasted

 

SESAME WAFERS

10g Parmesan, grated
3/4 cup Plain flour
80g Butter, chopped
1 tsp Worchestire sauce
1 tsp Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp Sesame seeds

METHOD

Soup:  Saute onions and garlic in oil, add fennel and potato. Cover with chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to boil and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Blend soup and season to taste.

Pesto:  Steam peas for 5 mins, refresh and drain. Process all ingredients in blender until smooth. 

Wafers:  Process cheeses, flour, butter and worcheshire sauce in food processor until mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add rosemary and sesame seeds then pulse until just combined. Roll dough on floured surface to 1mm thick, Cut dough into 2cm X 15cm strips and bake on paper at 170C for approx 10 minutes or until golden.

To serve:  Place a ladle of soup in bowl, drizzle with mint pesto and place wafer across bowl. Serves 10.

Our chefs would love to serve a heart-warming soup for your next conference. Call Sue on 9728 7070 for a proposal.