Saturday, September 19, 2009

Celery and Walnut soup

Pretty obvious combination really - celery and walnuts and it does make a lovely mild and creamy soup. Some grated cheddar would be lovely on top but on the way to the cheese I found a jar of ploughmans pickle and so . . .

- Peel and chop half an onion and a clove of garlic and pop in a saucepan with three or four chopped celery sticks and leave to cook slowly in a little olive oil for ten minutes or so
- Add half a potato and then pour over a pint of vegetable stock.
-leave to simmer gently until the potatoes are soft, another ten minutes I should think.
- Shell and crush a few walnuts I used four, and leave to soak in a bowl covered with some of the stock.
- Once the soup is cooked, pour it into a blender, add in the softened walnuts and blend it all smoothish.
- Return to the now washed saucepan, reheat and serve.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kumara and Coriander soup

It is officially Spring down here in the Southern hemisphere and here in Hawkes Bay we have had some glorious days. But it doesn’t do to get too complacent because September usually has a few surprises in store. I am prepared though with a Winter soup made with the last of the seasons Kumara (sweet potato) that I found at the farmers market. Teamed up with the lemony tang of coriander seeds it makes for a creamy, subtly flavoured and comforting soup.

- Begin by slowly frying an onion, peeled and chopped, in some olive oil and a slice of butter. Keep the heat low and cook the onion slowly for a good fifteen minutes until soft and honey coloured.
- Add in two or three teaspoons on ground coriander seeds and cook for a further minute or so. Try to use whole seeds if you can, grinding them yourself in a pestle and mortar because ready ground seeds quickly lose their flavour and it is that lovely lemony tang of the freshly ground seed that we are after here.
- Peel and chop up one or two kumara depending on how big they are and add them into the saucepan. Turn the heat up and stir it all around.
- Pour in a pint and a quarter of vegetable stock, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for a further twenty minutes or so until the kumara is soft.
- Blend the soup smooth in a blender, return to the pan and reheat adding some salt if it needs it.

Serve with something green on top - I had some chives but I think parsley would have been a better choice. Oh and a squeeze of lime juice as well . . .

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