Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Not Your Average Cuppa

Hi All!

Brrrr! Winter is starting to make its chilly appearance here and our blankies and long-johns along with it. Although, our Jozie folk are whipping out their electric blankies and triple layers of socks and longs compared to us, less chilly, but still cold enough to make your teeth chatter, Durbanites. For the winter season I love nothing more than thick, rich stews and creamy soups with hot curries. Nothing is more pleasing than sitting under a soft, warm blankie and savouring a bowl of the most awesomest soup/stew or curry. I'm a huge fan of soup in a mug and my favourite happens to be tomato soup. I also love a good pea and ham and a potato and leek soup too. I remember when I was still a little fart and my mom; Flora, used to make the most delicious minestrone EVAH!!! My aunt Judes also used to make this amazing bean soup. I still remember eating it when I was about six years old and my aunt nursed me back to health when I suffered from the chickenpox. Its amazing how food seems to make your memories just that much more heart-warming and that much more special. *sigh* I'm feeling all nostalgic right now.........

But yes, we have recipes to have a look at today. Seeing as tomato soup is pretty much my all time favourite soup, I want to share the recipe with you. Then, I'd also like to share with you a pea and ham soup recipe too. (I pretty much eat croutons with every soup that I like to sip on). So let's get cracking:

Tomato Soup by The Students.......
Ingredients:
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 onion
2 red peppers
3 vegetable stock cubes
1 litre of boiled water
A clove of garlic

Method:
1. Chop the onion, red pepper and clove of garlic finely.
2. Fry all 3 items until roasted.
3. Make the stock by crumbling 3 vegetable stock cubes in to a pint of water.
4. Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, the stock and vegetables into large pan.
5. Boil for 15mins and taste and season

Quick and easy, huh?! Now on to the pea and ham soup by Mrs Hornby.........

Ingredients:
1 tbsp vegetable oil or mild olive oil, or butter if you prefer
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large potato (about 250g/9oz), peeled, cut into small cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g/10½oz frozen garden peas
400ml/14fl oz chicken stock, or vegetable stock if preferred
200ml/7fl oz semi-skimmed or whole milk
100g/3½oz thick cut, good quality ham
small handful fresh mint leaves, optional

Method:
1. Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan on low or medium heat, then add the onion and potato, season with salt and pepper, then stir to coat the vegetables in the oil.
2. Take a piece of baking paper large enough to cover the top of the pan, scrunch it up then unfold it. Lay the paper over the surface of the vegetables, sealing them in right to the edges of the pan (this helps cook the vegetables more quickly). Put a lid on the pan, cook on a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the onions are soft and translucent.
3. Remove the paper. Add the peas and stock to the pan, then bring to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes until all of the peas have floated to the top of the stock and are tender and bright.
4. Take the pan off the heat. Using a stick blender, process the peas until very smooth. Add the milk (or, if preferred, use more stock, water or cream). Tear in most of the ham.
5. Bring the soup back to a simmer, then season to taste with salt and pepper, remembering that the ham is fairly salty.
6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls then scatter with the rest of the ham and a few torn mint leaves if you'd like.

As I said earlier, I love these two wonderful soup recipes and I'm sure you will too!

Keep warm and safe, peeps!
Chef Shants xxxxx

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