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10 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014
be the start of the soup season.
Nutritious, comforting and easy
to consume there are hundreds of
soups, many of them with strange
Mulligatawny is one. Its origin
is Indian but after being experimented with by
generations of home cooks, it has become almost
lost in translation. Mulligatawny is the English
interpretation of the Tamil words for pepper broth
and it became popular with the British stationed
in India during the late eighteenth century. The
original recipe was really more of a rich, runny
stew made with peppers, cumin, coriander seeds
and sometimes lamb, goat or chicken. It was
accompanied by rice, relishes and chutneys and
often thickened with lentils. (Raffles Hotel in
Singapore uses oatmeal to thicken its version of
Philadelphia Pepper Pot is a famous American
soup — also more like a stew. It is a combo of beef
tripe, vegetables, pepper and other seasonings.
The recipe dates back to 1777 and its origins are
steeped in legend. It’s rumoured to have sustained
George Washington’s troops during that fateful
winter at Valley Forge. Despite the original recipe
being attributed to Washington’s baker, Christopher
Ludwick, the Caribbean-style soup was more likely
to have arrived with enslaved people brought to the
city. Ludwick just might have added the tripe that
added protein at very little cost. I think I prefer the
Green Goddess is an American term originally
given to a dressing. It has been fused into many
dishes and the recipe has made a comeback. It was
created in the 1920s at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel
for an event honouringactor, author, playwright
and film-maker George Arliss who starred in the
hit play The Green Goddess. Packed with fresh
green herbs, a little sour cream and lemon juice, the
creamy dressing is great served on crisp lettuce, as a
dip or drizzled on fish, pizzas or soups.
Thin soups can stimulate the appetite pre-dinner
and more hearty soups provide a meal in one bowl.
Mushroom and merlot soup
1 medium brown onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
500g Portabello mushrooms, sliced
1⁄4 teaspoon each: chopped rosemary leaves, thyme
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to
1 cup good merlot wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
7 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Melt half the butter in a large, heavy saucepan.
Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, herbs and
seasonings. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.
Add the wine and simmer for 15 minutes, until
the liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock. Simmer
for 15 minutes, until reduced by one-third.
Meanwhile, make a roux by melting the remaining
butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour until
well incorporated, but not brown. Gradually whisk
in the milk. Simmer, stirring constantly, for about 5
minutes until thickened.
Remove a few slices of mushroom from the soup
mixture. P lace aside for garnishing.
Using a hand-held blender, puree the soup
mixture, until smooth. Whisk in the roux. Simmer,
stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Garnish the top of each serving with the reser ved
The top can also be dotted with equal amounts of
olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This complements the
richness of the soup. Ser ves 6-8 .
Mulligatawny soup with lamb
My version of the Anglo-Indian classic. Ser ve
with boiled basmati rice.
1 each: medium onion, carrot, red chilli
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated root ginger
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, coriander, curry
1⁄4 teaspoon each: ground turmeric, paprika,
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup red lentils
400g can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
350g boneless lean lamb, cut into 2cm cubes
400g can coconut milk
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Dice the
onion and carrot. Seed and dice the chilli. Sautee
in the butter, until softened. Add the garlic, root
ginger, ground spices, salt and pepper. Stir in the
lentils, tomatoes, stock and lamb. Cover and simmer
for 1 hour, until the lamb is tender.
Stir in the coconut milk and heat through
Great ser ved garnished with chopped parsley.
Boiled basmati rice can be ser ved on the side or
each diner can add it to their own bowl. Ser ve 6.
Green goddess soup
A healthy green vegetable soup topped with a dash
1 small fennel bulb
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cups sliced spinach
1 medium head broccoli, chopped
4-5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Green goddess dressing
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1 small anchovy, drained and chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic crushed
2 tablespoons each: sour cream, finely chopped
1 tablespoon each: finely chopped tarragon, chives
1 teaspoon lemon juice
freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste
Finely dice the fennel bulb. Heat the oil in a
heavy saucepan. Saute the fennel, until softened but
not browned. Add the spinach, broccoli, stock and
seasonings and bring to the boil. Simmer for about
15 minutes, until cooked.
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the
Puree the soup and reheat. Add additional stock or
seasoning, if required. Ser ve topped with a dollop of
the dressing. Ser ves 4.
Todd’s favourite potato soup
My son’s ‘must have’ for Saturday lunch.
2 large onions, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
750g potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups grated tasty cheddar cheese
ground paprika to garnish
Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add
the onions and carrots and cook over low heat until
tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the stock and potatoes and bring to the boil.
Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
Puree or sieve the soup. Return to the saucepan.
Season then gradually stir in the cheese. When all
the cheese is incorporated and the soup is hot but
not boiling, ser ve dusted with paprika. Ser ves 6.
e know that the
British are proud
but now coffee is
Tea has suited their quiet,
introspective, traditional behaviour
whereas coffee, the American drink,
has been associated with brash, loud,
camera toting American tourists.
Tea shops are being replaced with
Starbucks and McCafe. The silence of
the teapot steeping its gentle flavours
replaced by the erupting steam of
the espresso machine and a mouth-
stripping double short black.
Tea still does have a place in any
It is the most widely consumed drink
in the world after water. For many, the
slight astringency of the tannic tea is
a gentle way to wake the mouth in the
As tea-commentator Mathew Adams
says, “It eases you into a day; it provides
pause for reflection; and it can fortify
you, soothe you, wake you up or calm
you down. Taken with company it is
sociable and inclusive. Taken alone it
feels like the best kind of friendship:
gentle, encouraging, there to help you
Most of you drink black tea or green
tea — mostly black tea — which comes
from India or Sri Lanka. The freshly
picked leaves of the camellia sinensis
are dried for half a day then lightly
crushed and fermented for four hours
and the green leaves turn to black. They
are then dried and packed for your
The green teas are not fermented.
Herbal teas have no tea, they are
infusions of fruits, herbs and spices.
The best way to have
teaspoon of loose-leaf tea
in a small teapot and pour
enough hot water just off
the boil over the leaves
and leave to steep for 3-5
minutes. It is good to have
a glass pot so you can see
when it is strong enough
for your taste.
Teabags are a lower
quality of powder and
broken leaf so do not
leave them so long (two
minutes) or the bitterness
will be harsh.
Tea has caffeine and
you can decaffeinate it
by pouring the hot water
into your tea and throwing
it away after 30 seconds
then pouring your very hot
water into your tea again
and leaving to steep for
You can satisfy your
Kiwi-made desires by
buying New Zealand
grown organic tea from
‘Zealong’. This is a
Waikato company set up by a Kiwi-
Taiwanese, Mr Chen, who now has
40ha of tea producing 100 tonnes of
high quality tea. Check it out if you are
a serious drinker.
The boutique tea trade is expanding
quite rapidly around the world with
small specialist producers in Kenya,
Taiwan, Turkey etc.
Tea — there are lots of things to be
said about tea!
Claridge Cocktail — Shake with ice
30ml gin, 15ml dry Vermouth, 15ml
Cointreau, 15ml apricot brandy and
strain into a cocktail glass.
Brazil is being dredged for stories in
the lead up to the football World Cup
and one journalist has found a strange
connection between drinking and
Osama Bin Laden. He has found 11
bars named after the former terrorist. It
may have started with Francisco Helder
Braga Fernandes in his bar soon after
9/11. With a long dark beard and thick
dark eyebrows he was a lookalike to
the extent that one alarmed customer
called the police to report that the most
hunted man in the world was lying
low as a downtown barman. The police
arrived, laughed and posed for pictures
with him. He appeared on local tv and
became a local celebrity. He changed
the name of his bar to Bar Bin Laden
to cash in on his local fame and has
devised some Osama Bin Cocktails.
“I hope you bought a decent bottle
for your mum on Mother’s Day —
remember, you’re the reason she drinks.”
Mushroom and merlot soup.
What can you say
Frank Blood Orange —
Tangy with light sparkle and
very orange in colour and taste.
Refreshing with light sugar. 1.25
Red wine choice
Saint Clair Pinot Noir 2012
— C herries and strawberries
are the fruits you think of when
you smell and taste this very
pleasant Marlborough wine. The
tannins are mild and easy. Drink
at room temperature to get the
full potential. Dry. $18-$21.
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon
Blanc 2013 — A perfectly fine
Sauvignon Blanc in a restrained
older style. It is totally dry with
none of the modern residual
sugars. So it depends entirely
on its lovely fruit for its long
herbacious, temperate flavours
and aromas. The acids are fine
and balanced and support a
gentle pungency. Drink now till
2016. Dry. $30-$35.
Monteith’s Ginger and Pear
Cider — Ginger for sure when
you put your nose to the glass
but there is more as you roll the
sparkler around your mouth
with the pear flavours emerging
along with luscious ginger and
cardamom spice. Q uite exotic.
500ml. 5.5%. $6.
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