Soups

Soups

By
Margaret Fulton
Contains
27 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740669269
Photographer
Geoff Lung

What wonderful memories I have of soup and my Scottish mother’s kitchen. We had soup every day and each one had its own character and charm. When I grew older and studied French cooking, I knew why my mother's soups were so good.

She did not belong to the school of everything thrown in together and boiled for hours. Barley was used to thicken mutton broth, but rice was used for chicken.

When tender vegetables were used, the stock was light and the soup was cooked for only 20 minutes.

She would rather use cream to enrich fish or tomato soup than pour it over peaches.

Indeed, just a little cream can lift many soups, just as a dash of dry sherry greatly enhances the flavour of others.

Stocks

Not all soups are made from stock, but carefully made stock is so essential to good cooking that it is well worth making. Cooled quickly and stored airtight, stock will keep in the refrigerator for a week and will freeze for up to two months. The ingredients are cheap and easily obtainable.

Some specialty food shops sell good stock. Also, canned consommé and stock cubes are an accessible standby for the busy person, but be discriminating in their use.

Hearty soups

Some of these soups are so filling they really are a meal in themselves and only need to be followed by fruit and cheese, if at all.

Fish soups

A superb fish soup can be a meal in itself. Mediterranean fish soup is one, made simply with fresh blue-eye, snapper, john dory or other firm white fish. A mixture of fish and shellfish can be used as well.

Iced soups

Iced soups are delicious when appetites flag in hot weather and they make an elegant first course for a dinner party served on a bed of crushed ice. If the weather should suddenly change, simply serve them hot and add any cream just before serving.

Accompaniments for soup

Among the garnishes for soups are macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, all broken into pieces, tender vegetables cut into shapes, finely chopped parsley or snipped chives along with other herbs. The following titbits glamourise soup and, except for cheese croûtes, may be made ahead and reheated, if needed.

Melba toast : Toast sliced white bread on each side. While still warm remove crusts, and slice through the centre to make two slices. Cut each slice diagonally into triangles and arrange on a baking tray. Dry in a 150°C oven, until crisp and very lightly coloured. Serve these in a small basket.

Croutons : Cut crusts off 1.25 cm-thick slices of bread, then cut into 1.25 cm cubes. Fry in butter or oil until golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve with puréed vegetable and meat soups, such as pea and ham.

Cheese biscuits : See recipe for almond cheese rounds and cheese biscuits

Tiny puffs (profiteroles) : When making choux pastry, save 2 tablespoons of the paste. Make a cone of greaseproof paper and fill with paste. Snip off the tip of the cone and pipe small portions about the size of a pea onto a lightly greased baking tray. Bake in a 190°C oven for 10 minutes. They are delicious with consommé.

Cheese croûtes : Cut small rounds of stale bread. Toast on one side and spread the untoasted side with equal quantities of butter and finely grated cheese mixed together. Brown under griller and serve immediately.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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