Lockdown has brought out the inner chef in many of us, and as we feel a distinct nip in the air, why not try your hand at making a delicious soup? We’ve chosen these two soup recipes from local recipe book author Jan Kohler’s Pink Gin and Fairy Cakes that will make any mom worthy of the title “masterchef”!
There are no rules when it comes to eating soup – serve it as a starter or enjoy it as a main with some bread on the side. These soups are great as leftovers too, and they’re easy enough to get older kids involved in the preparations – bonus!
Spicy butternut soup with coconut milk
Tone down the curry paste if you’re making this for the children. This soup freezes really well and can be conveniently reheated when needed.
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. of Thai green curry paste
1 kilogram of butternut, diced
Coconut cream (400ml tin)
1 litre of chicken, or vegetable, stock
Olive oil, for frying
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- In a large, deep pot, fry the onion and curry paste in a bit of olive oil. Once the onion is soft and translucent, add the butternut.
- Add the chicken stock, ensuring that the vegetables are immersed in liquid. Put the lid on and allow to simmer until the vegetables are very tender.
- Keep checking the liquid levels and don’t let the soup evaporate – add more stock if needed. Set this aside to cool.
- Pour the entire mixture into a food processor and pulse until the soup is smooth and free of lumps. (You might have to do this in two parts).
- Return the soup to the pot and stir the coconut cream through, warming it over medium heat as you go. The result should be a thick, velvety soup that you can serve with delicious bread or perhaps topped with a few croutons.
French onion soup
If you fancy a little French cuisine, Jan says this one is “literally love at first bite”.
2 tbsp. butter
3 large onions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp. flour
2 litres of chicken stock
1 cup of white wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 French baguette
A three-quarter cup of Gruyère or any strong-flavoured hard cheese
- First, cut your onions in half and then take each half and slice the onion very, very finely. You want the onions in this soup to be delicate.
- In a heavy-based (preferably cast-iron) pot, melt the butter and fry the onion and garlic on a low heat until the onion caramelises and turns golden brown in colour.
- Add the flour, making sure that all the onions are well-coated. This will thicken your soup.
- Gradually add the chicken stock and white wine, stirring continuously.
- Bring this to the boil and add the herbs and seasoning.
- Cover the pot and allow to gently simmer for about an hour.
- When the soup is ready you can turn it off and reheat it for later use if necessary.
- About 20 minutes before you’d like to serve the soup, preheat your grill and prepare the baguette. Slice the baguette diagonally to get nice long pieces, and then sprinkle the grated cheese on top of each one. Grill for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and turns golden brown.
- Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the soup before serving. This soup can be served in individual bowls with the slice of bread floating on top or if you’d like a smaller cocktail version, serve it in a teacup with the bread balanced over the top.