Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Soup Kitchen

Soup: " is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot/boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth"

If you told me that people would be lining up for soup on the streets of Marlborough 12 months ago I would  have crossed the road and walked the other way.  If you told me that there would be a farmers' market in the middle of the central business district selling  hot soup to promote its producers I would  have told you that you were dreaming as we would only ever trade on Sunday mornings during the summer  and that was that.   Both are now reality and I take my apron off to the consummers of Marlborough for supporting local food producers

Soup is as old as boiling water (clever), and I can still remember being taught how to boil water in a paper bag as a boy scout so that is starting to show my age.  Soup orginates from the word "sop" and was advertisied in early  french market stalls as a antidote to physical exhustion (more commonly known as three thirty ises).    "Sop" recipes started to apprear in cookbooks such as Accomplished Gentlewoman's, The Frugal Housewife and the ever essenetial The Complete Housewife.   While cooking techniques  come and go  there is always the trendy fashions and fads of styles of soup  that appear and dissappear from our dinner tables (what ever happend to the classic consumme soup or the chilled  beetroot soup) but you just cannot beat a good old fashioed pot of slow cooked winter vegetable soup

Cambells soup Company (yes they are trying to register the brand name Farmers' Market Soup and have done so successfully around the world)  sells 2.5 billions bowls of there three most popular soups alone.    The Marborough Farmers' market sells 40 L per week on the streets of Marlborough and will with the support of Farmers' Market New Zealand will be opposing Cambells application for brand registration – yes I can see potato peelers being sharpened now as we sip on our antidote for physical exhustion.

Matt from Highfields Winery Farmers' Market Soup (traemarked and registered version)

 Matt's Leek and Potato soup with Sherrington's feta and cracked pepper (Highfield Estate)

For a full flavoured soup firstly, preferably a day ahead make a court Bouillon, you will need about 3 Litres.
Take 3 carrots, 3 celery sticks, 1 fennel bulb, 3 cloves of garlic, 5 peppercorns, 3 star anise, 6 Bay leaves and a handful of herbs.

Roughly chop vegetables and place in stockpot with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes remove and allow to cool.
The next day sieve off all the ingredients so as to leave yourself the liquid place back in pot and gently reheat.

To make to soup:
2 Tbspoons butter
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
600g potatoes peeled and cleaned, cut into small cubes
200g chopped and washed leek
3 litres of court Bouillon
1 Litre of cream
salt and pepper
200g Sherrington feta
cracked pepper

Melt butter in pot adding onion and garlic, gently brown until translucent, add potatoes and leek and gently sweat.
Add Bouillon and simmer for around 30-45 minutes take soup and pass through a moule or food processor transfer back to pot and gently reheat adding cream and feta. Season to taste and finish with cracked pepper. Yum.

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