Uforic Food Cafe Torquay

Soups

Cauliflower soup – unexpectedly decadent

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My husband cannot stand cauliflower – so when we went to a lovely little restaurant and the waiter generously offered a taste of the chef’s soup as a little appetizer – I thought there was no chance he’d put the cauliflower-filled substance to his lips.

He snarled at it … like a child who’d been given Brussels sprouts for the first time. I tasted it, keen as mustard – I love cauliflower of all kinds – in curries, with cheesy white sauce – I don’t mind! When he saw my eyes light up with pleasure – he was tempted to give it a try.

He put the little shot glass of hot soup to his mouth, and sipped the tiniest amount he could … but as he started to make a repulsed face – you could see his eyes light up too and he no longer hesitated in taking in the entire shot. He loved it so much he wanted more and we spent the rest of the delicious meal talking about that soup. How could a vegetable someone loathes turn into something so pleasurable?

So, I made it my life’s work to recreate that soup – I researched recipes, trying to remember all the flavours of that one, tiny little shot – until I came across Neil Perry’s version. It seem to have all the right ingredients – and so I tried it. With a little tweaking – it was absolutely perfect – creamy, bursting with earthy flavour, but with a lovely bite from the Parmesan cheese. There was nothing boiled, bad smelling or unappetizing about it. It’s actually quite a decadent soup – and very silky on the palate – I’m salivating just writing about it. Now you can substitute the chicken stock for vegie if you want a vegetarian soup. But, if I’m totally honest, the chicken stock really adds depth of flavour. Just sayin’

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

creamy cauliflower soup

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • a few good pinches of sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 whole cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups of the best chicken stock you can get (or make it if you’re super keen!)
  • 1 cup of cream 
  • 2 tsp of Dijon mustard (or to taste)
  • a handful Parmesan cheese, finely grated (or to taste)

Heat butter in heavy-based pan and as soon as it has melted add garlic, onion, salt and pepper, and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Add cauliflower and sweat over low heat for about 10 minutes or until florets are soft and golden (the browning of the cauliflower is essential for the flavour of this soup).
Add stock, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.

Remove from heat, process in the food processor or with a stick blender until the soup is very smooth.

Return to pan, place over low heat, stir in cream.

Add mustard and cheese in batches tasting soup each time to judge whether more is needed. This is important to get it just right.

Add more chicken stock if necessary to give the desired consistency, or water if preferred.

Enjoy~

Lisa XO

A snack of the healthy kind – Asian vegetable broth

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Got hunger pains and don’t want to cure them with a piece of chocolate, biscuit or some other naughty treat?

Well, I have been using vegies to pad out my meals. They are totally guilt free and really delicious. So I thought, why not make them into a really yummy snack or light lunch? This dish has no guilt – but is full of delicious Thai flavours like fish sauce, soy and lime. It also takes less than 10 minutes to make. What could be better?

I think this is also a lovely entrée to have before heading out to a restaurant. It fills you up enough where you won’t go and order the biggest steak on the menu and then eat a whole dessert to yourself – but you’ll still want to eat – and hopefully make good choices.

 

Asian Vegetable Broth

  • 4 brocoli flowerets
  • a handful of green beans
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • half a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs of chopped, fresh coriander
  • the green leaves of 1 head of pak choy, sliced
  • 1 tbs of soy sauce
  • 1tsp of fish sauce
  • the juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 a tsp of brown sugar

Method

In a small frypan add the brocoli, beans, stock, soy, fish sauce and sugar. Bring stock to the boil and simmer everything for one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until pak choy is wilted – this should only take 20 or 30 seconds.

Serve garnished with some chopped pieces of red chilli, if desired.

This dish really is fantastic. Feel free to substitute any of the vegies with whatever you like – and leave the chilli out, if it’s not to your liking.

Leek and chickpea soup

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This is one of my dad’s favourite soups.

I remember the first time I made it – I could tell he was a little bit unsure about the idea of a soup containing chickpeas. But, once he tasted it – he loved it – which makes me a very happy daughter 🙂

I can’t quite remember where I got the inspiration for this recipe. I just make it – no recipe required. It’s well and truly ingrained in my brain.

This soup makes a perfect lunch – and it’s terrific because the chickpeas make it really low GI. It’s filling and tasty and will ensure you don’t have one of those mad sugar cravings when 3pm rocks around.

Leek and chickpea soup

  • 3 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 nob of butter
  • 2 deseree potatoes – peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Enough chicken stock to cover the ingredients (get the recipe to make your own here)
  • Grated parmesan cheese to serve

Method:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter before adding the chopped leaks with a good pinch of salt. Cook the leeks over a low heat for about 10 minutes – but don’t allow them to colour. You want them to sweat and the salt will help to draw out the liquid in the leeks.

Add the potatoes and chickpeas and cover with enough chicken stock to cover everything. Cook until the potato is tender – about 10-15 minutes.

Blend using a stick mixer or spoon into your blender until the soup is smooth and creamy. If the soup is too thick at this point, thin down with a little more chicken stock. Don’t forget to taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve nice and hot with some parmesan cheese grated over the top.

This soup really is easy, incredible tasty and very fast to make. Hope you enjoy it.

Be Inspired~

Lisa

 

The evolution of a mother/daughter recipe – pumpkin soup

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I’m so pleased to be bringing you this recipe again – and the lovely family story behind it.

I watched my mum when I was a little girl make this pumpkin soup – over and over again, and I have always loved it.

However, over the years, as you go through the process of making a recipe your own, I made a few little modifications – and so has mum, I have to say. Looks like we are inspiring each other – which is always a good thing 🙂

So when mum used to make it, she pretty much just used butternut pumpkin, water and salt and pepper. Very, very simple – and that’s often a very good thing. However, now we both use chicken stock rather than just water – it adds so much flavour and really helps to balance the sweetness of the pumpkin. I also use two different kinds of pumpkin now – I was inspired to do this after reading a recipe in a magazine and it was the best move I ever made. Butternut pumpkin is great as it has such a nutty flavour (go figure seeing its name) – but now I add jap pumpkin as well – it is sooo pumpkiny and sweet and really adds so much flavour. I also add some potato, this was inspired by my mum. She did this in another soup and realised that it would probably add creaminess also to her tried and tested pumpkin soup. The addition paid off big time – without the added fat and calories of cream!

I have never made this soup and measured one ingredient – so when my dad asked me to give this recipe to him so he could print it out and place it next to the pumpkins at the shop he owns with my brother, Anglesea Fruitz – I had to cook it and weigh and measure everything. It was a strange feeling, but I think all the effort will ensure others can recreate it too.

This soup cost me just $8 to make and I will warn you that it makes A LOT of soup – so freeze it in containers and enjoy it throughout winter. I do promise it won’t last that long though as it is something I have discovered is loved by everyone, including the pumpkin haters, and there are quite a few of those!

With so much history you could say it has evolved into a secret family recipe, well a mother and daughter secret recipe anyway. But, and I hope mum doesn’t mind, I’m going to share it with you. Leave a post and let me know what you thought. I’d love to know what additions and subtractions you make to make this one of your own.  Enjoy~

Chris and Lisa’s Pumpkin Soup

  • 2 tbs of olive oil or butter
  • 2 large brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped / or 3 or 4 large leeks
  • 1 tsp of grated, fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground cummin
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin (roughly 700 to 800 grams)
  • 1/2 a jap pumpkin (roughly 1.5 kilograms) – skins and seeds removed and chopped into large cubes
  • 4 deseree potatoes, peeled and chopped the same size as the pumkin
  • Enough chicken stock to fill the pot until the pumpkin is covered (around 1.5 liters)

Method:

Heat oil/butter in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add onions/leeks with 2 good pinches of salt and sweat for five minutes.

Add ginger, garlic and cummin and cook for a further two minutes. Keep stiring so the spices don’t burn.

Add pumpkin, potatoes and enough stock to cover everything and bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer gently until pumpkin and potatoes are soft.

Use a stick mixer, if you have one, or transfer soup into a blender – (you’ll have to do this in batches as it’s very dangerous to overfill your blender with hot liquid, as I once found out) and blitz until smooth and creamy.

Taste the soup and see if it needs further seasoning with salt and pepper – I always say, season till it tastes just right. You may want to add a little more stock or some water at this point, if this consistency is thicker than what you would like.

Serve with some nice crusty bread – sourdough is a favourite with this.