Soup Plus

Many years ago when saving for an overseas adventure I had three jobs as you do or did!  You had a 9 to 5 with doing as little as possible to reserve energy for your second or third job in the evening.  One of mine was in a pizza establishment and the other in a jazz bar called Soup Plus!  It was in a dark underground somewhat sleezy place which apart from the music served soup!  Maybe with some bread.   I checked and it is now closed!

Soup is one of my favourite meals.  Making it in large batches allows me to freeze it in portions so I have already made meal in minutes where you know exactly what is in it!  Lunch or a quick dinner.

It is so easy to make – from chicken bones or meaty oxtail bones to lamb shanks made with roasted vegetables – some onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, celery or any vegetable lurking in your crisper.  Some herbs – fresh or dried, spices like chilli or cumin add some pasta, r

Tice, a can of tomatoes or chick peas.  Maybe red kidney or cannellini beans.  Even grate some hard cheese.  Salt and pepper.  There you have a meal!

For people living alone soup is a godsend.  Often with just a slice or two of toasted sourdough or some grilled cheese toast  – a personal favourite.  But sometimes you want to move it up a notch!

So instead of  that toastie whilst your soup is simmering and making your kitchen smell so inviting let us add some “PLUS” to the mix.

  • Gem Scones – oldie but a goodie
  • Lavash —your friends will be impressed
  • Flat bread – love this so simple
  • Lebanese chips – using stale bread
  • Garlic croutons – or with herbs

GEM SCONES 

This recipe is an adaption of Phillipa’s Home Baking.  Hers is a recipe from her grandmother but I updated it with some different flavours.  You don’t need to use gem scone tins as mini muffin tins are fine.

1 egg

200 ml milk

125 strong grated cheese (parmesan is perfect or haloumi)

2 – 3 finely chopped herbs plus chilli flakes (use basil, parsley, sage, oregano or a combination)

80 grams chopped chorizo, salami or ham

Butter …..to melt in tin

It is important to heat the scone tin at a high temperature and add a small piece of butter in each hole before adding the mixture

Mix all ingredients to a thick batter and pour to 2/3 full. Bake 10 -12 minutes until puffed and golden.

Serve warm with a bowl of soup.  Can be reheated or popped in lunch box. I found this mixture make almost 20 little gems.

LAVASH

I first ate this in a cooking class in Melbourne with the Monday Morning Cooking Club.  Their three cook books are a wonderful history of Jewish stories and recipes.  I think the recipe actually from Annabel  Langdon when I go ogled the recipe when I lost the recipe.

Lavash is quite expensive to buy but I was surprised how easy it was to make…not only for soup but an a cheese platter or with dips.

1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup wholemeal flour

2 T sesame seeds 2 T za’a tar

1 T each of salt and sesame oil

1/4 cup extra olive oil & 1/2 cup water

1 clove garlic  crushed with 1/4 extra oil for brushing

Method: Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line large baking tins with parchment paper.  In a large bowl miss the flours and add the sesame seeds, Za’atar and salt.

In a separate bowl combine oils and water,  then add to the flour, stirring to form a soft flexible dough.

Divide the dough into 4 and with a floured rolling pin and lightly dusted bench roll each piece as thinly as possible.  Cut into long shards and transfer to baking sheet.  Mix garlic with extra oil and brush with extra salt.  Repeat

Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden and cool on wire rack.  Keeps up to a week.

I have also used black sesame seeds with the white ones and also used truffle salt for a delicious change.  Very versatile.

FLATBREAD

Masterchef’s first winner…ten years ago was Julie Goodwin and I have her to thank for this easy recipe.  My favourite way of eating it is to serve it with homemade labna and the delicious Balkan Ajvarious (a red capsicum dip).  Great on its own or with soup.

2 cups plain flour with a generous pinch of salt

50 grams butter melted with 185 ml milk

Olive oil for  shallow frying.

Method:  Add the melted butter and  milk to the flour and knead till soft and pliable.  Wrap in cling wrap for 30 minutes (or overnight).  Divide into four pieces and roll out thinly.  eat a splash of olive oil to a lart fry pan and fry till crisp and brown.  Turn bread over and repeat.

Serve warm.  Some chilli flakes or finely chopped herbs or spring onions add variety .

 

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