Paul’s Caul… Soups in all their wonder

People say our eyes are the windows to our souls, but then these same ridiculous people say “deodorant isn’t for me, I just use petuli oil” yeah you guessed it, they are hippies and yes you’re right again they stink and I do not like them or their passive aggressive ways. But regardless of these strange MC Hammer wearing pants, one massive tread wrapped around their foul smelling head, yet still driving the worst polluting cars on the road whilst banging on about Ningaloo reef, faux eco warriors… anyway I digress, I feel there is a few ways of judging people regardless of their eye windows, the first is to stalk them on Facebook or stalk them the old fashioned ways (the second is illegal, in fact the first may also be illegal, I must look into that) another way is as follows…

Soups to me tell you a lot about a chef/person, they are in their essence very easy but like anything it is all about the final few tweaks and the amount of love that has gone into them which will make a good soup great. What they don’t tell you about the chef is whether he/she has a beard or if they own a large comic book collection, but since non of this matters in the big scheme of things I guess a good soup is all we want to know about. But just to clarify the comic book collection thing, by large comic book collection I do not mean someone who owns gigantic comic books, I mean someone with many normal sized books… glad we sorted that out.

Soups come in many forms from broths, consommé’s to puree’s… personally I love pureed soups they just have such a warmth about them, not only the warmth you get from eating them, or the warmth you get from dropping a small amount on your naked genitals (this is how much I love soup, commando souping is what this fetish is called…FACT!!) but I truly love the whole process of making them. So I will from this point, be banging on about pureed soups just incase you get confused, if you don’t care for pureed soups then you can take your chunk loving self and leave…

If you have ever been to any of my restaurants then you would know that every customer got a small cup of soup upon arrival, generally it wasn’t given to you as you parked your car or entered the room but it was provided sharpish, this was as much to let people know that I welcome them with open arms as it was to allow people to begin to trust me as a chef. Also it did help sell shit loads of soup and helped my food costs J

As previously stated soups are simple and can be remarkable cheap but in both cases there is no need to either put no love in the soup or use old veg that is nearly off, because in both cases you will end up with a pot of dirty vegetable water… and no one wants that!

I will give you a quick overview of the soup making process then I will give you a few recipes, I would like to think that after reading the overview you would not need the recipes. But just incase you are special and by special I actually mean that you have less commonsense then a shrillex fan (he’s a weirdo that plays shite music) I will give them to you anyway, because I’m nothing if not cautious.

• To start making any soup I slice up onion and celery and start to sauté them off in a little oil and a little butter, not forgetting a little salt to help them on their way…
• At this point if I was going to add some flavouring like garlic, bacon, woody herbs, spices or anchovies etc then I would do so now to allow them to cook of a little before the pan filled too much…
• Next I choose a star of the show it may be zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant, leek, potato the list is endless… but what you should then think about is can you make the product tastier before adding it to the pot. (What do I mean by this, simply if it’s a root vegetable maybe roast it in some honey or herbs, if its leeks caramelize them, add love where ever you can)…
• Then add your star to the onion and celery mix, now add liquid this can be a stock (chicken, fish, beef or veg) or it could be wine or port or all of the above, sometimes I even use fruit juice to add a little sweetness and flavour…
• You generally need the liquid to just cover your vegetables, now simmer your soup until the vegetables are completely soft…
• Blend your soup either with a stick blender or bit by bit in a normal blender…
• Add this point check seasoning I really prefer to use salt and white pepper in my soup I find the white pepper has a better roundness…
• Next some people strain the soup and add a little cream, maybe even chop some fresh leafy herbs up and mix through the soup, its now your soup so do what you feel best and then you’ve created something that is yours…

Zucchini, bacon, corn & caraway
2 onions sliced
2 sticks of celery sliced
2 rashers of bacon sliced
3 cobs of corn, stripped of all kernels and centers disguarded
3 zucchini’s chopped into cubes
1 large potato chopped into cubes
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary
2 litres chicken stock
50g butter
50ml olive oil
White pepper
• Place butter, oil in a medium sized pan, add onions and celery with a pinch of salt and cook until translucent…
• Add bacon, caraway seeds and rosemary and cook for 5 minutes until they get a little colour…
• Add corn, zucchini, potato and stock, simmer for an hour or until the vegetables are soft…
• Blend with stick blender and check seasoning, then pass through strainer…
• Serve immediately with heaps of crusty bread and butter.

Roast red capsicum, paprika and fennel seed
2 onions peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery sliced
4 large red capsicums, roasted and skin and seeds removed
6 large tomatoes roasted
1 cup red wine
2 litres veg/chicken stock
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoon picante Spanish paprika (the good stuff)
White pepper
50ml olive oil
• To roast the capsicum rub with oil and salt and roast in oven on a tray for 30 minutes on high heat turning every ten minutes, do this until the skin goes nearly black, remove from oven place in a bowl and cover with glad wrap. When cooled peel off skin and remove seed, this should be very easy and can be done with hands. (if you have gas burners you can blacken the capsicums straight on the flame then place in bowl with glad wrap and do same process, this will leave you with a firmer product if you needed it for something other then soup)
• To roast the tomatoes rub with olive oil and salt and roast on tray in a hot oven for 15-30 or until they start to blister and collapse
• Now fry off your onions, celery and fennel seeds in a little oil and salt until they go translucent…
• Add in capsicum, tomatoes, paprika and red wine then reduce for 2 minutes…
• Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes then blend with a stick blender, strain and season…
• Serve immediately with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and crusty bread.

Creamy parsnip & blue cheese
2 large onions peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery sliced
4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
6 parsnips peeled and sliced
2 large potatoes peeled and sliced
1.5 litre veg/chicken stock
500ml milk
600ml pouring cream
100g blue cheese (any will do)
White pepper
50ml olive oil
50g butter
• Fry off onions, celery and garlic in the oil and butter with a little salt until they are translucent…
• Add in the parsnip, potato, stock and milk…
• Simmer for 30 minutes or until all veg is tender…
• Add the cream and half of the cheese, blend with stick blender, strain and season…
• Serve immediately with a small amount of flaked blue cheese on the top.

There you go, lots of soups to help you on your way… your welcome J

4 responses to “Paul’s Caul… Soups in all their wonder”

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