There is something about thick/creamy orange-colored soups that make them especially popular in my family. Maybe its the fact that a bright orange color is a great mood setter, or my husband’s love for sweet potatoes (and mine for pumpkins) or something else. The fact is, that, at least twice a month, I find myself preparing an orange-colored soup. They can be lighter in summer and heavier/thicker in winter. This time I wanted to make something original and “play” a bit with the ingredients.
Here’s the logic for the ingredients: goat cheese is a great companion for pumpkin and sweet potato, as its piquancy combines well with their natural sweetness. Additionally acidity and aroma of oranges provides a great complement/contradiction to a velvety sweet pumpkin taste. All that’s remaining is to add some low-fat cream to balance (and subdue) all the flavors and we’re getting a very original, rich winter-type soup with great aroma and substance. It is thick, but, thanks to orange notes, doesn’t feel heavy at all.
(For 2-2.5 liters of soup)
1 Cucurbita moschata pumpkin (or 1.5 kgs of ordinary pumpkin)
1 medium-size carrot
1 medium-size sweet potato
1 small onion
1 trunk of leek
30 gr. butter
3 branches of thyme
250 gr. low fat cream
100 gr. young white goat cheese
I have tasted this Italian-style fish soup with beans at my sister’s. If you follow the proper procedure, making it can take up to 1.5 hours, but you prepare the fish stock in advance (and freeze it for later use), the whole process can go much faster.
Ingredients for the fish stock:
A head and a spine of a large white-fleshed fish (in my case I’ve used a meagre)
1 branch of celery
Parsley and silantro
1 branch of basil
1 (!!) whole allspice berry
3 berries of white pepper
2 liter water
I have to start by saying that this soup has a very unusual taste. (Unusual, but good :-)) Also, it is very light and can be served either hot or cold. As you can see from the below picture, the soup was prepared as a part of a multi-course dinner, but, since it is interesting enough on its own, I prefer writing about it separately.
(Below will yield about 1 liter of soup)
30 gr. coconut oil (any other oil having neutral taste can be used instead)
600 gr. pumpkin
200 gr. coconut milk
1.5 glasses chicken stock
1/4 sprigs of parsley
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. yellow curry paste
Spring is coming, gradually bringing warm weather, and this means that its time to update the menu and replace “heavy” winter soups with light and cold summer ones. Here’s one based on eggplants. Making this soup is very quick and if the weather suddenly becomes less warm than anticipated, it can actually be served hot as well.
The tastes combination is classically Mediterranean – eggplants, mint, goat yogurt and chili peppers….
(For 6 regular soup-bowls or 16 small servings, like the one illustrated above)
3 large eggplants (or 500 grams of grilled eggplant “flesh”)
500 ml. goat yogurt
500 ml. water
2 garlic cloves
100 gr. goat cheese – similar to non-aged/young Sainte-Maure
1/2 chili pepper
Mint leaves (amount can be varied, roughly take half-a-bunch or mint branches)