The cold and wet weather has everybody in the humour for soup. I’m regularly asked in the restaurant what ingredients are in the soup and how it is made.
The soup is a very important part of the menu and is made fresh every day based on what ingredients I have available. The question I’m asked most frequently is how to make a nice flavoursome soup. The advice I always give is that soup should be made from fresh vegetables. Many people treat soup as a way of using up leftover cooked vegetables which is not a good idea. The best approach is to use your fresh vegetables to make a soup, and not to treat it as an anything goes type of recipe. The other important thing is to get the combination of vegetables right and to match this with the right herbs. Some vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potato and parsnip can be roasted first, and they will give a lovely sweet and roasted flavour to your soup.
The Mulligatawny Soup recipe is one of Jim’s oldest recipes and was always very popular with people at the cookery classes. It has a mild curry flavour and the smell in the kitchen when you start cooking it will be fabulous. It is a wonderful warming soup, from an old classic recipe which tastes wonderful and will be welcomed in this cold weather. Start off by using the best fresh ingredients, and if you’d prefer you can liquidise half the soup and leave the other half of the vegetables chunky which will give a lovely texture.
The choux pastry is a good classic recipe which is definitely worth the effort. This recipe can be used for éclairs, choux buns or profiteroles. When cooked the éclairs freeze very well so can be made in advance and defrosted when required.
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Sticks, thinslice
1 Sweet Potato, diced
1 Eating apple, peel/ dice
1 tbsp. Curry Powder
1¾pt Stock, chicken/veg
1tbsp. Tomato puree
1tbsp. Mango chutney
3½oz. Long grain rice, cooked
3½oz. Natural yoghurt
1tbsp. Sunflower oil
Salt & pepper
Melt the oil and butter in a large saucepan and add in the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and sweet potato and cook for approx. 10 minutes until the veg start to soften, at this stage add in the apples and curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Next add the stock, tomato puree and chutney and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the vegetables are cooked, approx. 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Blend the soup with a blender or food processor and add the cooked rice. Serve in warm bowls with a spoonful of yogurt on top and sprinkle chopped flat leaf parsley or coriander.
10 fl. oz. Water
4oz. Butter, cut into small pieces
5oz. Strong plain floursift
4 Free range eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 180°. Sieve the flour and add the sugar, next place the water and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir with wooden spoon, as soon as the butter is melted, allow to mixture to come to the boil and then take off the heat immediately and drop in the flour and sugar beating vigorously with a wooden spoon. Beat until you have a smooth ball of paste that has left the side of the saucepan, (resembling a roux) and then beat in the eggs a little at a time until you have a smooth glossy paste. At this stage grease a baking tray and lightly sprinkle with cold water and shake off excess water, this helps create a little bit of steam, so the pastry will rise really well. Place dessert spoons of the pastry onto the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes then increase the heat to 200° for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the buns are brown and nicely risen. When you take them out of the oven pierce the side of each bun with a skewer to release the steam, cool on a wire tray. When they are cool fill each bun with cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
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