Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Souping It Up

It's definitely soup weather over here.
Please note the comparative enormous-ness of the ginger at the front. Razzy really is huge.
Obviously there was no room for me on the couch, but from the comfort of the armchair, I settled down last Saturday to watch the NZ Masterchef Masterclass - if you are in NZ, the episode is available on demand here, I don't think you can get it overseas, can someone try and let me know?  

The not unattractive Josh  introduced a minestrone, which practically oozed flavour right through the screen, and looked easy peasy to make. I decided to give it a go. 

I am not going to tell you precisely how to make a minestrone, because the premise of it is veges, meat and herbs, whatever is seasonal and whatever you have. There is usually some pasta or beans in there too. An earlier Masterchef recipe is here, which will give you an idea.

I sauteed chopped up veges (onion, kumara, carrot, courgette and a little 'chunky mix' from Watties) in olive oil then added some hoki, prawns, a cup of white wine and my homemade fish stock. The stock already contained salt, herbs and garlic.

I .. erm... forgot to thaw the stock.

Never mind.

As mentioned, I did use some frozen veges, as I wanted to make enough for two days and my fresh vege stocks were a bit depleted. I used these ones:

I'm a bit upset at Watties right now, because they stopped making their amazing kumara chips with beef fat, and are using yukky canola oil instead. I was so outraged that I laid an official complaint, and the nice lady that is assigned the terrible job of dealing with fussy complainers called me to personally apologise.

I didn't see that coming. She was really good, explaining that although they would love to keep their one customer that prefers beef fat, they have to cater to the majority that believe canola oil prevents heart attacks. I understand, nice lady with a degree in customer manipulation psychology. I shall continue to buy Watties frozen veg. Just not anything with gakworthy canola oil in it.

Once the fish stock melted, things got underway and I let it simmer for a few hours, adding water as needed and some Wakame (seaweed) and rice noodles near the end. 

The final result was everything you could wish for in a late Autumn soup.

This 'hug in a bowl' was served with crusty rye sourdough.  It was souper.


Do you have any favourite soup recipes?
What do you think makes a really good soup?


  1. That soup looks amazingly delicious.
    How do you make your fish stock?

    I made a really good vege soup the other day... but I burnt the bottom ... so it went into the compost. *sigh*

    1. Oh, yeah, I've burnt the bottom of soups a few times.. usually with chowders that are really thick... it's a true disaster.

  2. Making stock is always a random event in this house - there is no set recipe. Usually it's when I have a bunch of leftover veges. I just throw all the veges into a pot, along with herbs (usually thyme, oregano, marjoram, parsley), onion, garlic, salt, olive oil (or butter), a tbsp vinegar and some fish or a chicken carcass or whatever meat I have, and let it simmer for a day until the flavours are super strong. I think this one ended up being fish because I'd made a seafood stirfry the day before and that ended up in there. at the end I mush it all with a potato masher and then strain it. If there aren't bones in there, sometimes I don't bother with the straining procedure.


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