Friday, 22 February 2008


"Only the pure of heart can make good soup" 
- Ludwig van Beethoven

We had some rain today and the weather started to cool a little. Autumn is peeking from around the corner at us, making faces. The wheel of the year is rotating yet again and as the cooler weather starts to make its presence felt, the need for soup begins to surface. Soups are very homely, comfortable, no-nonsense foods. The type of food that you can really revel in while enjoying in front of an open fire, while munching on crusty, freshly baked bread – its delightful fragrance melding with the appetising aromas of the herbs and spices the soup is seasoned with, the tang of cheese and freshness of a well scrubbed wooden kitchen table.

Soups can be labour intensive in their preparation and sometimes their ingredients can be so varied that one will need to plan ahead and shop for. Other soups materialise out of what is in the pantry or the fridge at the time. Like this soup that was thrown together after raiding the kitchen and throwing together whatever was found. I always make a note of exactly what was thrown together if the experiment succeeds. I forget quickly what didn’t work!

• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 1/2 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms
• 1 leek (white portion only)
• 1 can of cream of celery soup
• 1 1/2 cups of milk
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley
• Turmeric, nutmeg, thyme, pepper
• 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Sauté the chopped leek in the butter until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook thoroughly until golden, stirring all the while. Add the soup and heat through, stirring while adding the milk and parsley. Simmer for about 15 minutes, adding a little more milk to maintain the volume constant. Add the spices and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the grated cheese and serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of parsley.

Bon Appétit!

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