Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Chat Thai @ thegaleries

Once upon a time, I got a recommendation for the authentic made-to-order som tum at the thai place in the basement food court of the Galeries Victoria.

Since then, the thai place has been taken over by chat thai, the food court got a dark and moody renovation, and the Galeries Victoria rebranded itself as The Galeries.

What I like about this place is that you get to eat all the great stuff from chat thai, and there is unlimited seating, since you can also take it away.

Even better, from 230pm – 5pm everyday, you can get little mini snack versions of their most popular dishes for $5. Perfect for filling in the little gap between lunch and dinner.

Mini Dishes that you can get are:

33. Boat Noodle Soup
37. Guay Jub (soup/dry) – rice noodles and pork in five spice broth
38. Sukho thai (soup/dry) – spicy rice noodles with fish dumplings and minced chicken
42. Khao mun gai – poached chicken and rice with dark soy sauce and ginger relish
46. Khao mhu daeng – lemongrass pork, pickled plum with rice

The boat noodle soup was a little oily, and the broth was lightly spiced but a bit plain. There were a few pork ‘crackles’, some stubs of chinese brocoli (gai lan), and a pinch of skinny noodles. There were no cubes of blood jelly or tripe-like “bits”. I love boat noodle soup, but I didn’t love this version.

Sukhothai noodles at the little greasy spoon in Chiang Mai was dark herbal “bit-filled” broth that reminded me a lot of the Sydney/westernised boat noodle soup. It was so good, I went back.

Here, it is a light spicy broth with fish balls and fish tofu:

chat thai

Guay Jub is billed as “tubular rice noodles with assiette of pork and boiled egg in five spice broth”.
Now we’re cooking. This was much better, and what isn’t mentioned in the blurb is that you get your tripe “bits. The broth had a lovely flavour. The tubular rice noodles were big and chunky and left a slight gelantinous residue at the bottom of the bowl.

I’ll be back, the guay jub is calling my name. Not to mention the chicken wings, char grilled pork shoulder, papaya salad …

Chat Thai @ the galeries
Shop 1 lower ground
500 George Street Sydney

Mon-Wed, Friday: 1000-1800
Thursday: till 2000
Sat: 1000 – 1700
Sunday & Holidays: 1100-1700

Celeriac Soup with Brussels Sprouts

I know only one way to prepare celeriac for eating: remoulade. Grate your celeriac, add mayo/plain yoghurt, capers and parsley and then eat.

So I was quite excited when I saw this recipe in the daily terror. I took a photo of the recipe when I first saw it in the paper, and this electronic one seems to match up.

Instead of full cream milk which I had forgotten to replenish, I whipped up one litre of skim milk from my emergency powder stash.

I used a packet of no nitrate smoked bacon from Trunkey Bacon as a substitute for the pancetta. I cut the fat off, and saved the rind for future stockmaking shenannigans.

The giant celeriac and brussels Sprouts also came from the castle hill market. 3/4 of the celeriac beast went into the soup, and the rest got turned into remoulade at a later date. Just don’t forget to store the cut celeriac in acidilated water.

And the soup?

Well the end result was very rich and creamy, yet in a plain flavoured way. The celeriac flavour was very subtle.
I substituted pecans for the walnuts, and since they are a denser meatier nut, it worked quite well. I completely forgot to add the celery, so that could have been why it seemed quite plain to me.

I don’t know how any one could use full cream milk, because this one gave me a bit a tummy ache the next day!

The soup kept well – and I had the last bits for lunch over a week later.

This is the first soup I’ve made which I used milk as the cooking broth. If i did make it again, I think I would use less milk, and add it at the end as a white roux to make the creamy flavour. The other variation I might try is cooking it as a variation to the lemon and parsnip soup.

Recipe: Broccoli, Zucchini and Blue Cheese Soup

Broccoli, Zucchini and Blue Cheese Soup

I first tasted this soup when driving Sydney to Newcastle and stopping at the twin servos at Tuggerah. They have onsite, a health food chain “oliver’s”, which serves fabulous Allpress coffee, and fast food snacks of the less refined sugar quality such as sushi, soups and wraps.
I grabbed a bowl of broccoli and blue cheese soup which was quite tasty, and *very* hard to eat whilst zooming down the highway. Made a refreshing change from plastic burgers from which you are hungry again after one hour.
I didn’t think of it again until recently, when the weather turned cold again and I felt like soup. I bought 3 heads of broccoli and a wedge of ‘Danish blue’ cheese, and then went home to make this recipe from the taste website.

Preparation Time
15 – 25 minutes

Cooking Time
20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbs olive oil
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 head broccoli, coarsely chopped
2 zucchini, trimmed, chopped
1 pontiac potato, peeled, finely chopped
4 cups (1 litre) vegetable or chicken stock
75g mild blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup (80ml) thin cream

I didn’t have any leeks, so I used one large onion, and a grey (light green) zucchini that looked like a football. My potatoes were leftover roast potato, equivalent to two potatoes. I used two heads of the broccoli, reserving some when just cooked for colour and garnish, and I left the two stalks chunky and halved – wanting to add the flavour without having the pain of fishing out the small bits. This is me learning lessons from my asparagus soup experience.

Anyway, I cooked this for about 20 mins, until soft and then blended it with cubed bits of the Danish blue cheese.

The result was very blue in flavour and quite thick in texture – possibly because of the extra roast potato I had added. The flavour was more intense than the bowl from Oliver’s. I might make this one again but with less blue cheese. Or even some fresh goat cheese. Nom!

Recipe: Fresh Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is in season!

I haven’t had much luck with growing my own asparagus, but it is in season from October to March. Apparently the prime stuff to get are the fat first growth spears, because they are full of flavour, rather than the skinnier variety that I thought was the younger more tender lot. The skinniness indicates that it might be the second growth, and less tasty.

Anyway, I had spotted a recipe in the Women’s health magazine for  asparagus soup, and I thought of it when I saw 3 bunches for $5. All I could remember was that it involved almond milk and whisking, but since I had lent my magazine to someone else, I ended up with the recipe at taste.

I used two bunches of asparagus (440grams), and reserved a few spears which were cooked at the last minute to add some fresh green colour. I would recommend cutting the woody tips of the spears “differently” (e.g. making them longer, or cooking whole spears), so that prior to blending, you can remove the woody stem so that the soup is less fibrous. That way you get the flavour, but not as much chewing.

I included two potatoes, chopped into small pieces to make it thicker.

I tried to make this again, keeping the spears whole during the flavouring/cooking process but it was a *pain* to then later chop floppy cooked whole asparagus so that it would blend nicely. The soup was much smoother and less fibrous than my earlier effort. Perhaps the trick is to cut into pieces as directed, but then tie up the woody ends in a small muslin bag so that they easily spotted and removed.

Tasty, and very easy to make. Recommended.

Recipe: Jerusalem artichoke soup


Jerusalam Artichokes

Originally uploaded by A Sydney Foodie

Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion says:

These knobbly tubers are not really artichokes at all. Nor do they have anything to do with Jerusalem. (In fact, they are native of North America, where they are cultivated by the American Indians before the sixteenth century). It is thought that their name is a corruption of girasole, the Italian for sunflower, and that the flavour resembes the heart of a globe artichoke …. Jerusalem artichokes contain no starch, so their carbohydrates are well tolerated by diabetic and hypoglycaemics. However, these same carbohydrates are of the type that cannot be broken down by any enzymes we posess. The undigested carbohydrates pass into the gut intact, where they produce great quantities of gas! Jerusalem artichokes are the subject of some ribaldry because of this side effect.

I saw these artichokes at Fratelli Fresh, and I couldn’t resist buying them, I had the recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Soup from the Cooks Companion in my mind, however I wasn’t sure how much to buy.

I ended up with 500g of unpeeled artichokes, which I guess turned into 400g of peeled? Plus a potato I had lying around.

This took me 1.5 hours to prepare from start to serving.

So this is the recipe from the book:
60g butter
500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into even chunks
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 litre Chicken or Veal stock, milk or water

Melt 60g butter in a heavy based saucepan and sweat vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add liquid and simmer until artichoke is tender. Puree, then pass through a strainer into a clean saucepan. Adjust seasoning and reheat. Serve scattered with chives and nutmeg. (You may wish to add a little cream to soup made from stock or water before serving, either stirred into the soup or floated on top of each portion.)

The worst bit was peeling the artichokes, even though they weren’t as slippery as Stephanie had warned. Because of the discolouration potential I would peel a 5mm chuck, then slice this tip off, halve it, drop it into the acidulated water and then start again.

The stock was a cheat’s chicken stock – some carrot, celery and coriander stems, plus a roast chicken leg and a stockcube, heated to boiling, and then simmered until required.

Jerusalam Artichoke soupI didn’t pass the soup through a sieve as directed – I pureed with a stick blender as much as was possible, and then    added diced water chestnuts from a can, and coriander leaves to garnish. My attempt at a “swirl” with lactose free cream was unsuccessful, perhaps because of the differing density between the cream and the soup. I think that I would need to make a small indentation in the top, and the cream using a funnel, and then swirl with a swizzle stick.

The taste was quite nice – sort of smokey, and a bit like leek and potato soup, also in texture. I didn’t pick up the nutty texture, but the addition of the water chestnuts added some extra crunch.

This would serve 2 people, or 4 small bowls.