25 May 2012

{Just Photos} All About Soup at Cook the Books

"Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?" 

Judith Martin - Miss Manners

Another cooking class at Cook the Books and tis the season for soup so last week it was All About Soup.  Soup, it can comfort and warm the soul on a cold wet night. Wisps of steam can tantalise the taste buds and then a bowl of soup can make the worries and stresses of the day disappear.

First up was Avgolemono or “egg lemon”.  A classic Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. This is a simple peasant soup made with just chicken broth, eggs, lemon juice and either orzo or rice.  It sounds like a slightly odd combination but it was bright and light and satisfying all at the same time, really bursting with lemon flavour.

Next up Zucchini, White Bean and Leek Soup.  Green and fresh it would be a tasty bowl of soup just as it is but sometimes it is the little additions that can really make something shine.  Once the soup is blended red wine vinegar and smoked paprika are added providing a little welcome sharpness and a smokey note. And to top it off sautéed zucchini ribbons, a little mint oil and a scattering of Parmesan. A little crusty bread and butter on the side and you have fresh and comforting.

To finish Puchero a Colombian Pork, Beef and Chicken soup.  This was my favourite of the night, it was wonderfully hearty and savoury, and that is before we even get to the corn bread and pandebono on the side, more of those in a moment.  Back to the soup, pork, beef and chicken are slow cooked just in water with some spring onion, the meet is removed and shredded while potatoes and kumura are added to the broth and along with a rich fragrant past and silver beet.  It is the paste that makes this soup, slowly cooked tomato, spring onion, cumin, saffron, garlic and coriander that gives this soup its wonderful savoury depth. It is then served with avocado, rice and cornbread on the side.

We were lucky enough to also have some pandebono. Pandebono are delightfully cheesy little Colombian breads.  Packed full of feta, ricotta and cheddar they were always only going to be delicious and terribly moreish. They’ll definitely be making an appearance over the weekend so I’ll be sure to share that one soon, as to keep it all to myself would just not be fair.

"Beautiful soup, so rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup! 
Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish
Game, or any other dish? 
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth of beautiful soup?"
Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

For more culinary inspiration...

Cook The Books

139 Richmond Road (corner Norfolk St)
Grey Lynn,
New Zealand
Monday to Friday – 10am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 4pm

If you like soup you might like these:
Spiced Roast Carrot and Lentil Soup with Toasted Dukkah Flat Breads



  1. That zucchini soup sounds PERFECT! Yumo.

    1. So delicious,,,love the mint oil drizzled over the top :)

  2. I'm kind of picky about soup, but that zucchini, white bean and leek soup would really float my tureen (oops, I mean boat)!!

    Sue xo

    1. It was really very good....but my pick was the puchero....that meaty broth is just heaven this time of year :)

  3. I love soup and could happily live on it everyday. Nothing more warming, tasty and delicious. Love these soup postings, keep em coming.

    1. Thanks Julie! Pretty sure I am not going to run out any time soon!


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