31 May 2012
Goodness I can't seen get away from soup. But it is so perfect for this time of year and having a batch or two in the fridge means dinner in jiffy which on cold dark nights is plus.
This is one from Cook the Books All About Soup cooking class the other week and it is just too good not to share. This is definitely a meal in itself and is indeed almost more of a stew, the name puchero actually means "stewpot" in Spanish. It is a meaty fragrant broth full of slowed cooked beef, pork and chicken. Traditionally it would also have cassava but kumura or sweet potato make for a great substitute. Topped with a little avocado and rice and corn bread, or even better some pandebono, on the side it is a hearty satisfying meal. Pandebono are delightfully cheesy little rolls. Though I need to practice that one a little before posting! First attempt were a little flat though still wonderfully cheese and moreish. Thanks to some tips from the wonderful world of social media it shouldn't be too long before I can share.
So without further ado here is the recipe, adapted only slightly from Cook the Books. It is soup after all so feel free to tweak to suit your own taste as really that's what cooking should be about.
Puchero (Beef, Pork and Chicken Soup)
Serves 10-12 dependant on appetite
2 tbsp olive oil
8 spring onions, 6 finely sliced, 2 left whole
1 400g can of peeled chopped tomatoes
3 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 1 chopped
1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves finely chopped
500g pork shoulder, fat removed and cubed
500g beef flank, fat removed and cubed
4 chicken legs
2 chillies, halved
500g golden kumura, peeled and cubed
500g baby potatoes
1 bunch winter greens, shredded (silver beet, cavolo nero, kale, chard)
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
Cooked white rice (for perfect cooked rice head here)
Additional coriander leaves
Red chilli, sliced (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced spring onions, can of tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, pepper, cumin, saffron and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft, stirring often. Next add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander stems, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Place the remaining 3 teaspoons of salt, chopped garlic clove, whole spring onion and the remaining coriander in a large heavy based saucepan or dutch oven. Layer over the pork shoulder, beef flank and chicken legs and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Discard the whole spring onions and then add the kumura and baby potatoes. Allow the kumura and baby potatoes to simmer for 20 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Meanwhile shred the meat and remove and discard the chicken skin and bones. After 20 minutes add the meat back to the pot along with the winter greens and and the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, ladle in to bowls and top with a few coriander leaves and fresh red chilli slices. Serve immediately with avocado, chilli, rice and cornbread or pandebono...or even both.
This soup is hearty at its best. Rich and meaty all enveloped in a fragrant broth. The coriander and chilli add a freshness and there is a welcome sweetness from the kumura. The baby potatoes rounding it all out as a meal in one.
If you like this you might like this Cauliflower Soup
One year ago Celeriac and Lentils with Hazelnut and Mint
25 May 2012
"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
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If you like soup you might like these:Spiced Roast Carrot and Lentil Soup with Toasted Dukkah Flat Breads