Saturday, July 31, 2010

Velvet Soup

I was reminded of this soup as I was flicking back through my very own blog. So when I was wondering what soup to make last weekend I naturally thought of this one. Such a great name. It sounds so wonderful. Velvet soup. Can any soup possibly live up to that name? The recipe is from the CWA Soups and Stews cookbook, and the CWA must know soup as well as they know lamingtons and fruit cake. Right?

The soup did present some challenges early on. I rarely eat turnips or swedes and was a bit confused about which one was which. As were some of the shops I went to. The first grocer I went to had swedes labelled as both swedes and turnips. The supermarkets only had swedes. I was eventually lucky to find some turnips on an excursion to Bathurst. Seems like turnips are hard to find. Maybe everyone finds them confusing, maybe noone, except for me last weekend, buys them. The turnips are on the left, swede on the right.

The turnip flesh is much whiter than the creamy colour of the swede. It felt really nice too. I don't think I've ever cut up a turnip before.

It was all going quite well until I was busy mixing the soup, and I had a flashback to 9 years ago when I used to make food for my infant son. I realised that I had made the biggest ever pot of babyfood. It was then that I started to really worry.

And so how was it? Mr Soup thought it was bland. I did wonder at the lack of herbs or flavourings. But I found it had a rather distinct odour and taste of smelly socks. Not so pleasant. I presume it was the turnips, the rest of it shouldn't do that I think. I'll be wary of trying them in future, but feel I should give them one more go, sometime. Perhaps I should have been more wary of a recipe that warns us off cream? I don't think I've ever cooked a soup that I didn't like before. It's quite an unsettling sensation. I had to put extra Danish butter on my toast to make amends.

This is a very old recipe. Maybe all that cream is not good for one's heart.
Carolin Joswig, Tennant Creek Branch, NT

4 turnips
4 swedes
2 carrots
1 parsnip
2 onions
4 potatoes
several sticks celery
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups cream

Peel the vegetables and cut into fairly big chunks. Place in a large saucepan and just cover with water. Season with salt and pepper, and boil slowly until the vegetables are tender.

Drain the vegetables (reserve the cooking water for stock), mash or blend them and then return to the pan. Add the stock and boil slowly again for a few minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cream (o not let soup boil again).

This made a lot of babyfoo, I mean soup.
So much that the pot of vegetables took forever to cook.
It took so long to cook that by the time I was supposed to be draining the water out only to put it back in after I'd mashed the vegies, I couldn't be bothered, so I didn't.

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