Soup City - try these tasty warming soups!

As the days get shorter and the nights colder, we begin to think about comfort food - rich casseroles and creamy soups.

Bacon & Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Crisps

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
500g bacon bones, cut into pieces
1 (700g) cauliflower, trimmed into florettes
1 litre water
2 bay leaves
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
¼ cup lite cream, optional
½ teaspoon horseradish cream
Salt & white pepper
1 tablespoon snipped chives

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Saute the onion and bacon bones over the heat for 5 mins. Add the cauliflower, water and bay leaves and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer the soup for 15 mins. Remove the saucepan from the heat, set aside to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bacon bones and bay leaves and process the soup in a food processor in two batches until smooth.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place tablespoons of parmesan cheese onto baking trays, spread out to form 6cm rounds, bake in batches for 5-7 minutes mins or until crisp and golden. Working quickly lift the parmesan crisps from the tray and set aside on a cooling rack.

Return the soup to a saucepan and warm gently, add cream and horseradish and season. Sprinkle with the chives and serve with the parmesan crisps.


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Zucchini & Ham Hock Soup

tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
1 brown onion, peeled, cut into quarters
4 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
4 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
800g-1kg smoked ham hock
1.5-2L (6-8 cups) water
2 tablespoons pouring cream
Fresh mint leaves, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add zucchini and cook for 3 minutes or until softened slightly.

Add the ham hock to the pan. Pour in the water – there needs to be enough to just cover the hock, so you can add more than 2L, if necessary. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and comes away easily from the bone. Remove the pan from the heat.

Remove the ham hock from the soup and allow to cool slightly. Use 2 forks to shred the meat into chunks. Discard the skin, fat and bone. Remove the bay leaf from the soup and discard.

Use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth. Add the cream and stir to combine. Check the seasoning and season with pepper. It may also need a little salt (depending on how salty the ham hock is)

Recipe source: taste.com.au.


Knights Meats