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Cape Vegetable Soup for Monday night

Vegetable soup has been part of Cape cuisine since the first Dutch settlers arrived here in 1652.Different vegetables, with or without meat or bacon, were used to prepare this soup. As was the custom 300 years ago when meat was omitted from soup, olive oil is used and the soup is thickened with finely ground nuts.

The ideal recipe for a starter or a light but comforting supper. Serve with the 2011 La Motte Chardonnay.

Recipe for Cape Vegetable Soup (page 41 in our Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook)

Serves 4

Ingredients

1½ cups (375 ml) ground almonds

2 cloves garlic

2½ cups (625 ml) spiced vegetable stock (see recipe below*)

1 slice white bread, crusts removed

10 tsp (50 ml) sherry vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) verjuice

½ cup (125 ml) olive oil (preferably not extra virgin, as it tends to give a bitter flavour)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Place all the ingredients, except the seasoning, in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Blend until smooth and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can be served hot with croutons, or cold with a spoonful of chopped lettuce. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled over.

This soup also works well as a sauce for crayfish, prawns or crab.


*Spiced vegetable stock recipe

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh thyme, picked

1 bunch fresh marjoram, picked

1 large bunch young beetroot leaves

1 large bunch sorrel

2 medium heads lettuce

100 g green beans

1 bunch spring onions, sliced

100 g sliced green marrow

2 turnips, diced

1 medium fresh green chilli, chopped

1 piece green ginger or fresh root ginger

mace or nutmeg

peppercorns

Method

Place all the ingredients in a stockpot or large saucepan and cover with water.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Replenish the water as it evaporates.

Strain through a fine sieve.

This stock may be frozen for up to 6 weeks.


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