A raw vegetable soup might sound very modern, but it is a true celebration of Cape heritage cuisine. With fresh produce such as vegetables the actual reason for the establishment of the Cape, the Company Gardens in their prime spoiled chefs and cooks of the old Cape with a spectacular selection. Quality produce are required for a flavoursome broth and any leftover stale bread was added for texture and as thickener. With the movement towards comforting vegetables, bowl food and honest, nostalgic flavours, the gazpacho is a culmination of tradition, technique, trend and taste. Chef Michelle Theron of Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant picks her seasonal selection of vegetables from a biologically grown garden on the estate. For Heritage month, she shared a recipe for a spring green gazpacho with Taste Magazine.
The honest flavours of spring vegetables and the earthiness of the broth are complemented by a wine that can match the freshness of the produce while not being overwhelmed by the complexities of the integrated flavours. Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche recommends La Motte’s 2016 Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc. Initially sprightly and refreshing, the wine follows through with depth and an elegant minerality, making it a versatile partner on the dinner table and the ideal match for the spring green gazpacho.
Try Chef Michelle's spring green gazpacho with all the little extras (lavender almonds, gin infused citrus & pickles on honey lavender granola crackers) or simply make the refreshing vegetable broth and sprinkle with the delicious Cape Winelands soup flavouring.
For the Gazpacho:
Yield: 6 portions
¼ cup leeks, sliced thin and washed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small white onions, peeled and diced
¼ cup blanched almond slivers
3 slices white sour dough bread, crust removed, crumbled and soaked in white wine (La Motte Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cucumber, skin on, seeds removed
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and pip removed
2 small handfuls of fresh basil
Juice of 1 lime
1 ½ tbsp. Sherry vinegar
¼ cup good quality olive oil
½ tbsp. sour cream
1 ½ cups cold water
Malden salt to taste
Cook the leeks, onions and garlic in a medium sized sauté pan over a low heat until translucent and tender (it must not go brown), then place in the fridge to chill.
Combine the leek mixture, almonds and bread (squeeze out the wine) and put in a blender, start add the rest of your ingredients blending well after each addition, cucumber, avocado, fresh basil, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, sour cream and water.
Puree until smooth and season with Maldon salt
You can add some more water to achieve the desired thickness of your soup
Pass through a fine sieve
Place in fridge
Cape Winelands soup flavouring
¼ cup demerara sugar
1 tbsp. water
300ml Sauvignon Blanc
Zest of 1 lemon
4 whole cloves
1 small onion, peeled and diced finely
Place the sugar and the water in a sauce pan and bring to the boil over medium heat
When the sugar is dissolved add the wine and flavourings
Simmer until the onion is soft
Strain and keep in the fridge
You can add a teaspoon of this as seasoning to each portion of soup
¼ cup flaked almonds
1 tbsp. oil
1-2 drops of Lavender essence
1 tbsp. Maldon salt
Sauté almonds in the oil gently
Add the essence to the salt and toss with the almonds
Toast until the almonds are lightly browned
100g Fennel tops
100g Italian Parsley
1 stick Lemon grass
Blend the herbs, salt and oil together and leave to sit for 1-2 hours
Strain through a muslin cloth
You can also add some dried lavender blossoms once the oil has been strained
Gin infused citrus
1 x Red grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
1 x orange, peeled and cut into segments
2 x naartjies, peeled and segments removed from skins
6 x preserved Kumquat
2 x parts Good quality Gin, i.e. Clemengold Gin
Pour gin over fruit and leave to infuse 2-3 hours
1 cucumber, peeled and seeds removed, then diced into medium sized cubes
100ml white wine vinegar
50g castor sugar
50g fynbos honey
Heat the sugar, honey and vinegar until all the sugar has dissolved
Place in the fridge to cool
Pour over cucumber and leave to pickle for 1 hour then serve as garnish to the soup
Honey lavender granola crackers
2½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
3 tbsp. dried lavender flowers
½ cup sliced almonds (whole almonds work, too)
¼ cup walnuts
2 tsp white sugar
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp. honey
Few drops lavender essence
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine coconut oil, honey and lavender essence in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until melted.
Meanwhile, mix the oats, lavender, almonds, walnuts, and sugar together in a large bowl.
Once the liquids have melted, pour them in with the dried ingredients and mix everything together really well so that the oats are coated.
Spread oat mixture evenly onto two baking sheets and place them in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until oats are visible golden brown.
Remove from oven and stir oats on baking sheet; wait 5-10 minutes so that the oats can harden a bit more before placing them in a container.