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Winter soup and salad - comfort in sad times

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

There is nothing worse for the spirit than dashed hope and as the waves of COVID cases grew and grew in Melbourne, anxiety and gloom crept again into our collective psyche. The glum weather didn't help. The winter cold has taken root in the stone walls of our house, isolating us to the warm kitchen in the day time before a brisk dash to the lounge room couch in the evening, diving under the quilt ready for the next Netflix series. This new feeling of uncertainly has set us back to a narrow routine with little to look forward to or plan for. So we just wait, sending love in thoughts and words to our children and the many others who are in the thick of it.

Time for soup!




We are still getting beautiful kohlrabi bulbs in our weekly veggie box and the organic dutch cream potatoes are plentiful at the market, so I made kohlrabi and potato soup. The mixture of flavours was perfect. I added a splash of milk but if you want, you can add cream for a richer taste. A dollop of yoghurt on the top is also nice.


Kohlrabi and Potato Soup

1 onion chopped

1 clove of garlic

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 kohlrabi

2 medium potatoes

500 ml home made chicken broth ( vegetable broth or water will also do)

salt

white pepper

splash of milk or cream

parsley to garnish


Peel and chop the kohlrabi and the potatoes into small cubes.

Heat the olive oil and saute the chopped onion and garlic gently until the onion is translucent.

Add the kohlrabi and potato and continue to saute all the vegetables together. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are very soft.

Blend or blitz the soup until it is smooth and creamy.

Add white pepper and a splash of milk or cream

Simmer gently for another few minutes but do not let it boil.

Serve with parsley on the top.


It makes a lovely healthy meal with a winter salad and some crusty or fresh sour dough bread.




Winter salads

Salad should be eaten all year round because then you can experience all the different flavours of the seasons. In winter, salads are marvellous! They can have nuts, bitter leaves, vegetable tops, crunchy raw vegetables, roasted or boiled vegetables, citrus, seeds, grains, pulses,toasted bread, boiled or poached eggs, bacon, anchovies or pancetta and cheese. These salads can be a meal all on their own.

In my view they should have a mixture of textures and have a balance of bitter, sweet and sour. (not too sour) A good friend taught me that salad is best with lots of different leaves torn or cut to small pieces (not big floppy surfaces) so you can taste them all together.

Every salad needs excellent quality oil. The dressing should match the salad and never overpower it. A homemade traditional vinaigrette is always good.

If you use this formula, a salad is always your own delicious creation.


Here are a couple I have made recently.

Winter salad.#1

mixed winter leaves torn or cut into small pieces (e.g. cos, radicchio, rocket, fennel tops, beetroot leaves etc )

small chunks of sour dough bread fried on some oil and sprinkled with salt.

chopped walnuts

chopped celery

chopped fennel bulb

sultanas

shavings of Parmesan cheese

boiled eggs cut into quarters and placed on the top before serving.

Dressing

2/3 Good olive oil to 1/3 white wine vinegar, crushed clove of garlic, teaspoon of Dijon mustard and one teaspoon of honey. Whisk this, pour over and toss well.


Winter salad #2

roasted diced pumpkin cooked with olive oil, salt and rosemary and cooled

mixed winter leaves torn or cut into small pieces (e.g. cos, radicchio, rocket, fennel tops, beetroot leaves etc )

bunch of chopped parsley

chopped roasted almonds

toasted pine nuts

Dressing

good olive oil, juice of one orange, dash of white wine vinegar, pepper, salt.











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