In April 2006, before our round-the-world trip and while we were still living in Vancouver, the bf-cum-hubs and I came across the little soup cookbook at a garage sale. Despite it being a balmy spring day, I was in a soup kind of mood and – after a little bit of haggling – the lovely garage sale girl was willing to part with the pint sized soup cookbook for the whopping price of $0.50. Woohoo!
When I got the soup cookbook home and took a closer look at the recipes I realized that I needed a blender or a food processor for (what appeared to be) all the recipes. At the time we had a teensy tiny kitchen, no blender and certainly no food processor (in fact, we still don’t have a food processor). The lonely soup cookbook sat there, entirely unused, for the next two years. Somehow, the soup cookbook survived the purge — which is a feat, considering we kept only a car full.
We were reunited with the soup cookbook upon our return, but still had no blender. It wasn’t until our wedding gifts started arriving in late 2009, 3.5 years after acquiring the cookbook, that I finally was able to make a soup from it. Oh happy day!
My first selection was “Spicy Pumpkin Soup”. Oh.My.God. It was to die for. Then I tried a Spicy Broccoli Soup, and a Mushroom and Barley Soup. Every subsequent soup was amazingly delicious. And I realized that for the last 2/3 of the book you rarely need to use a blender. Drat. 3.5 years of wasted soup-urtunity. (Get it? Like “opportunity” but for “soup”? Good one, eh?).
The pumpkin (Australian for “butternut squash”) soup, with adaptations, remains my favourite, but this book is full of goodies. Just last weekend I felt like trying the Creamy Garlic and Onion Soup with Feta Cheese. As usual, delicious. And so easy. That’s the other thing about these soups. They are super easy. And on a cold winter’s day, creamy onion and garlic soup made my life. I would suggest, however, to have it as a starter instead of a lunch. This soup is pretty rich!
The cookbook suggested serving with croutons, but I thought these flaky cheese twists would be a bit more fun!
Creamy Onion and Garlic Soup with Feta Cheese
From: The Pocket Soup Cookbook
- 25g butter (2 tbsp, but I used about 1)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 4 (or 5) cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablesppons plain flour
- 3 cups beef stock
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup cream
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- crutons (or flaky cheesy twists)
- 1/2 cup (or a little more) crumbled feta
Heat butter and oil in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Don’t let them brown, no sweet caramelization in this baby. Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes, then add in stock and white wine. Stir to make sure you have no flour clumpies. Stir until soup comes to a boil and then let simmer for about 15 minutes until it has slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool a little. (I’m always to impatient to let my soups cool very much).
Place in blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan and gently reheat. Stir in cream and add freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with feta (“garnish isn’t quite right, as it immediately sinks into your soup) and croutons (or flaky cheesy twists).
Amazon shows this soup cookbook as available from three sellers for $35.64. Or 71x more than I paid for it. If only I had luck like that on the stock market. You may be able to find in in Australia for cheaper. Or, you can keep coming back to the blog, as I’ll bee posting my favourite soups from the soup cookbook over the next several months. This summer I’m even going to brave the cold soups!