Cookbook Review ~ Paul Gayler GREAT HOMEMADE SOUPS

Review By: Gloria Cohen


With guest chefs: Daniel Boulud, Antonio Carluccio, Chris & Jeff Gavin, Tom Kerridge, Atul Kochhar, Pierre Koffman, Susan Spicer

Photos by: Lisa Linder

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Saffron & Herbs & Flowers
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Saffron & Herbs & Flowers

Recipe Below ~

Mouth watering Homemade Soups From Many of the World’s Top Chefs

Being a big fan of soup, I was very excited as I turned every page of this book, there were endless recipes that made me want to run to the kitchen and get started. This hardcover book is beautifully laid out with equally beautifully photographs.

The beginning of the book takes you through classification of soups, equipment needed, garnishes and accompaniments, amazing toppings and garnishes and a variety of flavourful homemade stocks, natural broths, consommés. The very first both is an amazing, porcini (or truffle) broth with dropped confit eggs and herbs.

It is often said that a cook’s reputation hinges on the quality of his or her soup. Perhaps that is why many of us steer clear of making our own. But with the cold weather here, it’s time to get back in the kitchen and master the art of the soup!

With over 100 recipes, ranging from tried-and-tested classics to soups from faraway including; Vietnam – Vegetable Pho; Colombia – Ajiaco; Japan – Shiitake-Enoli Miso Noodle Soup; Sardinia – Chickpea and Fennel Soup; Ethiopia – Yam, Peanut and Ginger Soup.

Here is a sample recipe, (photo above):

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Saffron and Herbs and Flowers

When knobbly Jerusalem artichokes hit the markets in early autumn, this soup is one of the dishes I rush to make. The slightly strange-looking vegetable enjoys its well-deserved culinary status. My soup is a feast for the eyes with its garnish of herbs and flowers. It is equally delicious served hot or cold.

13oz (375g ) Jerusalem artichokes

juice of ½ lemon

1¾ oz/3½ tablespoon (50g ) unsalted butter

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup (100ml)

whole milk

Good pinch of fresh saffron strands

9 fl oz/1 cup (250ml ) hot white chicken stock or hot vegetable stock

3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup (100ml)

double cream

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

Your choice of herbs (such as baby basil cress, coriander cress or parsley leaves) and flowers (such as dandelions, borage and pansies), to garnish

Peel and cube the artichokes and put them in a bowl of water, acidulated with the lemon juice to stop them from discolouring. Set aside. Heat the butter over a medium heat in a heavy-based pan, then add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the onions are softened.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small pan, then add the saffron and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the milk with the saffron.

Drain the artichokes. Pour the infused milk onto the softened onion and add the artichokes and hot stock. Bring to the boil, cover, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.

Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held stick blender to blitz to a smooth purée. Strain through a fi ne sieve. Return to a clean pan, bring back to the boil, add the cream and season to taste.

Divide the soup between the individual soup bowls and garnish with your choice of herbs and flowers. Serve immediately.

Variation: Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Roast the Jerusalem artichokes with 150g (5½oz/¾ cup) cubed bacon and 1 tsp thyme for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 160°C (325°F/Gas 3) until golden. Put the roasted artichokes in a pan over a medium heat and add 250g (9oz/1 cup) peeled and cubed potatoes. Cover with the stock, as in the basic recipe and cook until tender. Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held stick blender to blitz to a smooth purée. Strain through a fi ne sieve, then finish with the cream.

Chef Paul Gayler is well known as Executive Chef at London’s prestigious hotel, The Lanesborough.

Published by Frances Lincoln Ltd,  Available at a bookseller near you or on line. $40.