Recipe: green pea soup with creme fraîche and bleak roe

IMG_9980.jpeg

I know, green pea soup is nothing new. But, it’s really delicious (and nutritious!) and made even more delicious topped with creme fraîche and bleak roe.

APC_3346.jpeg

Mamma had this at a restaurant and told me how the combination really works, so obviously I took her word for it and tried it too!

APC_3348.jpeg

And now, I hope you take my word for it too. Because it really does work and makes this lovely soup even more dinner party worthy than it was before.

A note on bleak roe. I realise it’s a fairly Swedish ingredient, but any nice of fish roe or caviar would work here. It’s that slightly salty tang that works so well with the creaminess of the soup.

APC_3356.jpeg

Green pea soup with creme fraîche and bleak roe, serves 2

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp neutral oil

300 g frozen petit pois

water to cover

a dash of concentrated vegetable or chicken stock

100 ml cream

approx 3 tbsp dry white wine

To serve:

2 tbsp full fat creme fraiche

2 tbsp bleak roe

Heat up a sauce pan and add oil. Add the onions and fry on medium heat without browning. Add the frozen peas to the pan and just about cover them with water. Bring to the boil and let it boil for a minute or two. Drain but keep the water on the side. Blitz the peas with about two small ladles of the water until you have a too-thick soup. Pour it back into the pan, add cream, wine and stock and bring to the boil again. Add more liquid if the soup is too thick. Season. With two spoons shape eggs of the creme fraîche and place in bowls. Do the same with bleak roe and place on top. Place on the table and pour in the soup.

Recipe: broccoli cheddar soup

IMG_9377.JPG

I love broccoli! Which you can see in the archives here at Scandelights. And luckily broccoli is one of those rare vegetables that both taste nice AND is good for you. Hurrah!

This soup, however, might be more good for the soul than the waist, as it has a hefty amount of cheese in it. But, isn’t that what we need this time of year?! Something warm and comforting in a bowl, that’s both delicious and nutritious (thanks to the broccoli).

IMG_9356.JPG

Broccoli cheddar soup, serves 4-6

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

4 tbsp butter

1 small onion, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

60 ml plain flour

120 ml milk

120 ml cream

950 ml vegetable or chicken stock (from a good quality cube is fine) 

1 bay leaf

salt and black pepper

565 g broccoli, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

225 g grated mature cheddar + extra for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk and cream until smooth. Add the stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the pan and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning if needed, but keep in mind the cheese will add some salt as well. Mix the soup with a stick blender to your desired texture. Back on the stove, add cheese and whisk until melted, about 1 minute.

Serve in bowls, garnished with grated cheddar. Serve with crusty bread. 

Recipe: Lobster soup with toast

nye7.jpg

For New Year’s Eve my assignment was to make a lobster soup with sherry, so that’s what I set out to do. But as I needed lobster shell for the stock I thought it best to incorporate the lobster meat as well and did so by serving a delicious lobster toast (on butter-fried bread!) along side it. So yummy!

Obviously one can make the soup sans toast the day after a lobster feast or freeze the shells and use them another day. Same goes for prawn shells; you find a great recipe for prawn soup here.

nye5.jpg

Lobster soup, serves 8

4 cooked lobsters

2 carrots

1 onion with skin on 

1 fennel or celery 

a bunch dill stalks

1 tsp fennel seeds

300 ml double cream 

50 ml dry sherry

approx 2 tbsp maizena or corn starch to thicken the soup

concentrated lobster stock (to taste)

———-

1 tbsp butter

a splash of sherry

2 shallots, finely chopped 

1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped 

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and set aside. Chop the shells very coarsley (it’s only so they fit better in the pan later). Place the shell in a large cooking tray with a little oil. Also add large pieces of carrot, onion and celery/fennel. Roast for approx 20 minutes on 180/200C. Transfer the shells and vegetables to a large saucepan with a lid. Add plenty of water (3 litres) and bring to the boil. Add dill stalks and fennel seeds. Place the lid askew and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Sieve the stock and reduce (high heat, no lid) until approx 1 litre remains. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add some concentrated lobster stock if needed. Add the sherry to a clean non-stick pan and let it bubble for a minute. Add the stock and cream and let it thicken. Add the maizena/corn starch to thicken the soup further. Sieve if you see any lumps. Season to taste with concentrate, salt, pepper and sherry. 

From the lobster meat I used approx 1/4 of the meat, the smallest pieces, to place in the soup bowls. Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped shallots. After a minute add the lobster meat and add the sherry. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dill. Divide between the bowls and pour in the soup. 

Lobster toast, serves 8

6 slices white bread

2 tbsp butter

remaining lobster meat from the 4 lobsters

1 batch homemade mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon

1 bunch, finely chopped

1 pinch cayenne pepper

salt, pepper

Chop the lobster meat (not too finely). Add 4 tbsp mayonnaise to a bowl and mix in the meat. Add more mayo if needed. Add mustard, dill and cayenne after taste. Season. Place cold until serving. 

Remove the crusts on the bread and cut into two diagonally. Fry the slices golden brown on both sides in butter on medium-low heat. Divide the lobster mayonnaise between the toasts and serve with the soup. 

Recipe: udon noodles with spinach and poached egg

udon.jpg

This simple and very comforting dish (funny how foods not involving melted cheese can be comforting, but they can!) I found in Vogue of all places, i.e. not where I usually get my food inspiration from, but it’s nice they write about food as well as fashion.

The only slightly daunting part of this meal is poaching eggs, but if you have the freshest of eggs and a slotted spoon you’re halfway there. Further instructions here.

Udon noodles with spinach and poached egg, serves 1

1 portion udon noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the packet 

2 handfuls fresh spinach

200-300 ml vegetable or chicken stock

1 poached egg 

Heat up the stock. Blanch the spinach in boiling water and squeeze it dry. Pour the stock into a bowl. Add noodles and spinach and lastly the poached egg. Sprinkle with chilli flakes or Aleppo pepper. 

Recipe: cream of mushroom soup with sherry

soppa2.jpg

This creamy mushrooms soup with sherry is a new favourite of mine. The humble ingredients really come together here creating a delicious soup, definitely worthy of becoming your next dinner party starter but also perfect for a warming weeknight supper with some crunchy bread to go with it.

Cream of mushroom soup with sherry, serves 2

1/2 onion, sliced

1 small garlic clove, sliced

oil and butter for frying

250 g chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters

50-75 ml fino sherry

300-400 ml boiling water

1/2 stock cube

salt

1 proper sprig of thyme

5 pieces dried porcini mushrooms

30 ml single cream

salt, white pepper

Fry the onion and garlic until soft in the butter and oil in a large saucepan, without browning too much. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until the mushrooms have shrunk somewhat. Add the sherry and let some of it evaporate. Add the water and stock cube, a small pinch of salt and the thyme. Also add the dried porcini. Bring to the boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. 

Remove the thyme and then mix everything until smooth in a blender. Pour the soup back into the saucepan and add the cream. Bring to the boil again and add the cream. Season with salt and white pepper. Serve in bowls and garnish with a few drops of cream and a sprig of thyme. 

Kale soup with pork quenelles

IMG_2445

This, dear fellow foodies, is old-fashioned Swedish peasant food. In a good way. Perfect for this cold time of year this soup is warming and nourishing and so are the pork quenelles, which are basically meatballs cooked in stock instead of pan-fried.

Please note that the quenelles takes longer to make than the soup, so do start with these. If you think the quenelles are strange or you don’t eat meat, garnish your soup with medium-boiled eggs instead. Cut them in half and put them in the soup – it’s also delicious and another common way to eat the soup.

Kale soup, serves 4

Adapted from Hannu Sarenström’s recipe in the book Vinterkalas.

ca 375 g chopped fresh kale

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp plain flour

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

100 ml cream

salt, black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the flour and add the stock little by little while stirring. Add the kale and let simmer for 10 minutes. Mix with a stick  blender and add the cream. Bring to the boil and season to taste. 

Pork quenelles, serves 4-6

500 g pork mince

1 egg

100 ml breadcrumbs

1-2 tbsp water

salt, white pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

1,5 litre chicken stock (from a cube is fine)

Break the egg into a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs. Add salt (more than you think) and white pepper. Let the mixture swell for a few minutes. If the mixture is thick add 1-2 tbsp water to loosen it. Stir in the chopped onions and the mince. Mix well and roll the mince into 2 cm thick balls. Rinse your hands in between rolling to make it easier. 

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and let it simmer. Add the quenelles and let them simmer for approx 15 minutes (check with a knife that they’re cooked through, i.e. not pink in the middle). Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the soup bowls. Fill up with kale soup and serve. 

Pappa al pomodoro with burrata

IMG_4092

Although I utterly adore this simple Italian bread and tomato soup, I haven’t made it myself until recently. I saw no point cooking this with flavourless winter tomatoes, but now when the tomatoes (at least the forced ones) are in season again I just couldn’t wait any longer to make it.

IMG_4103

But I will admit it might work even better in the autumn when there are sunwarm tomatoes aplenty but the outside temperatures have dropped slightly. However, serving the pappa al pomodoro with a cold, creamy and mild burrata makes the dish a whole lot more summery. (I have the wonderful restaurant Zucca to thank for that idea.) And you don’t have to serve the soup piping hot either, it is nice when just warm too.

Pappa al pomodoro, serves 2-3 

2 medium tomatoes

4 small garlic cloves

1 bunch basil

3-5 tbsp of good quality olive oil

salt and black pepper

400 g tinned tomatoes (whole or chopped)

200 ml water

200 g stale white bread, sourdough or farmhouse style bread

To serve: burrata

Cube the tomatoes and chop half the garlic and add to an ovenproof tray. Also add a third of the basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season. Roast in 200C oven for 20 minutes. 

Chop the rest of the basil and garlic. Add to a saucepan and fry in olive oil for a minute or so. Add the tinned tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Break the bread into chunks and add to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes (oil, garlic and all) and mix well. Remove from heat, add olive oil and season to taste. Garnish with some more chopped basil and the burrata.