World Soup & Starters

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1. Chicken and Dumpling Soup

American 

Serves 6

Ingredients
olive oil                                                             1½ tbsp    Onion, finely chopped                                     1
Carrots, finely diced                                        2
Celery sticks, finely diced                               3
Garlic clove, crushed                                        1
Chicken stock                                          1.6 litres (2¾ pints)
Skinless chicken thigh fillets                  500g (1lb 2oz)
Leek, trimmed and sliced into rings              1

Dumplings

Ingredients  
Plain flour                                                   100g (3½oz)
Baking powder                                                  ½ tsp
Fresh parsley chopped                                     1 oz
Semi-skimmed milk                                        5 tbsp
salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat ½ tbsp of the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion, carrots and celery for 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and leek, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, put the flour into a medium bowl. Stir in the baking powder, threequarters of the parsley and plenty of seasoning. 
  4. Add the remaining oil and the milk and stir together until just combined to make a rough, slightly sticky dough.
  5. Drop small teaspoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the simmering stock and leave to cook for about 4 minutes (the dumplings will swell up, so don't be tempted to make them too big). Check the seasoning. 
  6. Ladle the soup and dumplings into warmed soup bowls, garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.

2. Chicken & Vermicelli Soup 

Greek 

Servings: 4

Ingredients

Chicken                                                              1

Angel hair pasta                                           100 g
Carrots chopped                                              2
Onion sliced                                                      1
Stick of celery                                                   1
Sprigs of dill                                                   2-3
Star anise                                                           1
Lemons                                                            1-2
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a large pot, add your chicken, onions, carrots and celery, cover and let it boil on low medium until the chicken is cooked. Don't forget to discard any foam when it starts boiling.
  2. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot. Take the flesh off the bones and keep aside.
  3. Add the angel hair or pasta of choice and the dill, allow to boil for 10-15 minutes. In the last few minutes add in the lemon juice.
  4. Your broth is ready to serve. You can add as much chicken as you like in each bowl when serving.
  5. If you didn't add the lemon juice earlier, or if you are really keen on citrus flavours you can add some more on the table.

If there is any left-over chicken - think sandwich!

3. Chicken Soup Avgolemono 

Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup

Ingredients

Optional: 

Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)

Method

  1. Add the chicken, water, carrots, celery stalks, onion, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and salt to a large stockpot. Bring to a rapid boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
  2. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a bowl and carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve into a separate large bowl. Return the strained broth to the stockpot and bring to a boil. 
  3. Add the orzo pasta and cook, uncovered, for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until tender. 
  4. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the egg-lemon mixture. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until nice and frothy in a bowl.
  5. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a steady stream while continuing to whisk. 
  6. When the pasta has finished cooking, turn off the heat. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into a bowl or large measuring cup.

  7. Slowly add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling once they are added to the hot broth.

  8. Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the pot and heat over very low heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil the soup once the eggs have been added.

  9. Adjust your seasoning for salt and pepper. 

  10. Traditionally, this soup is served without the chicken meat or vegetables. You can add them back or serve on the side as you prefer. 

Note: 

  1. Chicken soup avgolemono is perhaps the most iconic of all Greek soups. It is on the menu at every Greek restaurant or diner, and you'll find it as the first course at most Greek holiday celebrations. 
  2. Egg acts as a thickener to this chicken soup with orzo which is brightened with the addition of lemon zest and juice.
  3. Avgolemono is also used as a sauce, often the accompaniment for grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat.

4. Andalusian Gazpacho

Spain

Ingredients 

Tomatoes, seeded, peeled and chopped             18

Cucumbers, seeded and diced                              2
Red pepper, chopped                                             2
Clove garlic, chopped                                             5
Baguette, cut into pieces                                       ¾
Red wine vinegar                                                7 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil                                           5 tbsp
Tabasco                                                                1 tbsp
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cucumber julienne, for garnish

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a large bowl and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Finely puree in a blender and strain. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with extra virgin olive oil and cucumber julienne.

Note:

  1. An easy-to-make warm weather dish that's perfect as an appetizer or light meal. Note: Allow 12 hours or overnight for marinating time.

5. French Onion Soup

French 

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

6 large onions, about 1.6kg (3½lb), finely sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish
500ml (17fl oz) dry cider
1 tsp caster sugar
1.5 litres (2½ pints) good-quality vegetable stock
6 small slices white bread
150g (5oz) Gruyère cheese, grated (see Vegetarian Cheeses)
salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Gently heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions, thyme and a large pinch of salt. 
  2. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions are soft.
  3. Pour in the cider and add the sugar. Turn up the heat and bubble, stirring frequently, until the cider has evaporated and the onions are well caramelized. This will take 30-40 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and heat through. Check and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium. Put the bread on a baking tray and lightly toast both sides under the grill. Divide the cheese equally among the toasts and grill until melted and bubbling.
  6. To serve, spoon the soup into warmed soup bowls. Top each bowl with a cheese toast and garnish with thyme leaves and black pepper.

6. Solyanka Soup

Russian

Ingredients

Bay leaves                                                                    2
Black peppercorns                                                     6
Allspice berries                                                           4
Cups water                                                                  10
Tablespoons beef base                                               4
Cabbage (green, shredded)                                 1/2 head
Celery (chopped)                                                      1 cup
Oil                                                                                1 tbls
Medium onions (chopped)                                          2
Carrots (peeled and chopped)                                    2
Polish kabanosy sausage (sliced 1/4-inch thick)      1 lb
Cooked chicken breasts (cubed)                                2
Ham (cubed)                                                               1 cup
Dill pickles (chopped)                                              3 large
Can tomato paste                                                 1 (6-ounce)
Stewed tomatoes                                       2 (14-ounce) cans
Black olives (sliced)                                                 3/4 cup
Capers                                                                        2 tbls 
White wine (dry)                                                        1 cup
Salt and pepper (to taste)
For the Garnish:
Sour cream                                                                1/2 cup
Chopped fresh dill to taste                                     1/2 cup

Note:

  1. Solyanka (also spelled soljanka) gets its name from the Russian word for salt. The soup may have originated in Ukraine in the 17th century-regardless, it became beloved by Russians. 
  2. This is a hearty, thick soup with salty cured meats, sausages, olives, capers, pickles, cabbage, sometimes carrots, and dill and sour cream for garnish. Accompanied, of course, by whole-grain or rye bread.
  3. This recipe flavours the broth with a combination of beef base and an herbal sachet. Bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice berries are bundled in a piece of cheesecloth and tied to the pot handle for easy retrieval.
  4. There is a vegetarian version, but meat solyanka is the most common. It can be considered an "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" type of soup, but it tastes so much better than that name implies. 
  5. It's often considered the ultimate hangover cure because it replaces the salts lost after a night of revelry.

7. Bok Choy Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. 
  2. Stir in the red pepper flakes, soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, and chopped garlic. 
  3. Add the bok choy leaves. Simmer for up to 10 minutes, until the bok choy leaves turn dark green and are wilted and tender. 

Note:

  1. A tried and true chicken soup is often a recipe staple that makes appearances during cold and flu season as well as on the holiday table. But if you are feeling a bit tired of this standard recipe, why not explore one of the chicken soup recipes from around the globe? 
  2. This quick and easy Chinese recipe brings together the quintessential comfort of chicken soup with the ubiquitous flavour's of the Far East while pumping up the nutritional benefits with a bit of bok choy. 
  3. You can use store-bought or homemade chicken broth; using a broth from scratch, or adding cooked chicken or raw, peeled shrimp, will increase the nutrition even more.

8. Winter Minestrone

Italian

Ingredients

  1. In a large, heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the Swiss chard and potato. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and rosemary sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil. 
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a food processor or blender, combine 3/4 of the beans with 1/2 cup of broth. Blend until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potato pieces are tender, about 15 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the remaining beans and the parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. 
  6. Discard the rosemary stems (the leaves will have fallen off) and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.