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Simon Hopkinson’s cabbage, caraway and pepper soup with potato dumplings | Food

You may like to further enhance this nourishing soup by sprinkling a little crumbled roquefort or other good quality, continental blue cheese over each serving. The recipe for the dumplings will make more than you need. I suggest you keep the extra mixture until the following day, to enjoy the dumplings in their own right – boiled and dressed with a little hot butter, in which sage leaves have been crisped, and a dusting of freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 4
For the dumplings
potatoes 400g (desiree are good here), peeled
butter 40g
egg 1 large
self-raising flour 50g
baking powder ½ tsp
sea salt 1 tsp

For the soup
butter 25g
olive oil a small glug
leek 1, trimmed, well washed and thinly sliced
onion 1 large, peeled and finely chopped
carrot 1 large, peeled and grated
garlic 4 large cloves, peeled and finely chopped
stock 1.25 litres
caraway seeds 1 tsp
freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp, not too finely ground
cabbage 300g (preferably hispi), shredded, then coarsely chopped
chopped parsley 1 heaped tbsp

For the dumplings, put the potatoes into a steamer and cook until very tender. Allow them to dry out for a few minutes and, while still hot, pass through a potato ricer (best) or a vegetable mill (mouli-légumes) into a bowl, but try not to over-work them. Now, thoroughly beat in the remaining ingredients and leave to cool and firm up in the fridge.

For the soup, heat the butter and olive oil in another large pan, add the leek, onion, carrot and garlic and fry gently until softened but not coloured. Add the stock, caraway, pepper and salt to taste. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to a gentle boil for the dumplings.

Add the cabbage to the soup and continue to simmer until it is tender. To cook the dumplings, scoop up little balls of potato mixture with an oiled teaspoon and drop into the boiling water; 5 per person is about right. They will swell slightly, float up to the surface and be ready in 4-5 minutes.

To assemble, stir the parsley into the simmering soup, decant into four hot soup bowls and add the dumplings. Serve directly.

From The Vegetarian Option: simple, vegetarian, delicious by Simon Hopkinson (Quadrille, £12.99)

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