I am crazy about brothy soups and under that classification I would also put many asian soups and consommé’s. There is something incredibly refreshing and satisfying for me about a well flavoured broth with your favourite meats, veggies or starches added to it. It also looks great, this clear shimmering steaming liquid with bright colours and textures appearing through it. Okay, I may be over doing it a tad now, but I have just scoffed down three bowls and am feeling a little heady and romantic now.
What I made for lunch was a quick fix, in broth terms, but no less sensational. I think the secret is to have the best quality stock you can afford at hand or a great Asian soup paste. Then add whatever meaty, veggie or starchy things you like. I like to add a lot of my ingredients after the broth has been completed, so they are warmed through but still have great texture and fresh flavour.
I was fortunate to have had a special delivery from Germany of porcini stock paste which is what I used for my broth but I also can’t say enough about the NoMU Fond range. They are worth their weight in gold and you would do well to have the whole range in your cupboard at all times. I have written my recipe below, but this really should be tailor made to your specific tastes. I do however highly recommend the addition of fresh avo – it is soooo very yummy, nutty and creamy.
Broth a la Thekla
Serves 4 starter portions or two main course portions
2 tsp of your best olive oil
1 Tbsp of butter
6 large button mushrooms, thickly sliced
½ a medium onion, cut into petals
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
Lots of black pepper and a little salt
500ml of your favourite fond/stock/Asian soup base (try not to skimp here) and taste this before you add it, it needs to taste rich. Some stocks need a heavier hand when reconstituting them to make a good strong broth.
¼ of a large carrot, halved and thinly sliced
½ a cup of frozen corn (I always have a packet in the freezer)
¼ of a firm (but still ripe) avo cut into cubes
½ a cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
I nicked a few small bok choy leaves from a baby Asian leaf salad pack too
Heat the oil and butter in a medium pot on medium high heat. Fry the mushrooms with lots of black pepper and a touch of salt until they start to colour a little, then add the onion and garlic and fry until translucent. Add the stock, carrots and corn and simmer until all the flavours have combined. Switch off the heat, ladle the soup into bowls, top with the avo and cherry tomatoes (and a little bok choy if you have) and eat immediately.