With it a bit cold in the evenings in Sydney I thought I would pop down the soup recipe I made the other day with Taj as it is a nice one to have on hand. I have put the rest of mine in the freezer for that day where I look in the fridge and realise I have forgotten to look after myself for dinner again.
There is quantities for 2 people and for 4 people. I have copied down the ingredients for 2 and you can double it or add bits more where needed.
1 small onion
1 stick celery
2 medium leeks
1 knob (love it) butter
750ml vegetable stock
2 small potatoes
1 small bunch thyme
75ml creme fraiche
75g taleggio cheese
2 slices ciabatta bread
1 garlic clove
peel and roughly chop the onion. trim and roughly chop the celery.
trim the leeks and halve them lengthways, then cut across into chunks. rinse well under cold running water and put aside to drain.
place a deep pan on a low medium heat and add a knob of butter.
once the butter has melted, add your chopped veg, a lug (love it) of olive oil and a splash of water. cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
fill the other pan with vegetable stock and bring it to a gentle simmer over a medium heat.
peel the potatoes then roughly grate them onto your board. add to the pan of simmering stock to cook for 5 minutes.
pick the thyme leaves from half your sprigs and put to one side. add the stalks and the rest of the sprigs to the stock.
when the potatoes are cooked through, fish out the thyme stalks and sprigs using tongs and get rid of them.
pour the stock mixture into the pan of softened vegetables and bring everything to the boil.
stir the creme fraiche into the soup then let it bubble away for a couple of minutes.
meanwhile, chop the taleggio into chunks.
put the griddle pan on a really high heat and slice 2 slices of ciabatta while you're waiting for it to heat up. cut the garlic clove in half.
take the soup off the heat and stir in the taleggio. give the soup a really good whiz with the had blender until it's smooth and creamy.
taste the soup, season with a good pinch of salt and pepper then cover with a lid.
lay the ciabatta slices in the hot dry griddle pan and toast for a minute or two on each side, rubbing the bread with the halved garlic clove as you go to give it some amazing flavour.
ladle the soup into your bowls, lay a toasted ciabatta slice over each bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the thyme leaves.
Cooking with little people is so much fun. You can cook with them at Taj's age, you just have to give them the jobs where you know they cannot get hurt. I could not imagine making our meals with out my little apprentice. He makes cooking fun for me, and he is also making Keely interested in the good food. Enjoy!