The best soup I ever had was at Via’s in Greyton. It was unpretentious, delicious, made from broccoli picked that very morning and served in a small cup as an appetiser. When the chef came out during the meal we commented on how good the soup was and her response was that it’s because it was made with love. It remains one of my favourite food memories and words I always remember when I cook.
I love soup as a starter. You can pack it with flavour without making it too heavy or filling. I wanted to keep the soup vegetarian but the sweetness of the peas need some kind of a salty addition and was reminded of the Parmesan cream that Nina Timm made for the most delicious mushroom tarts and thought it work really well in terms of taste and presentation. I added the broccoli to increase the nutritional value of the soup but you can replace it with the same quantity of peas.
This soup is insanely easy and quick to make with a beautiful colour and just perfect hot or cold.
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 400g peas (fresh or frozen) keep a few for garnish
- 150g broccoli, chopped in chunks
- about 3 cups warm vegetable stock
- 125g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
- milk to dilute if needed
- Fry the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the butter, stir until melted and add the peas and broccoli. Give it all a good stir and add 2 1/2 cups of the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat lower and simmer for 5 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering make the parmesan cream. Soften the cream cheese and mix in the grated parmesan. Add a bit of milk if the mixture is too thick and refrigerate until needed.
- Remove the soup from the heat, place it in a food processor and blitz until fine and smooth. Return to the pot and add some more stock if you want a thinner consistency and check the seasoning (bearing in mind the parmesan cream is salty).
- Serve the soup hot or cold with a good dollop of parmesan cream on top and garnish with a few whole peas.
- Serves 6 as a starter