Sunday, 1 September 2013

Ugly Soup and fine wine

I love having people for dinner and usually like to spend the day in the kitchen cooking up something a bit different. Sometimes life has other plans.  On Sunday morning I rescued a young dog from running onto the road and spent the day looking for her family (I will write about this in detail another time). Which meant that I was racing home from the supermarket 20 minutes before my friends were due to arrive. The night called for soup. Ugly soup.

So it is actually a cauliflower and pistachio soup

What you need:
An onion (brown or red- I use whatever I have), chopped finely
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
A cauliflower, chopped up roughly
85g pistachios (a small bag from the supermarket)
A splash of olive oil
4 cups of vegetable stock (you may need a little more or a little less)

Roast the pistachios in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes, just to make them toasty, and allow to cool

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot

Throw in your cauliflower and toss it through the flavoured oil

Add your stock. I like my soup thickish so the best way to judge is to just cover your vegetables, you can always add a little more later if needed. Bring to the boil and then let it simmer away

Blitz your lightly roasted and cooled nuts and add to your pot once the cauliflower is tender

Simmer for a couple more minutes to incorporate the flavours and then chuck it in a blender until it is nice and smooth. And ugly (but delicious). A great high protein low carb vegetarian soup (we ate pan bread with it which blew the low carb idea out of the water).

And now to rave about the wine that the lovely ladies brought. Michael Hall is possibly one of my favourite winemakers. He makes beautiful, elegant and just really interesting wines. We first discovered him at Strangeloves, a great little wine bar in Moonee Ponds where they had his Sang de Pigeon ("Pigeon's blood") rosè by the glass. Made from shiraz grapes, it had a spicy fruity palate with a dry finish and a richness I have never experienced in a rosè before or since. On a separate trip to Strangeloves I drank a bottle of his chardonnay (not by myself) and was in love (with Michael's wine making ability). One of my lovely guests works at Blackhearts and Sparrows, a small group of awesome wine and beer shops scattered around Melbourne, and they stock Michael Hall wines so she brought the pinot.

I didn't keep notes at the time but it was GORGEOUS. Beautifully balanced with lots of rich wild strawberry and spice and a little bit of forest floor which I love. Michael's notes: 'this wine shows a beguiling interplay of glace cherry and wild strawberry, cinnamon, pomegranite, mossy bark, a hint of celery and soft talcum tannin.'

They also brought this tasty crazy little gem which has a nose almost like a bordeaux blend- blackcurrant and floral spicyness and a rich funkyness to it but is all pinot. I'm going to chase down some more of these wines for certain. The winery  name is Del Rios-  they don't have much info on the Mayhem range on the website. I am planning me a trip out to the cellar door and fab sounding Spanish cafe.

I just had to share this picture because I love it. All that wine and hearty food.


  1. Not ugly soup at all, it looks luscious and velvety (and bread is a must with soup).

    Love your description of the wines, I do love a glass of wine :D

  2. This soup looks great and I love that it is low carb! (If I resist the lure of bread ..!!)


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