Hello again, I hope you have all tried the cocktails but now its time to start feeding those hungry guests of yours.
Now usually i would class soup as a starter as a bit of a cop out but its the damn holidays and I don’t want to be slaving in the kitchen whilst everyone else is having a wonderful time, drinking all the booze. This quick, easy but flavourful soup will be a hit with both the carnivores and veggies at the dinner table and looks deceptively like you have spent hours making it (my tip, make it the night before and warm it up). If you really hate yourself I will also tell you how to make quick, flat bread to serve alongside.
Roasted Garlic and Brie Soup
- 2 heads of roasted garlic (put he heads in the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast on a low heat for about an hour till all gooey)
- 200g Brie, rind removed and chopped (or less – I recommend adding a bit at a time to taste)
- 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp cup flour
- 1.5 ltrs chicken or veggie broth
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano)
- optional: fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion and carrot and saute for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables have softened.
Add flour and stir for another minute to combine. Then add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring often.
Carefully squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the heads (then spend the rest of the day sniffing your fingers), and place them in the food processor (or blender). Add in one cup soup mixture and process until smooth. Return processed mixture to pot and add in the thyme and oregano. Bring to a simmer.
Add cheese and stir slowly until melted. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper (or a tiny dash of white pepper), and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley if you’d like.
Flat bread for dipping
For the basic dough:
- 500g Strong, white bread flour
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 10g Of instant yeast
- 30g unsalted butter
- 300mls Warm water
Put the flour in a large, warm mixing bowl and add the salt and the dried yeast. Add the butter and most of the water, then mix with your hands to bring the mixture together. Gradually add the remaining water until all the flour is mixed in.
Put the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 5-10 minutes. When the dough feels smooth and silky, place it back in the mixing bowl, cover it with a warm tea towel and leave it in a warm place to rise for at least an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Tip the dough on to a floured surface, fold repeatedly until all the air is knocked out of it, then tear it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then roll out to the desired size (i’m told about 16″ long is a good diameter).
Put the baking sheet of flat breads in a warm place 10-15 minutes. Warm a heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. Rub very lightly with a little olive oil then place two or three flat breads into the pan and cook them for 3-4 minutes. Once they have started to darken here and there, turn them over and cook the other side.
Of course if you can’t be bothered, crusty bread rolls are just as good!
Nigel Slaters flat bread