SouperChef Specials | Christmas 2017
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
~ Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I love this. How true it is that every year, the holidays always seem to centre around the glitz and glamour of presents and parties. I’m admittedly at my most stressed self during the festive frenzy – checking off my long Christmas list, clearing work for my year-end leave, stocking up the pantry for holiday gatherings.
This Christmas, I’m hoping that I’ll do a little more, and I hope you’ll join me! How about a little more slowing down? Put down the phone, set it on silent mode, place it somewhere far far away. Untether yourself from nagging notifications and be okay being without the mobile. Nothing is really that urgent anyway! Have something hot, like good old French onion soup or hot cocoa, and just sink back in your couch. I’m looking forward to listening to my kids’ incessant chatter, hearing about my husband’s morning cycle. Less harried moments, more treasured memories!
Or how about a little more presence instead of presents? I will love to spend more time with my parents, drop by my neighbours’ more often. I want to show up for the people I love. Presents are fun, but I know for sure my children will rather I spend a day out in the playground with them than to receive that biggest toy from the store!
And this Christmas, we too, want to give you more. We’ve worked through many a meetings on our Christmas menus online and in stores to ensure that you’re getting more cost savings, more food varieties, more reasons to celebrate! We’ve cooked hard so you can relax more. Christmas is always more. Merry Christmas, from us all!
Soup Up to Goodness,
Follow me on Instagram handle @souperchefanna!
Barramundi Dill Chowder
This chowder was inspired by and adapted from my Perth campervan adventures in March 2015. My kids were playing on the beaches near Margaret River, and I cooked this chowder in our campervan parked nearby. Such a priceless experience! Barramundi is very similar to Chilean seabass or snapper with really firm meat, is low in fat and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. We have paired it with sweet potatoes, corn, spinach, quinoa and dill. To make it a truly Aussie experience, this soup also features my favourite homemade dukkah as a condiment. The Christmas season is just about the best time to slow down for a delicate chowder like this!
Chicken Cacciatore with Portobello and Sage
Pollo alla cacciatore is a traditional Italian hunter-style stew. This was inspired by my trip to Italy in 2012, travelling through the rolling hills of Tuscany. The hunters of Southern Italy would eat this at the end of a long, bitterly cold November day and I suspect it would be made from rabbits rather than chicken. There are many variations of this recipe depending on which region of Italy you are making it, but it always combines the harvests of the forests with herbs, wine, tomatoes and mushrooms. Our version is made from marinated chicken braised with country vegetables amply flavoured with tomatoes, mustard and parmesan cheese. Portobello mushrooms add an intense earthy flavour and meaty chew, while sage gives a mellow woodsy flavour. Truly a hunter’s fare and perfect for the cool December weather!
French Onion Soup
To me, there’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than with a soup that has stood the test of time. This soul-warming soup is a must-have on my Christmas table! Patience is needed to simmer this soup to bring out the sweet and natural flavour of onions! The onion rings are first caramelised till brown and sweet. They are then cooked overnight in homemade vegetable stock and fresh herbs to allow the onion flavour to permeate the broth and for the flavours to meld. The result is a rich vegetarian broth intensely infused with melt-in-your-mouth onions. We top the soup with sourdough croutons, generously finished with a mixture of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheese. Nothing like the simplicity of a good bowl of soup to remind you that Christmas is here!
Many of you love our Prawn Bit-sque, the SouperChef Special that makes a special appearance on our menu every Christmas. This year, we have used lobsters instead of prawns, because Christmas deserves a little more! People say cooking is a labour of love, and I really couldn’t agree more. This has to be the one of the most labourious soups I have ever made, but also one of the most satisfying! I used the age-old method with no short cuts and added in some extra steps myself to ensure I milked every drop of lobster essence there was from the shells. This is truly a beautiful, deeply flavoured bisque with lobster bits (hence the coining of the word ‘bit-sque’)! I sincerely hope that you love this soup and can taste the hard work, effort and the copious amounts of lobsters used in the making of this bit-sque!