Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Nothing will tantalize your holiday guest’s appetites more than a sensational bowl of soup. Winter vegetables or shell fish make the perfect main ingredients for savory soups that will have your guests oooing and ahhhing not only after each delectable bite, but also over exquisite presentations.
Soup as a first course should be served sparingly. Beautiful shallow soup bowls filled halfway or 3/4 to the top are perfect for such an occasion. The purpose of a first course is to tease the appetite, not to fill your guests up before the main course.
Soup can also be prepared ahead, even a day ahead of the meal then simply re-warmed just prior to serving. This is a great help when tackling a holiday dinner with several menu items.
Most elegant soups are prepared in a similar way.
Saute the vegetables which may consist of onions, shallots, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks and other vegetables.
Add dry white wine and reduce until liquid has almost completely evaporated.
Add stock, chicken, fish or vegetable and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree.
Strain soup to remove solids and return to a clean pot.
Add cream and bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer.
Adjust seasonings and keep warm until served.
Once you have the soup, what transforms it from great to spectacular is the presentation and garnishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Serve small squash soups in a halved squash shell. Cut a flat spot on the bottom of the shells to make sure they sit solidly on the plates.
Garnish with contrasting colors.
Puree garnish sauces and pour them into squeeze bottles and squeeze a design on top of the soup just before serving.
Place an herb that has been used in the soup on top of the soup for garnish.
Garnish with 2" pieces of chives in the center of the soup and sprinkle chopped chives around the lip of the soup bowl.
The following are a collection of beautiful, out-of-this-world delicious soups that will impress even the most sophisticated gourmet.
Roasted Yellow Pepper & Roasted Tomato Soup
Cream of Mussel Soup
Pumpkin Soup w/Gruyere
Butternut Squash & Caramelized Apple Soup
Butternut Squash Soup w/Mushroom Mousse & Chives
Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Puree
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Smoked Salmon Bisque
Cream of Shrimp Soup
Orange & Carrot Soup
Roasted Eggplant Soup
3 Mushroom Consomme
Happy Holidays from Glutenfreeda.com!
at 9:20 AM