This soup has a story. We recently visited Italy and I fell in love with the mushrooms and obviously the truffles. So, in my kitchen in the winelands of Stellenbosch with a glass of Vondeling Monsonia and Putumayo the Italian Cafe album playing in the background I started to get into the groove of inventing something Italian. First adding onion, garlic, mushrooms etc. to the pot, I added a truly South African noble late harvest oops so much for Italian. Then I carried on with my fresh thyme, proper chicken stock, mascarpone and my truffle oil from Italy. Man was I impressed, but it short something and it was then when I remembered about the wonderful salt I got from a local lady that smokes her own salt in the Paarl. I then thought to myself how wonderful, Italy meets South Africa in one pot. I add her gourmet smoked salt and o boy did it transfer the soup into something magical. It shows everything, and everybody can add and compliments each other doesn’t matter the culture or the history. Everybody can add happiness to this wonderful world.
1 brown onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks, chopped
3 cloves of fresh garlic
250g cauliflower, chopped
250g wild mushrooms or any kind you can get
¼ cup dried mushrooms I used oyster mushrooms
1L good chicken stock
½ cup of noble late harvest
Gourmet smoked salt
4 drops of truffle oil (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Place the cauliflower onto a baking tray and drizzle with some olive oil and season with gourmet smoked salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until golden brown. Heat the olive oil, add the onion, leeks and garlic and fry over medium heat until soft. Add the cauliflower and wild mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms are soft. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme the noble late harvest and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Put the soup into a blender or liquidizer and blend until smooth. Pour it back into the pot and add the mascarpone and the truffle oil. Slightly heat and serve with fresh ciabatta.
Photographer: Lindy Kriek
Wine: Vondeling Wines