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Newsletter #41  -  Jan 21 , 2003

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Hello again!

It's difficult to believe that we are already more than halfway through January, before we realise it Christmas will be upon us again!  We are in the middle of summer in South Africa so the soup recipes I have for you in this issue will be appreciated more by the subscribers in the Northern Hemisphere where there is still a chill in the air.

I have put together some typically South African soup recipes below, so whether the weather be warm or cold, go try some of them....and don't forget the vetkoek with the soup! I even added  soup potjie recipe!

Accompaniments are equally important as the soup itself. The early settlers served bits of bread fried in fat, similar to the croutons that are popular today, with rich soups. Soups containing curry sometimes had cooked white rice as an accompaniment, and yet other soups - notably those originating from the East - were served with Bokkems (salted, dried harders-fish) or Indian duck as it was called by the British colonials who came to South Africa via India and Malaysia. My personal favorite accompaniments are fresh bread, still so hot from the oven that the butter melts into it or vetkoek.

Featured Website - Bambela
for original handmade African themed greeting cards, and authentic township wire art.

Janine Goosen and Liesl van Rensburg are two South African women who, whilst living and working in a community brought to its knees by poverty and the devastating effects of AIDS, started a small company, BamBela, meaning to hold or embrace in an attempt to make a small difference to a big problem.

Their aim has been to nurture creativity, and reintroduce dignity to people who can be proud of their work and be paid a fair wage for it. Many of their craftsmen are entrepreneurs who have taken it upon themselves to learn an intricate craft with little assistance, and who in turn employ and train others in their communities. Each BamBela product is made with pride, care and by hand in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa and distributed globally from California, USA and South Africa.
Visit www.Bambela.com for a catalog, to request a sample, or for more information on the AIDS epidemic.

Contact details: Info@bambela.com   
Cape Town: Liesl Van Rensburg - +27 21 531 8585
12 Links Drive 

San Francisco: Janine Goosen - +1 650 988 0737
149 Ortega Ave
Mountain View
CA 94040

I also have two unresolved questions; Paul Fenner wants to know if you can get samp in Australia and Andrew asked me the origin of "Monkey Gland" for the well known sauce. If you can help, please email me

And that's it for now, folks!
Hamba kahle

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Any comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be appreciated!

That's it for now
Keep well


The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter

  Bean and Corn soup (Isophu) 
500 ml sugar beans 
500 ml fresh corn off the cob 
10 ml salt 
1 l water 

Bring water to the boil, add sugar beans, corn and salt. Reduce heat and simmer gently for two hours, adding water when necessary. Cook until beans and corn are soft. 

Bean Soup 

500 g sugar beans 
25 ml butter 
1 onion, finely chopped 
250 g streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped 
few pieces beef shin 
65 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped 
1 bay leaf 
2 l cold water 
finely grated rind of lemon 
45 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped 
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Soak the beans overnight or according to the quick soaking method (see Tips). Drain and rinse. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion until glossy. Add the bacon and stir-fry until done. Add the drained beans, shin, parsley, bay leaf and cold water and simmer slowly for about four hours until both the beans and meat are tender. Mash the beans slightly and season with lemon rind, more parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot with vetkoek.  

Biltong Soup 
125 ml butter 
2 beef stock cubes 
10 ml coarsely ground black pepper 
2 ml whole nutmeg, grated 
2 ml freshly ground coriander 
250 ml cake flour 
500 ml milk 
2 l boiling water 
250 ml coarsely grated Cheddar cheese 
200 g finely sliced moist biltong 
cream and port to taste 
100 g grated blue cheese 
bread sticks for serving 

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Crumble the stock cubes and add along with the spices. Add the flour and heat, stirring continually until the flour begins to simmer. Mix the milk and boiling water, and slowly stir into the flour mixture. Stirring continually, heat slowly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese and half the biltong. Do not bring the mixture to boil again. Keep warm until ready to serve. Stir in a little cream and port just before serving if desired. Ladle the hot soup into deep soup bowls and scatter a little of the remaining biltong and crumbled blue cheese on top. Serve with bread sticks. 

Cape Seafood Soup 

300 g frozen prawns in their shells (optional) 
65 ml lemon juice 
1 small crayfish tail (optional) 
1 kg fish heads and bones 
1 large onion, finely chopped 
1 stalk celery, finely chopped 
1 carrot, finely chopped 
2 bay leaves 
8 sprigs lemon thyme 
2 l water 

30 ml olive oil 
1 large leek, thinly sliced 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 stalk celery 
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped 
25 ml chopped fresh lemon thyme 
125 ml dry white wine 
1 large potato, peeled and finely chopped 
65 ml tomato paste 
2 ml fennel seeds or sprig of fennel (optional) 
5 ml sugar 
salt and freshly ground black pepper 
250 g hake fillets, cut into bite-size pieces 
30 ml chopped fresh parsley 

FISH STOCK: Shell the prawns (if using) and remove the vein. Reserve the shells but remove the heads and discard. If using, remove the crayfish meat from the shell, reserving the shell. Cube the meat. Set the prawns and crayfish meat aside for the soup. Place the prawns and crayfish shells, fish heads and bones, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf and lemon thyme in a large saucepan, add the water and salt and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for about 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve and then strain again through a finer sieve lined with a double layer of muslin cloth. You need 1,5 litres (6 c) stock for the soup.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the leeks, garlic and celery until tender and flavoursome. Add the tomatoes, thyme and wine. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until the vegetables are soft. Add the fish stock, potato, tomato paste and fennel seeds and simmer until the potato is tender. Season with sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the fish cubes, prawns and crayfish meat to the soup. Simmer until the fish is just done. Add the lemon juice, sprinkle with parsley and serve with fresh bread. Serves 6-8. 

Pea Soup Potjie

800 g neck of mutton, sliced
1 small, whole pork shank
5 l water
100 ml celery sticks, finely chopped
4 strips rindless breakfast bacon, cut into strips
2 large potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
500 g dried split peas
125 ml uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients, excepting the peas and rice, along with 2 l water in the pot.  Cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer the potjie slowly for approximately 2 hours. 
Add the peas, rice, 2.5 l water and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If the spoup is very thick, add the remaining 500 ml water, or more. Stir frequently to prevent soup from burning.

OK, so I am cheating a bit, the following is an Irish recipe using potatoes as the main ingredient that sounded too good to pass up:

Potato Soup with Parsley or Nutmeg

25g / 1 oz butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
550g / 1 1/4 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced
700 ml / 1 1/4 pt chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
300 ml / 1/2 pt milk
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg or 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp double cream (optional)

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion and potatoes. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, without browning.
Add the stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
Either pass through a sieve or tip into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth.
Return the soup to the pan and stir in the milk and nutmeg or parsley. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cream (if using), just before serving.

Serve topped with crunchy croutons made by browning some small cubes of bread in butter or oil.



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