By Caren McSherry, Founder/President of The Gourmet Warehouse
These little soup cups are a perfect starter for any dinner party. The cute factor impresses everyone and leftovers are always welcome for a nice lunch the next day.
Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
Unsalted butter (2 tablespoons)
Yellow onion, peeled and diced (1 small = about 1 heaping cup)
Sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/2 cup)
Garlic clove, minced (1 large)
San Marzano tomatoes (One – 28 ounce can)
Chicken stock (2 cups)
Fresh thyme (2- 2 inch sprigs)
Coffee cream (2/3 cup)
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
12 large fresh basil leaves, stacked and cut into chiffonade*
- Place the oil and butter in a 2 quart stainless steel pot, add the onion, potato and garlic.
- Stir to combine, place the lid on, turn the heat to medium, let the mixture sweat until the onion and sweet potato are soft, not brown.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme, stir and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
- Purée the soup in batches, making sure no bits remain.
- Return the puréed soup to the pot, add the cream and season with the sea salt and pepper to taste. It is very important that you do not heat the soup above a low simmer or the cream will separate and curdle.
- Season with sea salt and ground pepper to taste. Ladle into small cups or glass shooters and sprinkle each with a few shreds of the basil chiffonade and crown the lid with a Parmesan Tuile (recipe below)
Makes 12 – 4 oz servings
Note: Chiffonade is a term used to finely cut leafy herbs such as basil, mint, or sage into shreds.
Flatten each leaf and stack on top of each other, then tightly roll the stack and slice fine. This will produce a lovely stack of shredded basil.
These cute, little crisps look daunting, but they are truly as easy to make as mounding two tablespoons of grated Parmesan onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and baking. You are welcome to add flavors, such as a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a pinch of lemon zest or cracked pepper. So easy and such impact. What are you waiting for?
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1½ cups)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Place 2-tablespoon mounds of cheese on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, ensuring they are evenly spaced. If you wish to add flavour, do so before you bake.
- Bake for about 5 to 7 minutes. The cheese will melt and spread into a lace-like cookie. Once the tuiles are flat and golden, remove from the oven immediately. At this point, they are very malleable, so laying them on a lightly greased rolling pin will result in a half rounded cup; placing them over the bottom of an upturned muffin pan will yield a fully rounded cup. You have a window of about 30 seconds to mold the tuiles; the minute they harden, they will remain firm. These will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
Makes 12 tuiles
Caren McSherry is the founder and owner of the Gourmet Warehouse, a specialty food and housewares emporium located at 1340 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. She attended several international culinary academies, including the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu, and, in 1978, opened her own cooking school. Caren has shared her culinary expertise with thousands of people, whether in person or on her regular Global TV and CKNW radio segments. She is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author. This recipe is from her new cookbook, “Starters, Salads & Sexy Sides“.