Trader Vic's bongo bongo soup
( SERVES 4 )
This soup might well be considered a newish classic. I first ate a bowl of it in Wellington back in the 80s, cooked by friends at a dinner party one night. They didn’t add the chillies, but I have since many times as the flavour goes incredibly well with pureed oysters and spinach, and I replace the classic cream and milk with coconut cream. It serves 4-6 as a starter because it is quite rich.
This recipe is part of the answer to an Ask Peter question on what to do if you dislike chillies.
- Saute onion, garlic and chilli in oil or butter until completely collapsed and softened, without colouring. It will take 12-15 minutes cooking, stirring occasionally.
- Add coconut cream (or coconut milk) and fish or chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer 5 minutes.
- Add spinach and simmer 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add oysters and any juices and simmer another 4 minutes.
- Use a stick blender to puree smooth, or carefully puree in a bar-blender in batches. Don't overfill the blender because the hot liquid will explode all over you and the kitchen. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. You could make this without the chilli as I first had it made for me, but I have to say the background flavour and heat add something that would be hard to replicate with any other spice.