Stephen's paua soup with fried capers
( SERVES 6 )
The secret to the incredible depth of flavour and texture of this soup, which was developed by my head chef, Stephen Mahoney, comes from the initial two-hour braising of the paua. Although it's a long time to wait for a bowl of soup, it is well worth it.
|4 large||Paua, cleaned and scrubbed|
|3 stalks||Celery, chopped|
|500 ml||Chicken stock|
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Place the onion, celery, bay leaves and paua (cleaned and scrubbed) in a deep ovenproof pot and pour over the stock. Cover with greaseproof paper and then tinfoil.
- First, bring the liquid to a simmer on top of the stove, then put it into the oven.
- Cook for 2 hours, then remove the pot from the oven. Strain and reserve the liquid. Discard the vegetables.
- When the paua are cool enough to handle, slice them into 5mm-thick pieces. Set aside.
For the soup
- Melt the butter in a deep saucepan, then stir in the onion, celery and leek (white only, chopped).
- Fry until they begin to soften, then lower the heat and add the paua and bay leaf.
- Pour in the vermouth and cook for 2 minutes, then pour in 100ml of the reserved paua braising stock and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the milk and cream. Bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat so that the soup simmers gently for 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf, then transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat a frying pan and add the oil. Once it is hot, quickly sauté the rinsed capers until they pop open and then remove to a paper towel to drain.
- Serve the soup with a sprinkling of capers on top.