Stephen's paua soup with fried capers
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.