Asparagus soup topped with ricotta, chives and crispy chicken recipe

Tom Kitchin opened his first restaurant, The Kitchin, with his wife on Edinburgh Leith waterfront in 2006. He received French training from some of the world’s best chef – Pierre Koffmann, Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasse.

The Kitchin was awarded a michelin star just six months after opening.

After moving to Scotland to work, The Kitchin was definitely on my list to visit and I was there within 2 months to try out some of Tom Kitchin’s Scottish cooking. Tried the tasting menu and was pretty blown away. I also had a chance to catch a glimpse of Tom Kitchin himself in the kitchen working away!

Anyway, as usual, after a visit to a michelin star restaurant which impresses me, I will start purchasing their cookbooks online.

‘Tom Kitchin kitchin suppers’ is definitely a cookbook to get hold of.

Recipes are not too difficult to follow and I definitely love my creations from his cookbook!

One of the recipes which I am going to share here today which is his ‘Asparagus soup topped with ricotta, chives and crispy chicken’.

Simple yet flavourful.

Asparagus soup topped with ricotta, chives and crispy chicken by Tom Kitchin:

Ingredients:

800g asparagus spears

olive oil for cooking

1 white onion, peeled and sliced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

450ml chicken stock

50g baby spinach leaves

Chicken and ricotta garnish ingredients:

12 chicken wings

olive oil for cooking

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

150g ricotta

1 tsp chopped chives

To finish:

4 asparagus spears, trimmed

extra virgin olive oil

freshly cracked black pepper

Steps:

1) To prepare the asparagus for the soup, snap off the woody ends of the spears and peel the lower end of the stalks. Finely chop the asparagus. Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion, season with a little salt and sweat gently for 2-3 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to the boil in another pan.

2) Add the asparagus to the onion and sweat together over a high heat for 1-2 minutes. Pour in enough of the hot stock to just cover the asparagus. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until the asparagus is just cooked, adding a little more stock to keep it covered if needed. Add the spinach and cook very briefly until it just wilts.

3) Tip the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Unless serving hot straight away, transfer to a bowl and cool quickly over another bowl of ice to preserve the lovely vivid green colour, then cover and refrigerate.

4) heat the oven to 180 celcius/Gas 4. For the garnish, put the chicken wings into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the caraway seeds. Heat a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken wings and colour for 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven for 8-10 minutes until the wings are cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly.

5) Once cooled, pull the meat from the bone. Tear into strips and put into a bowl with the ricotta and chives. Mix together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6) When ready to serve, trim the 4 raw asparagus spears, then cut lengthways into fine slices, using a sharp knife. Rub with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If serving the soup hot, reheat it gently.

7) Divide the soup between bowls and top each portion with a generous spoonful of the ricotta mixture and the raw asparagus slices. Top the ricotta with a sprinkling of cracked pepper and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil around the soup.

Enjoy!

Gordon Ramsay’s roasted tomato soup recipe

 

Christmas is a time to exercise some ‘fine dining’ culinary skills. It’s become a habit to organise every year’s pre-, post- christmas dinner with my best friends who were in Leeds but now in edinburgh. It is just pure bliss to plan for what I am going to cook for the christmas period every year. Totally enjoy doing this.

Christmas last year, I decided to attempt Gordon ramsay chef’s secret ‘my roasted tomato soup’ recipe. It was not too difficult to attempt and the tomato soup taste pretty good as well. Would love to make it again someday.

I love Gordon ramsay’s chef secret cookbook. Recipes are fairly easy to follow and ingredients not too difficult to source.

‘My roasted tomato soup’ by Gordon ramsay Chef’s secret:

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1kg plum tomatoes, halved

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 fat garlic cloves, halved

small handful of thyme sprigs

1 teaspoon caster sugar

small handful of basil sprigs

1 litre chicken stock or vegetable nage

3 smoked sun-dried cherry tomatoes in oil, drained (or 2 semi-soft sun dried tomatoes and 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

to serve,

2 tablespoons olive oil

200-300g baby cherry tomatoes on the vine

small basil leaves

Serves 4

1. Preheat the oven to 220 celcius, Gas 7. Pour the olive oil into a roasting tin and heat in the oven until almost smoking. Carefully tip in the tomatoes, onion rings and garlic, then toss to coat in the oil. Scatter over the thyme sprigs, sprinkle with sugar and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until nicely caramelised, stirring once or twice and adding the basil towards the end of cooking.

2. Tip the roasted tomatoes and flavourings into a saucepan, discarding any woody thyme stalks. Bring the stock to the boil in another pan, then pour over the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, add the smoked tomatoes (or semi-soft sun-dried tomatoes plus barbecue sauce) and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Strain the stock, reserving the tomato mixture. Tip the tomatoes into a blender or food processor and whiz, gradually adding the stock back in, until smooth and creamy. Pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan or bowl, rubbing with the back of a ladle. taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. For the garnish, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Snip the vine tomatoes into four clusters and fry them on the vine for about a minute.

5. Reheat the soup if necessary, but it’s best served warm rather than piping hot. Pour into warmed bowls and top with pan-roasted vine tomatoes. Drizzle the pan juices around the tomatoes and scatter with basil leaves.

Sweet potato soup recipe

I love sweet potato.

I have only seen sweet potato in chinese desserts. Never thought it could make a wonderful soup too!

Not too difficult to execute either. Perhaps the only patience required is pan frying the bacon. Pretty easy recipe. One hour only needed to prepare the soup.

Photo credit: http://www.rebeccalu.com

Photo credit: http://www.rebeccalu.com

Photo credit: http://www.rebeccalu.com

Photo credit: http://www.rebeccalu.com

Sweet potato soup recipe, adapted from Soups (published by Bounty Books) :

Serves 3

4-6 rindless smoked bacon rashers

15g butter

half an onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stick, sliced

1 bay leaf

450g sweet potatoes, sliced

140g potato, sliced

700ml chicken stock

75ml water

70ml dry white wine

pinch of grated nutmeg

Salt and white pepper to taste

Steps:

1) Heat the bacon in a frying pan over a gentle heat until the fat runs, then raise the heat and cook over a moderate heat until very crisp. Using tongs, transfer the bacon on to kitchen paper to drain.

2) Add the butter to the bacon fat left in the frying pan and cook the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaf over a low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

3) Transfer the mixture to a saucepan. Add the sweet potatoes, potato, stock, measured water and wine. Bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

4) Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Add the nutmeg, white pepper and salt to taste. Put the pan over a moderate heat, stirring, until the soup is hot.

5) Serve the soup in warmed bowls, garnishing each portion with the reserved bacon.

Mushroom soup recipe

Let’s talk about the mushroom soup which I really really love making. 

Most important thing is to ensure that the mushrooms you use are wild mushrooms as they help to bring out the mushroom flavour of the soup. 

Mushroom soup…reminds me of the days when I used to make them while I was a student for other students are sitting for exams during the exam period. It’s either sushi, mushroom soup…can’t remember what else I used to make for students….it’s really been 2 years since my cell leader left, plus I was working far away from Leeds so cooking for students is almost impossible in the last 2 years. 

The recipe I used is by Jamie Oliver but I did modify his recipe slightly. I omitted the mascarpone at the time as I could not find it in the supermarket. Still tasted brilliant. 

Mushroom soup recipe from http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/the-real-mushroom-soup:

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 small handful dried porcini

olive oil

600g mixed fresh wild mushrooms (chanterelles, girolles, trompettes de mort, shittake, oyster), clean and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 litre organic chicken or vegetable stock

1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

1 tbsp mascarpone cheese

1 lemon

truffle oil, optional

Method:

Place the porcini in a small dish, add boiling water just to cover, and leave to soak. Get a large casserole-type pan nice and hot, then add a good couple of lugs of olive oil and your fresh mushrooms. Stir around very quickly for a minute, then add your garlic, onion and thyme and a small amount of seasoning. After about a minute you’ll probably notice moisture cooking out of the mushrooms and at this point add half of your porcini, chopped up, and the rest left whole. Strain the soaking liquid to remove any grit, and add it to the pan. Carry on cooking for about 20 minutes until most of the moisture disappears.

Season to taste, and add your stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes. I usually remove half the soup from the pan and whiz it up to a purée at this point, then pour it back in, adding the parsley and mascarpone, and seasoning carefully to taste.

You can serve this soup as you like, but there are a few things to remember when finishing it off. Mix together a pinch of salt and pepper with the zest of one lemon and the juice of half of it, then spoon a little of this into the middle of the soup. When you go to eat it, stir it in and it gives a wonderful flavour. Other things you can consider are little slices of grilled crostini put into the bottom of the bowls before the soup is poured over. Or you could even quickly fry some nice-looking mushrooms – like girolles, chanterelles or oysters – and sprinkle these on top of the soup. If I was going to use truffle oil, then I would use it on its own – a few drips on the top just before serving.