TIP OF THE DAY: More On The Theme Of Soup | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures TIP OF THE DAY: More On The Theme Of Soup | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: More On The Theme Of Soup

There’s some pretty good soup to be bought “fresh” these days. Many of the stores that sell it don’t make it themselves, but buy it in bulk from companies like Hale & Hearty, Kettle Cuisine or companies that sell only to foodservice. No matter the provenance, many of these soups taste terrific, some recipes are elegant and can save you a lot of time if you’re having a dinner party. A quart of soup can feed eight people four-ounce portions (or smaller), in demitasse cups, shooters, martini glasses, Chinese tea cups or other vessels (small bowls are good, too). The idea is to provide a small taste of something good, in a stylish presentation. We go for more courses and smaller portions, mirroring today’s “small plates” trend. But those who have dined upon our eight-course dinners know that we’ve been doing this for 20 years.
– While you’re at the store picking up the soup, buy a crunchy accompaniment—gourmet breadsticks or flatbreads, pappadums, Japanese rice crackers (the black sesame ones look great with anything, and taste great, too). Look to contrast textures in every course.
  vichysoisse.jpgSsh..don’t tell. We bought it and heated it up.
– Pick up a garnish for the soup—fresh herbs, edible flowers, basil oil to drop in circles with a medicine dropper, crème frâiche. Look to contrast flavors and colors in every course, too.
– If your dishes and the soup aren’t colorful enough, use bright table linens. If you don’t have them, pick up some bright, solid cocktail napkins (red, yellow, whatever color works with the soup, your dishes and tablecloth) to place under atop the service plate. (As a case in point, how much better would this cream soup in a colorless dish look, if it were presented on a richly-colored cloth, napkin or service plate? Voilá—you have an impressive course that took 10 minutes to buy and 5 minutes to plate.)
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