My folks used to have this thing about going away for weekends….and hey, I am not complaining as our childhood is filled with memories of weekends in the Drakensburg etcetera…
But there is one particular weekend that sticks, it was the weekend I tasted my first waterblommetjie.
It could have been the setting, picture this….the quaint little town of McGregor in the Cape, a crisp clear winter weekend, hot water bottles and deep warm baths, vineyards surrounded by purple hills, reading books in the soft sunlight, roaring fires and a little dining room with tables so delicately laid in silver and brookie lace linen. Not your typical place to whisk the kids off to – but we were a bit older by then, the perfect age perhaps for lasting impressions…as this one certainly had on me.
The Old Mill House Lodge still stands in McGregor, perhaps having changed a few hands since then. But it was there that I developed a taste for the very traditional South African Waterblommetjie Sop (soup). A delicacy some might say….but if my burly hubby is sold to the point of licking the pot – well then, it may be one you simply need to try your hand at, especially since ‘tis the season still for soups.
So, with no recipe in hand other than the memory of the Mill House version from my childhood, this would be Nan’s Waterblommetjie Sop~
- Olive oil
- Mixed herbs
- Veg stock
- Whole black peppercorns
- 2 x large white onions, peeled and roughly diced
- 4 x large cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 x bunch of celery, washed well and sliced right down to the leaves
- 2 x leeks, washed well and chopped
- 1 x punnet waterblommetjies, washed well
- 1 x carton cream (specially for the bunting crowd)
- A healthy sprinkle of Eat.Art Black Lava Salt for garnishing
- ½ pack of smoked streaky bacon bits for garnishing
Bring your big soup pot to life on the stove with the usual…heat and a healthy dollop of olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until glassy, adding the garlic half way through with a sprinkle of mixed herbs. Toss the rest of the veg into the pot one at a time, tossing constantly whilst the heat is still high and coating for about 5 minutes – then turn the heat down to a low simmer, pour in enough boiling water to cover the contents with the stock and peppercorns, then the lid…and leave to cook for about 45 minutes.
Once the blommetjies are soft, blend to a fine paste with a hand blender, check your seasoning (I used both Eat.Arts pink and black salts for this) and add your cream (off the heat).
Serve warm with a garnish of Eat.Art Black Lava Salt and crispy bacon bits. Yummmmmm!
For more info on McGregor click here.
Mother-of-two delicious girls, lover of food (fine and fast), purveyor of all things pretty and Jill of all things ‘creative’…Nancy has a background in the visual arts, design and marketing and is the owner and Creative Director of Magpie. Having worked with the Eat.Art team before, she is thrilled to take time out from juggling and add some spice to the Eat.Art blog. Don’t get us wrong….it’s not that it needs it….it just wants more…and she is happy to oblige.