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Issue 36 - Soup up your starter

Whisky Magazine Issue 36
December 2003


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Soup up your starter

Martine Nouet provides us with some warnimg soup recipes and shows us how to liven them up with a drop of whisky to make an ideal starter to any meal

There is a tradition in the Périgord region, in the South West of France, to add a good dash of red wine to your bowl of soup. We call it faire chabrot, a phrase deriving from chevreau (kid in English), a young animal which is supposed to be fond of wine. Another French paradox to be proposed to vets for investigation ?

Anyway, this habit has not disappeared in the country. Though I have never seen a menu featuring it in country inns. Not that I am looking to import the chabrot (or chabrol) practice in Scotland. But I had no reason to exclude soups from my challenging cooking with whisky
programme. Believe me it may seem a little bizarre but it is worth trying.

Starters are always an appropriate course for using whisky as it is quite common to have a glass of whisky as an apéritif. Why not finish it while having the soup? After all, isn't soup an emblematic highlight of Scottish cuisine? The recipes below may seem a little sophisticated as they feature unusual ingredients and serving practices. In fact, they are very simple to make, and add a touch of novelty to your cuisine.

So, why not soup up your starter ?

Cream of celeriac
and hazelnuts and its
peaty fragrance

Serves 6

700g celeriac
1 chicken stock cube
1 litre of milk
pinch of nutmeg powder
30g unsalted butter
24 shelled hazelnuts
3 tbsp whisky
1 tbsp sea-salt
sprigs of chervil

1 Peel celeriac and cut into large cubes. Dissolve chicken stock cube in 500 ml of hot water. Add milk, sea-salt...

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