Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cooking In A Kettle: Vegemite Soup


This is the second in a series of blog posts I intend to post about my experimentations with cooking in a kettle. I was put on to the idea by a bloke I met in Cambodia and cooked some fairly decent meals in cheap hotel rooms out there.

But since I’ve been back, I’ve been experimenting further with cooking times etc. and asking people for suggestions.

This one came from an Australian woman called Sarah I work with. Her mother used to make her this when she was ill. The Jews have chicken soup, the Australians have their own brothy penicillin in Vegemite soup it seems.

It really couldn’t be simpler, and the beauty is of course you can “cook” it in a kettle, which after all is the point of these recipes. I have to say I’ve cooked it twice, and preferred it better the second time.

Perhaps I didn’t pick up on the gastronomic subtleties on first tasting, but it definitely has a moreish quality, and I imagine with the “B vitamins for vitality” so prominently displayed on the rather garishly-coloured Vegemite tube is a good pick-me-up if you’re feeling under the weather Down Under, or anywhere else for that matter.

Sarah’s mother sends her a parcel of Vegemite tubes every couple of months or so to stop her getting homesick, and she was kind enough to give me a tube so I could try out her delicious recipe.

Like all Australians she detests Marmite, and swears this soup should only be made with 100% Australian yeast extract grown on barley and wheat ie. Vegemite. She also recommends coating warm hard-boiled eggs with the stuff so that it melts and gives, I imagine, a 1,000-year-old eggs-style coating.

Vegemite Soup

Equipment

1 kettle
1 bowl
1 soup spoon

Ingredients

1 slice of bread
Water
Vegemite

Fill the kettle with about half a pint (250ml) of water and boil. While you’re doing this carefully prepare your soup base. Using the spoon, gently spread enough Vegemite so the bread is completely covered.

It’s important to get a consistent covering for aesthetic purposes, and after all, as chefs will continually tell you if you give them half a chance - you eat with your eyes.

The next bit is a tad more tricky. Take your bowl and carefully press the bread into it so it’s evenly centred with the corners poking up into four peaks. The Vegemite side should be facing up.

Pour in enough water to half fill the bowl and let it rest for two minutes to amalgamate the flavours and give the bread a doughy - almost melted cheese - consistency. Serve immediately.

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Rosie said...

If my grandparents didn't fancy anything for dinner, they used to relax of an evening with a cup of hot Bovril. I think it's a Second World War thing - in a time of meat shortages, you trick yourself into thinking you've had something beefy.