Winter Warmers: Soups
With Winter on our doorstep, we can think of no better dinner than a delicious warm soup with some fresh bread to accompany it. In this post, we look at 5 soups to suit everyone’s tastes, from beef to beans and even a vegan option or two. With all this variety, we are sure you’re bound to find your new favourite, here!
First and foremost is the well known and loved, Butternut soup. We like to pair it with a fresh, crispy roll and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish. Bonus, this soup is vegan too.
Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking time: 1hour 30 min
Find the recipe here: https://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/spiced_butternut_squash_soup
Second on the list, is a winter warmer that is as legendary for its taste as it is for its cold-fighting capabilities. There is no better dish when you’re under the weather and we love it served with noodles rather than bread.
Serves: 10 people
Cooking time: 1hour
Find the recipe here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/the-ultimate-chicken-noodle-soup
Tomato soup isn’t always the first choice but we think it might have something to do with not finding the right flavour combination. Next time try a grilled cheese with this classic soup, we guarantee that this will make your taste buds dance. If you prefer a vegan version, swap regular cheese for your favourite vegan brand and presto, you have a great flavour combo at your fingertips!
Serves: 6 people
Cooking time: 1hour
Find the recipe here: https://www.blissfulbasil.com/dreamy-vegan-tomato-soup/
For those who prefer a rich and hearty winter warmer, this delicious beef soup will tick all the right boxes. Perfectly paired with a freshly baked loaf or some delectable dumplings, but more importantly, a delicious glass of red.
Serves: 8 people
Cooking time: 1hour 50 min
Find the recipe here: https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/best-beef-soup/2b97b987-4495-471d-8439-5c49c9259b3d
Last but surely not least, we had to include the comforting and flavourful bean soup. We love this option just as it is; no garnish or sides needed. The best part is that this soup only takes fifteen minutes to prepare, so you will have dinner done before you can say “Supper is served”!
Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 15 min
Find the recipe here: https://www.food24.com/Recipes/Old-fashioned-bean-soup-20091103
Soup doesn’t have to be boring or bland, try one of these scrumptious soups for dinner and wow your friends and family.
The Point Team x
Red, red wine with The Point and Checkers
With the cooler Autumn weather fast approaching, there really is nothing better than sitting by a warm fire and enjoying a glass of red wine.
If you are a novice, words like Merlot and Shiraz might leave you mistaking Cabernet for Cabaret but luckily, our friends at Checkers Liquors are here to help!
With their assistance, we have put together a cheat sheet to some of the more common descriptors (aka ‘wine lingo’):
Sommelier: A French term for Wine Steward, who lives, breathes, sleeps and of course drinks wine. Remember, these days to call yourself a sommelier, you must be ‘certified’.
Acidity- the crispness or refreshing taste at the end of wine, more common in white wines than red wines.
Finish: This can also be referred to as the aftertaste a wine leaves in your mouth.
Palate: It’s simple, it describes the flavours and complexities of a wine on your tongue and within your mouth.
Tannic: A slight mouth-drying effect.
Legs: When a wine is swirled, it leaves behind drops that slide down the side of a wine glass.
Nose: The smell of the wine in the glass.
Pip: It’s simply the grape seeds.
Punt: Have you ever noticed the indentation in the bottom of your wine bottle? This is called a punt!
Vintage: The year in which the grapes were harvested, that made the wine.
For those of you who have read the Checkers wine blog, you will that know Cortana is a wine guru of note. Here are some of his easy definitions of our favourite Reds and a few tips when pouring!
As a late-ripening grape, we have the ideal location, as it particularly prefers warmer climates. Traditional, firm, assertive styles are made here, but the trend is towards more upfront wines driven by ripe, juicy fruit with cedar, tobacco and spicy oak complexity. The best wines from this variety display exceptionally deep colour, the characteristic aroma of blackcurrants (cassis) and have an almost unequalled capacity to age in the bottle.
It’s often considered a tannic wine, which means it imparts those slight mouth-drying effects when drinking. This is due to the fact that it is a very small grape with a large amount of skin compared to flesh ratio as well as large pip, both of which contribute to natural grape tannins. Apart from the Bordeaux-style blends mentioned above, Cabernet Sauvignon is also often blended with Shiraz or Pinotage in order to soften these harsh or chalky tannins.
Red fruits, easy tannins and a soft finish are the general characteristics of a Merlot wine. But there’s more to Merlot than being smooth. When thinking of other descriptions most commonly used to describe a Merlot, Christmas cake comes to mind – yum!! A range of fresh flavours such as plums, cherries, blueberries and blackberries mixed with cocoa and black pepper tones often dominate this type of red wine.
Merlot is popular as a companion to the very rowdy Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. In a Bordeaux-style red blend where the Cabernet’s, which give the backbone, are softened or mellowed a little, the Merlot rounds off the wine, enjoying more structure and definition.
Pinotage can be presented in a dramatic range of styles, ranging from a fairly light-bodied, red berry-driven wine all the way to a full-bodied wine with balance, elegance, fully developed fruit flavours and an enduring finish. In general, Pinotage tends to take on a rustic profile and often shows earth-driven notes, followed by dark fruit, tobacco, chocolate or even Smokey bacon kips.
The best will age into elegance without losing their muscularity. Most recently there has been a new development in the heavier mocha, chocolate-style Pinotage which has woven its magical spell and brought a range of new consumers into the wine-drinking market.
There is a long-term debate about the differences, or even similarities, between Shiraz and Syrah. So what are they? Nothing. They are actually the same variety. Whilst there’s no legalese or official distinction behind which of these descriptors the wine farms may use, the basis is this: Old-World style, slightly more austere, white pepper, smoky and mineral note wines with more tannin and acid on the finish would be referred to as Syrah.
Whereas New-World style, warmer climate, bold, fruit-forward, black and red berry and cloves spices would be called Shiraz. However, it quite often boils down to marketing. Some estates believe consumers are more familiar with the word Shiraz and will thus call their wines such, whilst others think Syrah sounds more exotic and enticing and will label theirs such, not necessarily taking the style of the wine into account.
4 tips for pouring a good impression
1. White wine before red wine
2. Light wine before heavy wine
3. Dry wine before sweet wine
4. Simple wine before complex, richly flavoured wine
Each of these principles operates independently. And the rules are flexible, provided you know your wines. For example, a very light red wine paired with duck salad works perfectly before a rich, full-bodied white with herbed chicken.
If the food you’re serving calls for white wine, there’s really no reason that both wines can’t be white: a simpler, lighter white followed by a richer, fuller-bodied white. Likewise, both wines can be red, or you can serve a dry rosé followed by a red.
When wine is made so simple, share it! Why not start a monthly “wine night” with your friends and show them what you have learnt?
Winter is such a great time to explore Checkers extensive wine variety and by the time summer comes around, there will be even more amazing white wines to continue your new wine nights with.
Happy and responsible pairing!
The Point Team x
Thanks to Checkers we don’t only have the perfect place to shop for wine, we have an easy to follow wine pairing guide too!
Want to try ‘blending’ in?
Need a shopping ‘assistant’? Look no further!
Join the Checkers wine club today and be in the know of the latest additions, best wines and what is happening in the South African wine scene.
Keeping children healthy this winter – Marc Davidowitz
Children can be very susceptible to getting sick, regardless of the season. The combination of their immature immune systems at times, increasing trend of inappropriate diets and the interaction with many viruses/bacteria at creches/schools all play a part.
The increasing trend of sedentary lifestyles in children with less playing outside and more indoors on electronic devices leads to decreased physical activity as well as decreased interaction with the necessary bacteria to develop an immunity. This combination also leads to a greater incidence of infections in children.
There are however many ways for us to keep kids healthier and reduce the number of infections. You can, of course, address the issues mentioned above. In addition to this, the implementation of a proper diet with all food groups especially fruit and vegetables to ensure the necessary vitamins are ingested.
Playing outside not only improves their health but also exposes children to Vitamin D from sunlight which is important. Ensuring children get enough sleep is another element that is often overlooked. And most importantly, for the prevention of serious infections, is the need to stay up to date with vaccine schedule.
Vaccines are arguably one of the greatest inventions in modern medicine. A lot of debate has arisen in the past due to common misconceptions about them. The subsequent decrease in the use of certain vaccines (e.g. the Measles vaccine) led to massive outbreaks in the incidence and morbidity and mortality from Measles in the country a few years ago.
The purpose of vaccinating your children is not only to protect them from often serious infections but also to provide “herd immunity.” Herd immunity is when the community is immunized against a contagious disease as a result of everyone being immunized. This leads to most members of the community are protected which in turn leads to little opportunity for an outbreak.
As a result, those who are not eligible for certain vaccines—such as infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals, are protected due to the containment of the disease. This applies to a variety of contagious diseases, including influenza, measles, mumps, rotavirus, and pneumococcal disease.
The flu vaccine for an example. It is annually updated and protects against recent viruses. It is recommended for children with chronic lung, heart, renal disease, Diabetes, HIV. Ideally, should be given in March before the season due to antibodies taking 2 weeks to build-up in systems. In most 1st world countries everyone is vaccinated. Some of the benefits of the flu vaccine are that it can protect against flu, decrease the severity the illness if you get it, prevent serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections.
The reported side-effects of the flu vaccine are minor and self-limited. They include fever, irritability, and pain at the site of the injection which responds well to OTC medication. A common misconception is that the flu vaccine can give you flu, which it cannot. Severe allergic reactions are also rare.
Many parents also avoid vaccines at times of minor illnesses, which is also unnecessary. The only real contraindications to vaccines, in general, are proven egg allergy, in which case the child can still be given vaccines including MMR. Only in children with a history of anaphylaxis to egg/flu vaccine, should they be avoided. And then in children with immunosuppression. They should not receive live vaccines (BCG, measles, MMR, OPV). In these cases, they should be delayed until 3 months if they are receiving therapy. Check your vaccine schedule in your child’s Road To Health Card to make sure they are up to date with all their vaccines.
Other ways to boost your child’s immune system is ensuring they receive certain vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Vitamin C, Probiotics when they have bouts of diarrhea, as well as certain other immune boosters e.g. Echinacea.
There is strong evidence that the use of Zinc and Vitamin C reduces the incidence of common colds by up to 50%, increases, iron absorption, aids in wound healing, reduces diarrhea and is vital in children with malnutrition.
Virtus Health & Medical
Tel: +27 21 439 1555
Address: 3rd Floor, The Point, Sea Point
Winter meals that won’t break the bank
We’re sure you’ll agree, there is nothing better than a moreish, home-cooked meal on a cold winters evening. From the delicious smells wafting into the lounge to the satisfying feeling in your tummy after the last bite has been swallowed.
Everything about it is satisfying and wonderful; everything but the aftermath left in the kitchen and the piles of dirty dishes that need cleaning, that is!
Luckily there are a few restaurants along the Atlantic Seaboard that cater for those of us who wish to forego the cleaning up process with the added bonus of not breaking the bank!
The Bungalow, Clifton
Best known for its spectacular views and fresh ocean breeze, this hotspot has a warm fireplace and great cuisine on offer in winter. The menu is bountiful with seafood, lamb chops and seasonal vegetables, they even have artisan ice-creams for the sweet tooth.
When: May until August 2017
Price: Two-course meal R200; Three-course R240
La Belle Bistro and Bakery, Camps Bay
Enjoy the views of the Atlantic Ocean and a lovely dinner at La Belle Bistro and Bakery. The menu includes Cape Malay mussels, roast potato soup, roast chicken, grilled sirloin, mushroom parcels and a sticky banana bread pudding, pear and chocolate crumble and a chocolate tart for dessert.
When: May to August 2017
Price: Two-course meal R 190; Three-course meal R230
Paranga, Camps Bay
Paranga’s ground floor location puts it on eye-level with the beach, so whether you choose to feel the sea spray on your face or prefer the cosy intimacy of the interior, you can be assured of an eyeful of ocean blue. Their winter menu includes dishes such as mussels, sweet corn veloute, roast chicken, butternut risotto, oxtail, chocolate tart and tiramisu.
When: Winter special available until 31 August 2017
Price: R250 for two courses, R300 for three courses
Pepenero, Mouille Point
Pepenero has uninterrupted views of the Atlantic and a versatile Italianesque menu. Relax on the expansive deck or in a private booth and tuck into their winter set menu. Dishes include soup, line fish, chicken saltimbocca, veal, pannacotta ice cream, zabaglione and meringue.
When: Winter special available until 31 August 2017
Price: Set menu R180 for two courses, R220 for three courses
Tobago’s Restaurant at Radisson Blu Waterfront
Perfectly positioned at the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean with Robben Island visible to the north and the iconic Table Mountain standing proud to the south, Tobago is no doubt one of the Mother City’s finest seaside restaurant locations.
When: Winter special available until 29 September 2017.
Price: Set Menu Two-course: R285 (includes complimentary glass of Protea by Anthonij Rupert wine) | Set Menu Three-course: R345 (includes complimentary glass of Protea by Anthonij Rupert wine)
HOME MADE MEMORIES
For those of you who don’t mind doing the dishes or have become experts at delegating this horrid task to other members of your family, we have compiled a list of great winter recipes that are sure to become firm family favourites of yours.
Muffin-topped winter beef stew by Lesley Walters has all the right components. With hearty beef and veg topped with a beautiful crust.
Slow Roasted pork with citrus and garlic is made to pull-apart perfection. Add creamy mashed potatoes and greens or a bed of root veg and your meal is done.
Lemon-garlic chicken with spinach will have your mouth watering, roasted potatoes and peas make the perfect accompaniment for this dish.
Spiced Apple Crumble, we love the addition of hot cross buns. Serve with cream, ice-cream or just as is!
Malva pudding is a classic in every home, served with homemade custard or ice cream, its sweet sticky cake texture will be a winner this winter.
Melkkos is South African comfort food at its best. Directly translated to ‘Milk food’, it’s a soothing, warming combination that tastes like you’re eating the filling of the best milk tart you’ve ever taste.
Whether you choose to stay in or go out, we hope you stay warm and eat well.