The Great Winter Soup Challenge #2 – Lamb, Anchovy and Pea Broth

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend is, to be frank, not really a time I spend a great deal of time thinking about HM The Queen’s passing years. Downunder, it’s the last gasp holiday weekend before winter well and truly sets in and we don’t see another public holiday until November’s Melbourne Cup.

However I’ve always had a fondness for the QBW because it invariably features crisp, beautifully sunny days and frostily cold evenings. It’s time to get a roaring blaze going and what better than soup as a fireside supper?

Lamb soupThis week’s soup is Lamb, Anchovy and Pea Broth, recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine. I’ve written before about unlikely combinations that turn out to be marriages made in heaven. The addition of anchovy to lamb dishes is classic and the way a small amount melts into the sauce and provides a deep base note without any fishiness is nothing short of miraculous. This recipe also included endive which adds a bitter note that’s softened by wilting but it still retains great texture. On all fronts this soup was shaping up as perfect cold weather fare.

The magazine food stylists had been hard at work on this one. In the magazine the soup was a deep, glistening bronze. My instinct told me that was never going to happen with un-browned meat. And I was right. In fact it was very disappointing.

Ever the master of brevity, my partner summed it up when he said the soup had a distinct whiff of cat food. I gave him the look and tried a bit harder to pinpoint the problem. Lamb shoulder seems much more lamb-y (dare I say with the scent of lanolin?) than leg or other cuts. And anchovy is, of course, very fishy. Overall there was just too much of it. Everything sat apart in this recipe, the lamb glaring at the anchovy until they finally got together and tried to beat each other to death.

A disappointing 5/10