From the cookbook of Dave Verheul:Charred Chicken, Fennel & Rice Soup
Last year we interviewed Dave Verheul while he was the chef at Matterhorn. he's now flown the coop to set up what looks like (and Eat & Greet scouts in Melbourne can confirm) a fancy little number in Carlton - The Town Mouse.
I'm loving the branding and the menu is drool-worthy. Check those potatoes out, normally the most boring thing on the menu: Kipflers cooked in toasted hay, buttermilk, crisp sage & almond brown butter. Damn, son! Hay, buttermilk and brown butter? It's like a sexy milkmaid on a plate.
Anyway during his interview he mentioned his favourite hangover cure/Sunday comfort food was a charred chicken, fennel and rice soup. It sounded ridiculously good and I begged for the recipe. But it was summer at the time and well, we thought we would wait until the weather packed in to post it… actually this is a big ol' lie and yeah, ok, we totally forgot! But luckily a reader got in touch asking if we had ever got it. We were able to track Dave down and he obligingly handed it over.
As instructed, we made this on a Sunday evening - we had the fire going and by jingos it was delicious. A perfect Sunday bowl of comfort, but it was wildly invigorating. You could feel it was healthy and not stodgy, with the freshness coming from the fennel and lemon. I'm in love with this soup.
Love your work Dave. Can't wait to get over to Melbourne for some of those fancy-as potatoes.