If you have family coming into town for Christmas, garnishing your soup is a nice way to show the love as you serve a gorgeous dish.
A garnish not only makes the soup look beautiful, but it also helps to balance out the flavor. And crème fraîche is the perfect garnish for soups!
If you can't find any Crème fraîche, you can make your own substitute with 2 parts sour cream and 1 part heavy whipping cream.
Here's what you need to create beautiful designs in your soup:
- zip lock bag / icing bags / squeeze bottles
- practice plate
Do a couple designs on your practice plate first to get a hang of it.
If you are using a zip lock bag:
- Put a little bit of Crème fraîche into the corner of the bag and squeeze it down
- Trim a small hole in the corner of the bag. Remember that if the hole is too small, you can always expand it; but if it’s too big, you have to just start over with a new bag. So just cut a tiny hole and adjust.
- Squeeze the bag on a plate first to make sure the hole you did is a good size.
I'll show you how to make a snowflake, a wreath, and a Christmas tree.
How to make a snowflake design:
Start with two circles in the center of the plate. Play around with how large and how far apart each circle is.
Next, draw eight lines going out from center, like two crosses on top of each other. It’s okay if you get some wonky spots. It doesn’t need to be perfect, because there’s a lot you can do to fix it when you actually create the snowflake design.
Then, you’re going to use your toothpick. Starting from the center, trace each line going outward. Then place your toothpick on one of the lines and quickly draw it outward to create a branch. Do this 3-4 times along both sides of each line.
Play around with drawing more lines in the center circle or adding more lines and branches.
How to make a Christmas wreath:
Start off a few dollops going all the way around the bowl.
Use your toothpick and just draw around and around the dollops, maybe three to four times. You can play around with how large the dollops are, with how many you have, and with how many times you’d go around in a circle to create something either very thick or thin.
Get a bit of chopped parsley and tear it into smaller pieces. Do not just toss in all the parsley. What usually happens is all your herbs stick together and then they end up in one pile on the side. You try to pick them off but they’re all covered in soup and it just messes everything up. So what you need to do is place them on purposefully.
Play with the placing of the parsley and the amount that you put in.
- You can also use more than one kind of leaf
- You can have all the leaves going around in one direction
- You can play around with the size of the leaves
Add a little bit of colorful spice. Don’t directly sprinkle the spice on top of the soup because there’s a good chance that it’ll end up where you don’t want it to be. Just get another bowl, add the spice into the bowl, just pick up a pinch of spice and place it where you want to.
How to make a Christmas tree:
Start off with a nice grip on your bag, then draw a line starting in the center edge of one side of the bowl.
Add lines below the first one that you have drawn.
They should be slowly getting a little bigger than the previous ones you have drawn. You can play around with how close together the lines are and with how wide they go. Once you have your lines in place, this is going to be the outline of your Christmas tree.
Take your toothpick and do some squiggly lines.
What’s going to make this look nice is if the zigzag on either side of the tree is facing the same direction. If one line is going on a tilt, then the other side of the line should also go on the same direction.
You want your edges to go downwards - so go down then zigzag it through and do it on the other side as well.
Get your herbs and fill the gaps between the lines. This will make the image really look like a Christmas tree.
You can add paprika powder and place them as dots to make them look like Christmas balls.