We are proud to announce that the winner of the 2012 Woolworth’s Soup Competition is Mona Diack of White River with her Curried Leek and Roasted Fennel Soup.
The TASTE team sat Mona down for a quick Q&A to see what inspired this avid cook to come up with an award-winning soup recipe.
What inspired you to create your curried leek and roasted fennel soup recipe?
My friend Val Burns and I came 2nd in the LG Life Tastes Good Competition last year and since then I have been quite adventurous in trying out new recipes.
Roasted fennel is quite a sophisticated ingredient, what made you decide to use it?
As soon as I opened the Competition page the flavours popped straight into my head.
What was your first reaction when you heard you'd won?
Utter amazement!! I felt quite dizzy.
What are you going to buy with the Woolies gift card?
Shoes, clothing, linen, cooking aids and of course - Woolworths food.
Cape Malay mussels with butternut, roast fennel and boiled leek
What is your favourite ingredient?
What is your favourite food?
Any curry – as long as it isn’t too mild
Where did you learn to cook?
My mother loved to cook and bake and she was my inspiration.
What's the biggest mistake you've ever made in the kitchen?
Leaving the marmalade pot bubbling away while watching snippets of cookery programs on TV, resulting in some very scorched offerings.
Do you have a favourite kitchen gadget?
What is your current favourite from Woolworth's range of soups?
Do you have any other Woolworths product you simply can't live without?
Artichokes, either tinned or fresh.
Curried butternut soup with coconut shavings
If you could eat at any restaurant in the world, where would it be?
I would love to eat food prepared by Gordon Ramsay
Who or where do you get your cooking inspiration from?
My husband and daughter, who are very complimentary of the food prepared for them. I often get my husband to help with the preparations.
If you hosted a dinner party and could invite any five guests, who would you invite and what would you make?
Jenny Morris, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Reza Muhamed and Barefoot Contessa.
I would serve tempura prawns and crumbed mussels on a bed of watercress with a sundried tomato dipping sauce
Then mutton curry served with roasted aubergine, poppadoms, sambals and saffron rice.
Lemon tart and orange sorbet for dessert
What's the best meal you've ever had?
Chicken breast stuffed with preserved green figs and Camembert cheese
What are your passions outside of cooking?
Any form of art, especially painting. Gardening is a wonderful way to relax and I am also passionate about building and renovating houses.
If you could be famous for one day, what would you do?
Being a loving wife and mother is just fine. I have no need for delusions of grandeur.
Note: Mona's curried leek and roast fennel soup will be available from selected Woolworths stores from 2013. We can't wait to try it!