More about The Soup Book

In my first post I should have mentioned that my chosen recipe book, The Soup Book, was co-published by the Soil Association ( This association "promotes planet-friendly food and farming through education, campaigns and community programmes." Just glancing through the activities and items on the website, the Save the Honeybee campaign caught my eye. Must find out more and see what's happening about planet-friendly food and farming and bee-saving in Ireland.
Back to selecting my soup for January 2010. Vegetables in season in January are beetroot, brussels sprouts (ugh! The spouse likes them), carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips (ugh! The spouse likes these too), potatoes, rocket, savoy cabbage, spinach, swede (or turnip, as we say in Ireland), sweet potatoes, turnips and watercress. Possibilities for beetroot are beetroot and apple soup, beetroot and gin soup, beetroot soup with goat's cheese, borscht, carrot, coriander and beetroot soup, and tomato borscht. I'll have to rule out the last one as tomatoes aren't in season until July! I'm just wondering now if it's possible to make soup using only "in season" ingredients.
I won't go through all the options for the other January vegetables, but out of curiosity I'm having a quick peep at Jerusalem artichokes (JAs). There are just two recipes in my book: (1) JA soup with saffron and thyme and (2) scallop and JA soup. I haven't had JAs in years and when I last cooked with them I wondered what was the point, given the effort involved in trying to get hold of them in this little country.
I've just had a little interlude and read about the JA. Native to the USA, it's a species of sunflower and its tuber is the part used as a root vegetable. The flowers are pretty and similar to sunflowers.


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