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Showing posts from December, 2010

Brussels Sprouts Soup

Fortieth Soup: Brussels Sprouts
Well, it is the 30th December 2010 and just over a year since I first followed a recipe from The Soup Book. I have now made forty different soups! The recipe for Brussels sprouts soup is by Sophie Grigson and calls for onions, thyme, chicken or vegetable stock and a garnishing of soured cream, creme fraiche or yogurt with paprika or cayenne pepper.  I do not particularly like the taste of sprouts but was determined to get this soup over and done with. Yesterday I called down to "Young Stephen's" green grocery, expecting to be able to buy loose sprouts, but no, they were pre-packed. Young Stephen and I swapped tales of cats' less desirable habits then bade each other a happy new year.

Back to the soup. I sweated the sliced onions, added sugar, and eventually put in the sprouts, thyme and stock. Once the sprouts were just tender and the mixture had cooled a little, I got out the liquidiser and finished the soup. As a non-sprout eater, I…

Pheasant and Apple Soup

Pheasant and Apple Soup 
The recipe for pheasant and apple soup in The Soup Book is by Carolyn Humphries, who provided the recipe for the Italian wedding soup I cooked in September. It wasn't one I was planning to make when browsing through the book last weekend, but during the week I alighted upon it and thought it would fit the Christmas bill of fare. The ingredients include a small pheasant, onion, sweet potato, a cooking apple, cider, chicken stock, cinnamon, a bay leaf and cream.  Carolyn suggests using other game birds, such as pigeon or partridge, if pheasant cannot be found, but the spouse located a pheasant in a local speciality butcher's shop around the corner from where we live.  We put it in our spare fridge out in the garage so it wouldn't pollute our main indoor fridge. The spouse claims he could smell it in the garage, but I didn't notice anything too horrible.  I brought it indoors this morning and we had a look at it. The spouse made the first incision…

Christmas Menus

Pre-Christmas Soup Break
It's the Sunday before Christmas and I've opted to have a break from soups. Yesterday I was very busy, what with chauffeuring the spouse (who had come home "by railing" from a night out) to the shops and hunting more elusive ingredients and baking and cooking. 
Later today the mother-in-law is coming for lunch. It will be something of an expedition, the cold and ice having played havoc with her travel arrangements and the logistics for the entire day.  The plan at present is for the spouse to go and collect her. As I write, he's preparing the vegetables for our lunch. We're having some sort of smoked salmon and smoked mackerel roulade to start, followed by roast beef and various vegetables (I'll be making Yorkshire pudding). I spent a lot of time yesterday preparing the pudding for today: compote of figs in port and prune ice cream using Delia Smith's Christmas recipe book (our copy was given to the spouse by one of my siblings …

Henningsvaer Fish Soup

Henningsvaer Fish Soup 
According to Sophie Grigson, Henningsvaer is "a picturesque little port right up north in Norway's Lofoten Islands" and this soup (my thirty-eighth) is "the speciality of a small restaurant there." Searching briefly on the internet for Henningsvaer has confirmed in me my desire to visit those more remote parts of the Nordic countries (we holidayed in the Baltic earlier this year and I really liked what I saw of Finland).
Back to the fish soup, which I made yesterday evening, the ingredients include fish stock, cod fillet, butter, onion, carrot, leek, caster sugar, white wine vinegar and creme fraiche.  I prepared the vegetables in advance, then started cooking around 5pm. It was fairly straightforward and we were ready to go just before 6pm. The creme fraiche and the fish (the fish is cooked separately) were the last ingredients to be added. The soup was really delicious and is on my notional list of recipes to be used again.
Last week …

Pichelsteiner

Pichelsteiner
Last Sunday I spent some time making a list of all the recipes in The Soup Book after someone asked me how many more recipes did I have to get through. I counted 199 soup recipes and ten bread recipes, and I have made thirty-seven soups, including the most recent. So I still have some way to go. At this rate, it could take me five years!

So, Pichelsteiner. What is it? The Soup Book lists it as a German soup containing lamb, but suggests that it is "versatile enough to work with pork or beef instead of lamb." On looking it up on the internet (including German language descriptions), I discovered that Pichelsteiner (from Buechelstein, a mountain in Bavaria) is a mixed meat stew or Eintopf (one pot). Other recipes use a combination of beef, pork and veal, but not lamb; the common vegetables are onions and cabbage. The Soup Book's ingredients include lamb (shoulder or neck), onions, dried marjoram, dried lovage or thyme, vegetable stock, carrots, leek, potatoes a…