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Showing posts from February, 2011

Fiftieth Soup: Parsnip and Apple

Parsnip and Apple Soup
I was determined to have completed fifty recipes from The Soup Book by the end of this month. In making today's choice I noticed I hadn't made a soup from the winter vegetable section of the book for some time, so thought I had better re-visit that section.  The recipe for parsnip and apple soup is on page 170 and coincidentally I made the recipe on the opposite page, Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Soup, exactly a year ago. Written by Marie-Pierre Moine, the recipe lists the following ingredients: onion, garlic, mild curry powder (I don't keep such a thing in the house so made up my own concoction), parsnips, a Bramley apple, vegetable or chicken stock, cream and lemon juice. I am not a fan of parsnips (see my blog of 4th September 2010), but the spouse loves them and the offspring are not immune to their charms.

It took me longer than expected to cook the soup (Moine's times are twenty minutes for the preparation work and thirty for cooking). Wha…

Mussels, Hustles and Bustles

Mussel and Fennel Soup 
Yesterday was a pleasant day. It didn't rain, the spouse brought me breakfast in bed (despite his having been out on a "mini-tear" the night before) and we weren't in a rush to get anything done. After I observed last Wednesday that I hadn't made much progress through the fish section of The Soup Book, I decided to have another go. I checked with the two offspring that they would both eat mussels and asked the spouse to see if his favourite fish shop had any while he was out doing the shopping. Obviously, they had otherwise I'd be writing about a completely different soup today.

So, the ingredients for my forty-ninth soup included mussels, dry white wine (I used Sancerre), tomatoes, leek, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, fennel, orange peel, potato and saffron. The advice from the fish monger (not the same as the one I spoke to earlier in the week) was to put the mussels in a bowl and cover them with a plate. I did this and before putting t…

Buesumer Fish Soup

Büsumer Fish Soup

Büsumer (or Büsumer Deichhausen) is situated on the North Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany and is apparently the source of today's soup. I haven't made very many of the fish soups in The Soup Book, mainly because I haven't felt sure that I would be able to get the necessary ingredients. There are thirty-two fish soup recipes and so far I have made just five; Büsumer fish soup is my sixth.

The listed ingredients include carrots, potato, onions, vegetable stock, a bay leaf, haddock or pollock, lemon juice, prawns, chestnut or button mushrooms, and fresh dill. I bought the fish in a recently opened fish shop. I was agreeably surprised that the fish monger had both haddock and pollock on display. I asked him what the difference was between the two. He said that pollock was "meatier," more like cod. When I told him I was following a soup recipe, he immediately urged me to buy the pollock. He also shelled the prawns for me. I used some vegeta…

Bees, Baking and Love

This weekend I don't have time to make soup as I'm heading away this evening and won't be home until Monday night (St Valentine's Day). I thought I would just put in a few references to bees I have come across recently. Last week I mentioned "The Whole Day Through" by Patrick Gale. I had also read "The Cat Sanctuary" which was first published in 1990. Here's the quote from "The Cat Sanctuary":

"Er ... What is it?" she asked, not wanting to appear rude. "Chamomile's the main ingredient. It tastes a bit like pond water but it works straight off. You might like a little of this in it." He slid her a honeypot shaped like a beehive. [From Chapter 15]
One of the positive outcomes of jetlag has been the opportunity to catch up on my reading. I had a pile of books by the bed, one of which was Johan Theorin's "Echoes from the Dead" (first published in Swedish in 2007, I think). I discovered his novels last ye…

Mid Week Surprise

Spiced Lamb Broth
Regular readers of Minnie's Soup Kitchen will know that I usually cook my soups at the weekend. Well, it's Wednesday 9th February, I'm at home and there's a pot bubbling away on the hob.  The spouse had bought a few lamb shanks and was going to braise them for Thursday's dinner, but I thought I'd peep into  The Soup Book just in case there was a lamb recipe. Of course there was. It's Roopa Gulati's recipe for spiced lamb broth. The ingredients are chicken stock, lamb shank, lamb neck fillet, onions, root ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, green cardamons, brown cardamon, peppercorns, mace, chestnut mushrooms, green chilli and puff pastry. As there was a lot of lamb shank, I'm not using neck fillet. Instead of chicken stock I'm using the turkey stock I made last month. Also I couldn't source chestnut mushrooms locally so have substituted button mushrooms. While out at the green grocer's I ha…

Redoubling My Efforts

As I have been away for the last two weekends I thought I had better make up for lost time this weekend. I've made two quite different soups, which was a huge undertaking as I am still jet-lagged and bleary-eyed! In case you're wondering, I was in Japan.

Chicken Soup with Pasta
The recipe for chicken soup with pasta (my forty-fifth soup outing) calls for chicken drumsticks, a mix of chopped vegetables (I used carrots, broccoli, green beans and leeks) and soup vermicelli. I wasn't sure what soup vermicelli was as opposed to ordinary vermicelli, which is what I eventually used.

We had it for dinner last night (Saturday 5th February). The younger offspring, who is also still jet-lagged, was almost falling asleep while eating his. Neither the spouse nor I found this particular soup appetising, but we did feel it was healthy because of all the vegetables. The older offspring enjoyed it - he's very sporty and is quite careful about his diet. Except for when I bake. Or when t…