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Showing posts from August, 2011

Soup Break: Bee Bonanza

As you may have guessed, I've been on holiday for the last fortnight and out of the country. Fear not, though, for I have had been on bee alert. En route through South Wales I called into my relatives' family honey farm, where I bought a few jars of honey and honey marmalade. The younger offspring tried the honey icecream (delicious) and I bought a packet of honey fudge. It has a very distinctive taste, and is made using honey and oil rather than sugar and butter. Not bad.

From the honey farm we went on to the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne. There is a small section of the garden where beehives are kept. You can view the bees safely from behind perspex windows.

We just spent a couple of hours at the Botanic Garden, then headed on to Devon to stay with in-laws. While there, we were treated to several courgette-based meals. Thanks to the Riverford Farm Cook Book, we even had a chocolate courgette cake! It was surprisingly good and if you didn't know there we…

Butterbean Soup with Rocket Pesto

Butterbean Soup with Rocket Pesto
Angela Nilsen (contributor to The Soup Book) describes this soup as perfect for serving at a supper party. I'm not really sure what a supper party is, so am not in a position to agree or disagree. The soup ingredients are olive oil, onion, celery, garlic, prosciutto, dried crushed chillies, basil, stock, spaghetti and a can of butterbeans. The onion and celery are fried in olive oil, then the garlic is added and fried. Next in are the prosciutto and chillies. No more frying. The basil, stock and spaghetti are added and brought to the boil and simmered until the spaghetti is al dente. You whizz a few ladlefuls of the soup in a processor or blender then pour it back into the pot with the rest of the soup. The pesto (rocket, basil, Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, garlic and olive oil whizzed in a small blender) is spooned on top of the soup when serving.

I made this soup last Saturday (13th August) and the four of us had it for dinner. It was very…

Hot Cucumber and Tarragon Soup

Hot Cucumber and Tarragon Soup
This is my third cucumber soup from The Soup Book and the fifth recipe by Marie-Pierre Moine. She writes that cooked cucumber has a subtle flavour and combines well with the "more assertive but still delicate" tarragon. The ingredients include cucumbers, oil, butter, chopped fresh tarragon, vegetable or chicken stock, cornflour and cream cheese (this is optional and is spooned on top of the soup when serving). I had hoped to use tarragon from my front garden but my single plant has not flourished to the same extent as the parsley, sage, lovage and sorrel growing adjacent to it. The spouse wasn't able to find any tarragon when he went shopping yesterday morning, but while we were out for lunch at the Dublin Food Co-op I had a look around and found some. The Co-op was very quiet yesterday and the spouse, the younger offspring and I had a delicious and very reasonably priced meal from one of the Indian food stalls. Incidentally, the spouse is …