Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2012

Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup

Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup

What will strike you about today's soup from The Soup Book is how green it is. I'm remarking on it only because it starts out white. The recipe is by Sophie Grigson, who writes that this type of soup is "ubiquitous" in Portugal. If you can't get curly kale, other options are cavolo nero or Savoy cabbage. The other ingredients are potatoes, garlic, onion and chorizo. 





I placed the sliced potatoes, garlic and onion in a large saucepan with water and seasoning. While these simmered, I prepared the curly kale. A fiddly operation, involving cutting out the stalks, rolling up the leaves and shredding them. By this time the potatoes were very tender so I puréed that mixture and put the bowls in the oven to warm. The last five minutes or so saw me simmering the shredded kale and slice chorizo in the potato soup. Then it was time to dish up and eat. I liked it very much. The spouse and younger offspring were not unenthusiastic.

What's th…

Prawn, Chicken, Coconut and Lemongrass Soup

Prawn, Chicken, Coconut and Lemongrass Soup
Every so often The Soup Book throws up a real gemof a recipeand this one by Sophie Grigson falls into the gem category. The ingredients are coconut milk, chicken stock, chicken, lemongrass, galangal or ginger root, uncooked prawns, a red chilli, spring onions, lime juice, fresh coriander and fish sauce. Still on my economy drive, I was glad to be able to use up some chicken fillets from the freezer and the last of the coriander from the other day (see the previous blog entry on potato and coriander soup). Sophie claims that this “lively soup can be made in a jiffy.” I’m well used to The Soup Book’s underestimating the time taken to prepare and cook. Sophie’s jiffy is inversely proportionate to a man’s inch!  So, I heated the coconut milk, added the slivered chicken, lemongrass and ginger and simmered for the required time. Then I added the prawns for their cooking time, before adding the rest of the ingredients. When cooked, I ladled the sou…

Potato and Coriander Soup

Potato and Coriander Soup

I'm on an economy drive at present, trying to reduce household bills and not wasting things. Two nights ago I looked into the fridge to see what was there and what could I do with it. Lo and behold, there was a bunch of coriander and a bag of Rooster potatoes. Hmmm. The Soup Book had the answer. Sophie Grigson introduces this recipe as follows: "This is a favourite soup in Portugal, where fresh coriander is used enthusiastically. It is essentially a potato and onion soup, liquidised with lots of fresh coriander." The recipe was simple to follow, with simple ingredients: onions, garlic, olive oil, potatoes, stock (or water) and fresh coriander.

The first cooking step is to fry the onion and garlic together, then put the potatoes and the coriander stalks (tied together in a bundle) into the pan for a bit of a sweat. Next pour in the stock and cook until the potatoes are very tender. After removing the bundle of coriander stalks, liquidise the mixtu…

Mouclade

Mouclade 
I hadn't heard of mouclade until I read The Soup Book. I love mussels and was looking forward to trying out this recipe. In her introduction, Marie-Pierre Moine describes mouclade as an "aromatic soup ... from France's Atlantic coast." The ingredients include fresh mussels (bought from the spouse's favourite fishmonger), butter, banana shallot, dry white wine, sprigs of parsley, fennel bulb, a bay leaf, cayenne, an egg yolk, soured cream or creme fraiche (we went for the latter), garlic, paprika or curry powder and saffron. You also need bread to soak up the broth. The spouse was horrified at the thought of polluting our store cupboard with curry powder, but bought some any way. In the end I used paprika, so sorry, spouse.

The spouse very kindly sorted out the mussels for me (scrubbing and debearding) so that I could murder them with minimal hassle. This I did by bringing them to the boil in a sauté pan with some butter, shallot, wine, water, parsley, f…

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Today I made my first clam soup from The Soup Book. The spouse called into his favourite fish shop to see if the clams had made their appearance and obviously they had, otherwise I wouldn't be blogging today. The recipe specifies thirty-six live clams among its ingredients, so the spouse bought forty-five, just in case any of them died before we were ready to kill them. The first step in the recipe is to discard any open clams before shucking them. We didn't know what shucking was, so the spouse looked it up on the internet. Once he had finished shucking, I asked him to chop the clams. Shucked and chopped, the clams barely filled a ramekin. We wondered if Transatlantic clams would be bigger. We also reserved the juice from the clams, as instructed, and topped it up with water to make 600ml.

The other ingredients for this clam chowder include streaky bacon, onion, floury potatoes, flour, canned tomatoes and seasoning. I followed the instructions, frying …

Chinese Egg Drop Soup

Chinese Egg Drop Soup
Yesterday I made my one hundred and first soup from The Soup Book and my first in 2012. I had originally intended to make one of the three clam soup recipes but the spouse and I were unable to find any clams. The spouse's favourite fishmonger told him that clams aren't usually available after Christmas. Another fishmonger that I tried said there wasn't much call for them in his locality, but he could order them. You never know - I might get to make another soup during the week. Anyway, back to the Chinese egg drop soup.

The recipe is by Carolyn Humphreys, who suggests that the soup could be a simple chicken broth, but is made tasty and filling with the addition of vegetables and Chinese seasonings. The ingredients include chicken stock, garlic, fresh ginger root, spring onions, soy sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, corn on the cob or canned sweetcorn, baby leaf spinach, cornflour and eggs. The first stage involved cooking the crushed garlic, ginger, s…