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 mixture then stir in the finely chopped coriander leaves.

I liked the thick texture of the soup. It was a real winter warmer even though the recipe is in the Summer Vegetables section of The Soup Book. The spouse thought the soup was a little bland but enjoyed it nevertheless. The younger offspring liked it. That's all.

Honey - An Instrument of Torture?

Sometimes you have to stretch your reading boundaries. The spouse obtained a copy of George Riley Scott's A History of Torture and out of curiosity I dipped into it. First published in 1940, it covers the use of torture over a period of more than two thousand years. The back cover blurb states that Scott's intention is "not to titillate but to inform. ... [Only] by recognising the cruelties inflicted in the past [can we] hope to eliminate them in the future."  I flicked through a few pictures and read about a couple of the forms of torture used. I wondered who could possibly think up these things.

So, how does honey come into it? Well, it was used in the "torture of the boats." It involved encasing the victim in two boats, with his feet, hands and legs left outside. He was fed, by force if necessary, and his face then smeared with a mixture of milk and honey. I won't elaborate. Suffice it to say, the victim was left to rot. Horrible.

And on that unsavoury note, ...



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