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Showing posts from September, 2012

Swedes for My Sweets

Creamy Swede Soup

Having been busy outside and away from my kitchen I just wanted to make a fairly simple soup this weekend. Another factor influencing my choice of recipe was the need to make more progress through the winter vegetables section of The Soup Book. I chopped my onions, trimmed and cubed my swede, made up my vegetable stock from bouillon mixture and lined up my honey, nutmeg and cream. Then I started to cook, frying the onions in butter before tipping in the swede. Ten minutes later I poured in the stock and eased in the honey. While this mixture was coming to a boil I sprinkled in a teaspoon of nutmeg powder (not the grated half of a nutmeg called for in the recipe). This was then left simmering until the swede was soft, at which point I left it to cool while I went off for a shower and some retail therapy. Revived by a new dress, I whizzed the soup in the liquidiser ready for reheating later that evening.

The spouse, younger offspring and I assembled for dinner at about…

Hooray for Harira!


Oh, happy day! Oh, happy tastebuds! Yesterday's soup was one of those soups that I have no qualms about adding to my "make it again" list. Using Sophie Grigson's recipe for this Berber speciality, I made a soup that  all four of us enjoyed: the spouse, the younger offspring, Juno (my mother-in-law) and I. Yes, that's right: even the younger offspring was unstinting in his praise. All it took was an onion, a shoulder of lamb, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, parsley, coriander, brown lentils, tomatoes, vermicelli, chickpeas, flour and lemons. And my smaller dekshee.  I chopped what needed to be chopped then set to cooking. First I fried the onions until translucent, after which I added in the ground spices, the chopped herbs, the meat and the bones.

Next in were the brown lentils, chopped tomatoes (tinned) and sundried tomato paste. When these were well mixed I poured in water and left the lot to simmer.
After forty-five minutes I removed the bones and tipp…

Traditional Chicken Soup

Traditional Chicken Soup

The weekend just gone was another busy one but for happy reasons. The younger offspring has just become a teenager. Fortunately there were no tantrums, no sulks, no studied indifference. The excitement was occasionally muted but for the most part he was unselfconscious in his enjoyment of the celebrations. I made him white chocolate brownies which are one of his favourite home bakes.

The celebrations meant delaying the preparation of the soup. It was a two-staged recipe anyway which meant I could make stock in advance. We had lemon-roasted chicken for dinner yesterday so I saved the carcass to make stock for the soup. The ingredients for the stock were the chicken carcass (Marie-Pierre Moine suggests this as an alternative to using a whole chicken), carrot, leek, garlic, dried mushrooms (which the spouse bought but which I forgot to put in the pot), celery, parsley and thyme. When I got home from work this evening I got stuck into making the soup.

The spouse h…

Split Pea and Bacon Soup

Split Pea and Bacon Soup

Last Sunday was another sunny day in Dublin so why did I make a hearty winter's day soup? Partly because I had the packet of split green peas from last weekend and partly because I love bacon-flavoured meals. The other ingredients included smoked streaky bacon, celeriac, carrot, leek, potato, dried marjoram and onion. The first task was to get the peas cooking in water. Then in went the piece of bacon. In the meantime I sliced and diced the vegetables and added them to the peas with some marjoram. When the bacon was cooked, I took it out of the pan, chopped it up and it back in the pan. I fried the onion in a second pan and then I was ready to dish up. I stirred the fried onions into the soup and sprinkled chopped chives over the top of each bowlful.

Verdict: Delicious. I'll definitely make this soup again one cold winter's day.

Bee is for Baking

I've been very busy lately and haven't had much time for doing some of the things I like to do. F…