150 Soups

Puy Lentil Soup

I am very pleased with myself. It's three years since I started this blog and I have made 150 soups from the 200 recipes in The Soup Book. The latest recipe is by Marie-Pierre Moine. I made it on Monday (3rd December) with the assistance of the spouse. While I was on my way home from work he chopped the onion and crushed the garlic. When I arrived home I took over, rinsing and draining the lentils and gathering the herbs. The other ingredients included gammon steaks, thyme (from the garden, of course) and fresh parsley. I can't remember when I last ate gammon and I wondered if it was still available. Obviously it is!

So I fried the onion and garlic, then stirred in the lentils. I have to admit I couldn't find canned puy lentils so I used green lentils. Having seasoned this mixture I lay one of the two gammon steaks on top of the lentils and added the herbs. A covering of water and I was ready to leave the pot simmering. About twenty minutes later I removed the gammon and chopped it up. I took out the herbs and a couple of ladlefuls of the soup, then liquidised the rest of the mixture.

This done, I returned the liquidised mixture and the reserved soup to the pan for re-heating. I fried the second gammon steak and cut it into small chunks when it was cooked. Finally, I ladled out the soup in to warmed bowls, added the chopped gammon, and sprinkled it with parsley and grated lemon rind.

The younger offspring had arrived home from school while the soup was still cooking. "What's for dinner?" he asked. I told him and had to explain what gammon is. A fan of ham, he was delighted. The three of us sat down for our dinner and we were all very impressed. I would make this again, but I might use ham stock to boost the flavour. A real winter warmer.

Bee is for Book

For my next book group meeting I have read Alison Moore's The Lighthouse. An interesting book, poignant and irritating at the same time. I felt sympathetic towards Futh (the main protagonist) but frustrated by him at the same time. Of course, there is a bee metaphor. In one scene from his youth, Futh and his future wife Angela are in a pub when a man darts in, glares at Futh and Angela, and makes a beeline for a woman sitting on the other side of the room. In a scene near the end of the novel, Futh enters the bar of a hotel and makes a beeline for one of the two members of staff. I wonder if the author deliberately repeated the use of this metaphor.

Moving on, as we gear ourselves up for the festive season I'm not sure how much time I will have for soup-making. I may take a rest from it or else write about other recipes from different cookery books. I am a woman of mystery!



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