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Showing posts from May, 2013

Sweet Saturday Afternoon

Mango and Curry Leaf Soup

Yesterday was a sunny Saturday afternoon - our second hint of summer in six days. I had spent the previous evening baking Ottolenghi's marzipan muffins (adapted - I didn't make the plum compote) and making fudge and Nigella's rocky road for a parish fête. My teeth were on edge from checking that everything was up to standard and I had spent yesterday afternoon manning (personning?) a stall. But, I still wanted to make soup. I hadn't made anything from the fruit section of The Soup Book for a long time - since the 15th March 2012, in fact. 

The recipe for mango and curry leaf soup is by Roopa Gulati, of whom I usually expect great things. I gathered together the ingredients: Alfonso mangoes (I'm not sure that mine were Alfonso), black mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chilli, dark muscovado sugar, turmeric, coconut milk, lime juice and coriander. Roopa gave the preparation time as fifteen minutes: a huge underestimate as it took me at least t…

Chard Work

Swiss Chard and Coconut Soup 

Today's recipe from The Soup Book is by Sarah Raven, who was involved in a BBC documentary called Bees, Butterflies and Blooms. So there you have it! This entry has already mentioned bees! Back to the business in hand. The ingredients for this soup include Swiss chard (or spinach), Red Giant mustard (or kale or more chard), onions, garlic, vegetable stock and coconut milk. I bought the chard and spinach yesterday at Meeting House Square, having decided to substitute the latter for Red Giant mustard.

The younger offspring gave me a hand to prepare the chard and spinach by shredding the leaves once I'd pulled them off the stalks. The rest of the prep work and cooking was straightforward: peeling and chopping the onion and garlic, sweating them, adding the leaves, stock and coconut milk, and pureeing the lot before serving. The spouse wasn't too keen on the soup but preferred the thin texture to that of yesterday's nettle soup: "I like th…

A Sting in the Tale

Nettle Soup

I have hesitated to make nettle soup from The Soup Book but last weekend I decided to overcome my doubts. The spouse and I were having a leisurely, offspring-free day in town and I spotted bagged nettles on a vegetable stall in Meeting House Square. I checked with the stall-holders that they would have nettles again this weekend and determined to go back. The next day I was at a friend's and her husband was about to make nettle soup. My fate was sealed.

I had to bring the younger offspring into town this morning and once I had completed various other errands I made my way to Meeting House Square. I bought the nettles and some chard and spinach for my next soup-making stint.  Yesterday the younger offspring and I could have picked all the free nettles I could ever have wanted down by the local river, but I wondered if they'd been sprayed with anything or by any beast.

On arriving home from town this afternoon I put on my rubber gloves and washed the nettles, leeks, …