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Showing posts from December, 2013

Crustaceans at Christmas

Lobster Bisque

If you've read my previous blog entry, when you see the words "lobster", "brandy", "white wine" and "cream" you may immediately think "fire" and "burnt hair". Surely I can't have made another lobster soup so soon? Well, I have. Don't forget that I mentioned having bought two lobsters from the nearby German discount store. (By the way, the spouse and I have called in a couple of times and managed not to be tempted by telescopes and tambourines.) My one hundred and sixty-eighth soup from The Soup Book was lobster bisque and the listed ingredients include lobster, onion, carrot, celery, leek, fennel, bay leaf, tarragon, garlic, tomato puree, tomatoes, brandy, dry white wine, and cream. What's not to like? I had to make a couple of substitutions: fennel seeds for fennel bulb, dried tarragon for fresh, a mix of tomato puree and sundried tomato paste, and a mix of cream and creme fraiche.

The book giv…

Lovely Lobster Lights Up My Culinary World ... And My Hair!

I've made two soups from The Soup Book so far this month: creamy kidney bean by Roopa Gulati (7th December) and brandied lobster chowder by Carolyn Humphries (yesterday - 21st December).

Creamy kidney bean soup

The kidney bean soup was the 166th from The Soup Book and the first soup from the Pulses and Nuts section in six months. With ingredients such as fresh root ginger, green chillies and lime juice to counteract the kidney beans and tomatoes, I expected my tastebuds to be tingling with delight. Unfortunately, they weren't. As Eamon Dunphy might have said, it was a good soup but not a great soup. The older son was the food critic on that occasion and I think he was a little disappointed. I brought the remainder into work for my lunch the following Monday and thought it had improved slightly. It's not on my "make again" list.

Brandied lobster chowder

Now this is my sort of soup! Lobster, white wine, shallots, brandy, tomato, anchovy essence, new potatoes, cream,…

Liver But Not To Tell Another Day!

Chicken Liver and Noodle Soup

It was 1982 and the spouse and I were setting up home together. One of first cookery I bought for our first shared home was The Chicken Cookbook by Anne Mason. I don't remember using it often but I picked it out from our crammed kitchen bookshelves two days ago, just in case there were any promising soup recipes. We had made a terrine recently which meant that we had some chicken livers going spare. In the run up to Christmas the spouse wants to use up all the packets of chicken legs, wings and breasts that are clogging up our freezer, hence the choice of recipe book.

Yes, there was a recipe for soup and yes, it required chicken livers. Finally, yes, there was some home-made chicken stock in the freezer. A perfect storm. We didn't have fine noodles, but we were planning on going into town where we would pick some up in an Asian market.

The ingredients for this soup include stock, fine noodles, cooked peas, chicken livers (sliced) and butter. The t…