Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cooking: Awesome Vegetable Soup

 Awesome Soup

Back in December, with a garden full of deformed carrots to use up, I started experimenting with making soup. First I tried making this marrow and carrot soup with a marrow I had picked up on a whim while doing some shopping, half convinced that marrows were only a thing that existed within the confines of vegetable contests in rural ITV dramas. The soup was pretty good though, a bit too thick maybe, especially after leaving the leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days.

The next one was a carrot and orange soup that I made on the day before Christmas Eve, but the less said about that, the better. :D With a view to making better soup once all the holiday commotion had died down, I put aside a 1.25L container of the water the Christmas Ham had been boiled in. A week after Christmas, it was still in the kitchen, unrefrigerated on a worktop. Actually, right above the fridge. Honestly, some people just can't be bothered. :D

Never one to be put off by a potential case of food poisoning, I decided that the time had finally come for soup batch number 3. So I started off by cooking half a turnip and a couple of small potatoes that were lying around, as well as about four large carrots worth of deformed carrot runts in the ham stock, seasoning it with some salt and freshly-ground pepper. (Though that fucking pepper been hanging around here for fifteen years at least, so take that as you will, :D) Without a decent hand whisk, I had no choice when the vegetables were tender but to fish them out of the stock and pop them in a blender until they were smooth.

As I was blending them, I decided that while I was clearing out Christmas leftovers with this soup, I might as well chuck in the two bits of vegetable-type leftovers that were festering away at the bottom of the fridge, which were: a small container of cooked celeriac, made just the way Mr. Oliver likes it and another container of the thick marrow soup from, ooh two weeks ago then; into the blender they went. When the vegatable mixture was nice and smooth, I popped the blender contents back into the stock to simmer away for another little while. To that, I added four or so teaspoons of flour dissolved in cold water to thicken it a bit, taking care to keep stirring the soup while I added it, least any gooey flour-based balls form within. Thickened up nicely, my soup was ready to serve.

I grabbed a bowl of it, to accompany my egg mayonnaise roll up in the picture and settled down to watch some no doubt fine entertainment on the internet. Maybe it was just the salmonella taking hold, but holy crap, this soup was awesome, way better than the marrow soup itself, no doubt down to the fact that this one used some real stock as opposed to a couple of Knorr cubes. Whatever black magic made it this good, I enjoyed several bowls of it as the post-Christmas period petered out and it was almost enough to make me ignore the random power outages and constant unwanted house guests that it brought this year. Almost.

So basically that recipe is:
  • 1.25 Litres ham stock
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 small turnip / half a large turnip 
  • 2 small potatoes
  • cooked celeriac (ala Jamie Oliver) - roughly a 200ml container's worth
  • about 400ml marrow and carrot soup
  • about 4 teaspoons of flour, dissolved in cold water 
  • salt and pepper to season
Is there anyone insane enough out there to follow this to a tee? Prove me wrong, Internet.

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