Tuesday, September 8, 2009

#185 Vegetable Soup

In case you didn’t know, ‘Thrifty’ is my middle name. Well ‘Skint’ is, at any rate and I’m ploughing through the cheaper of the recipes. This is not necessarily a difficult, but they also have to be healthy too as I’ve developed a bit of a man gut and my moobs are beginning to bud. This is not good.

Obviously the soups are a good target and this vegetable soup seems perfect. I have my own recipe for vegetable soup that I’ve put on the blog before and I think it’s pretty good, she has some interesting additions such as dill and allspice berries. Let’s see if Griggers does a better one…

An important point that Griggers makes is that you don’ have to stick to any particular strict rules with this kind of soup – any vegetables will do I think. Also, this recipe for vegetable soup is not vegetarian, but it could easily be adapted by omitting the meat and using vegetable stock.

Begin by simmering a pound of sliced cabbage in 2 ½ pints of water or light stock along with 12 lightly crushed peppercorns, 6 crushed allspice berries and ½ pound of salt pork, smoked bacon joint or ham hock for 30 minutes. I would use just water if your using a hock with bone, stock otherwise. Now add 2 coarsely chopped carrots, 4 potatoes that have been peeled and cubed, 2 sliced leeks (or one leek and one onion) and a few lovage leaves (these are optional). Simmer for a further 30 minutes. Remove the meat and use it for another meal, or, as I did, chop it up and return it to the soup at the end. The soup needs to be blended now – don’t go mad with it, either pulse and partially liquidise it, or use a mouli-legumes. Found that one of those hand blenders is the best thing for this job. Finally, add one to two tablespoons of grated Parmesan, some dill (optional), cream (also optional) and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Griggers suggests eating the soup with fingers of cheese on toast or cheese and oat biscuits. I went with the latter (cheap and easy to make!).

#185 Vegetable Soup. I can’t believe I’ve not made this recipe yet! Well I have to say it beats my vegetable soup hands down. The soup is very hearty and the addition of the salty piquant cheese and the lemon-fresh dillweed really transform it into a pretty macho vegetable soup. 8/10.

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