Sunday, 4 November 2012
We rarely have a traditional Sunday Lunch - or at least not a lunchtime! When we do have a roast dinner it's in the evening, so Sunday lunch is usually pasta ... or soup.
I absolutely adore soup. My earliest memory of it is my grandma's rather greasy but nonetheless delicious broth. The Scots seem to eat a lot of the stuff. We always started our dinner with a bowlful . My mum, who wasn't a particularly imaginative cook, nonetheless produced a lovely fresh tomato variety, as well as the occasional spicy mulligatawny. She is also the only person I have ever known who made kidney soup. But we won't go there!
Soup is cheap to cook and extremely versatile. In our house it always starts off onions sweated in a knob of butter, or a splash of oil. But from there it could go anywhere, depending on the time of year or what we have in the kitchen. I never throw away a chicken carcass or a marrow bone without having first boiled it for stock which I freeze for later. My favourites are leek and potato, lentil and bacon, spicy lentil and tomato, minestrone, scotch broth, cauliflower and blue cheese, butternut squash and chorizo, chick pea and harissa, chowder ...
Today it was a johnny allsorts affair with a random selection of vegetables left over from last week's shop. There were onions, celery, romanesco, a carrot and a few stalks of cavolo nero that had seen better days. I threw in a few handfuls of broth mix to thicken it, and a couple of bay leaves and some dried chilli flakes to spice it up. There was no stock in the freezer so I used up the last of our Marigold powder and a vegetable stock cube. Ten minutes before it was ready I sprinkled in some mini pasta shapes.
I served it with a drizzle of extra virgin oil and a couple of slices of my freshly baked bread.
It was just what was needed on a cold wet Sunday afternoon.