8.1.06

Perpetual soup

Synchronicity! I read about, then visit Romney Marsh, then blow me, last Wednesday's 'Small Railway Journeys' (a Channel 4 gem with Jonathan Glancey) was all about the RH&DR. Then this morning, Simon Calder of the Indy visited Romney Marsh for The Heaven and Earth Show on BBC1. It's been a bit uneventful this past week - I've been on the wagon for a week now (as you do), keeping my head down, and trying to get back into the world of work. Not popping out for booze and food means I've been in a lot catching up with TV. No food, you say? With (almost) Perpetual soup, you need never go out again (at least for a week)! Perpetual soup (ideal for veggie batchelors) 1 onion 1 leek spices: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds some mushrooms cut in quarters 1 large potato 1 carrot several cloves of garlic 1 hot red pepper ginger (cut into matchsticks) some water a quantity of dried beans (butter, haricot, pinto, whatever) soaked and boiled a handful of pot barley veggie stock cube dash of Worcestershire sauce* a bay leaf a small pool of oil * contains fish (anchovies) Soak the beans overnight in water. Rinse and add cold water. Bring to the boil and boil hard for 20 minutes. Don't let them boil dry and burn like I usually do! To another large pan (or the same one washed out), add some oil, chopped onion and sliced leek and sweat over a low heat. Throw in some seeds, then the mushrooms, stirring all the time. Chop the potato into dice-sized chunks and add to the pan. Chop the garlic, ginger and pepper and throw into the pan. Wash your hands before you're tempted to rub your eyes! Boil up some water in the kettle and chop a carrot. Add the water and carrot and bring to the boil. Add pot barley, stock cube (the only thing in this that may be bad for you!), bay leaf, dash of Lee & Perrins, and the boiled beans. Cover and simmer for as long as you can. This is best served with a slice of wholemeal or granary bread under, with ground black pepper on top. The following day, you can add a different chopped vegetable, such as sweet potato, squash, parsnip, artichoke, swede, and maybe some lentils or tomato puree, with a sprinkling of mixed herbs, and heat up thoroughly. After about a week, varying the ingredients each night - during which time it improves no end - add conchigliette or fried Quorn pieces. Finally, when you are yearning for a change, take off the heat and to the final dregs mix in some miso for a savory finale. Wait a day or two and start again. Variations: try fennel or celery instead of leek.
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