Monday, March 22, 2010

wild garlic soup and cabbage and lentils

as those of you who get the newsletter may know, my son is doing pica training on the computer at home which means that about 20 of the 26 keys are now covered in stickers. i've been typing two-fingered for twenty years, so know where most of the keys are, but am always in danger of smashing the screen up as i type rgrtr, instead of there. so i'll be putting a few more recipes up here and less in the newsletter until i find the spare keyboard which has been stored out of existence. i've been asked for the wild garlic soup recipe, on the next menu, so here it is.

this is a simple potato soup base.

an onion
some celery (not that necessary)
some cubed potato, about 3 or 4 decent sized.

sweat the onion and celery in olive oil until softened. add the potato and sweat on a low heat. i usually like to make my soupd this way, softening the veg by sweating rather than boiling as i feel that it helps with the final flavour. be careful that it doesn't catch, although the nicest leek and potato soup that i have ever eaten was one that had caught and was cooked by my mother-in-law. i tried to re-create it but can never quite burn/brown to the right degree, i always back out too soon and cannot get the smoky flavour i'm after.

anyway back to this recipe. once sweated add veg stock and washed wild garlic and blend. season to taste.

braised red cabbage.

this is an easy version. you can add other spices, star anise, cloves but the cinnamon works well on its own.

two onions, sliced
one large red cabbage
one decent stick of cinnamon
250 ml red wine
red wine vinegar and sugar to taste

sweat the onion and cinnamon in olive oil for a couple of minutes. add the cabbage and the wine and cook for five minutes to burn off the alcohol. add a good slosh of vinegar and some sugar and cover and cook for a couple of hours, tasting frequently. add more vinegar/sugar until you achieve your desired taste. i like mine on the tarter side of sweet.

braised puy lentils (can be chickpeas or any other legume that won't just break down)

sweat finely chopped onion, carrot and celery in olive oil with a teaspoon of cumin seeds and some chopped fresh rosemary and lemon thyme. once softened add 500 ml of red wine and cook off alcohol. add the lentils (500g) and some chopped apricots, raisins, and sun dried tomatoes, preferably in oil. in fact use the oil instead of the olive oil at the start. add stock to cover by about an inch and cook until the lentils are softened, anything between 30 mins and an hour, checking the liquid and stirring frequently. make a slurry of water and cornflour (10g say) and cook this out to thicken the sauce.

serve with anything. we've done it with koftas, pancakes and pies.



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