As mentioned previously, soup was in the offing. I boiled up the chickie! carcass from the freezer yesterday, and used the stock to make ris e bisi, and very nice it was too.
The rest has been turned into soup, with some carrots, some exceedingly wrinkled potatoes and – believe it or not – a brace of small lettuces. P and I are not keen on lettuce, so this is as good as anything else to do with them. Sadly, I set it on too low a gas, and so the soup was not ready for lunch, but it will be there for tomorrow.
And there were some fragments of chicken rescued from the carcass when it was en-stocked, and for these I have a cunning plan.
It is the Summer; and thus it is cold, and raining, and generally bloody miserable, weather wise.
In the fridge I have some peapods – mostly empty, because Pete got to the bowl of peas, but still. I have a plan for these pods tonight, which I shall reveal to you later. I need some chicken stock for this plan, and I was just going to use an organic stock cube.
But … I also have a bunch of carrots that need using. And the chickie! remains from June were in the freezer, enrobed in tin foil. So the carcass is now sitting on a very low heat on the hob, and I shall take some stock from it for tonight’s supper, and the rest will be turned into shoop, with the carrots and some elderly spud.
Hurrah for the British summer, I say, and bring on the warming soup.
It has rained here (near Bristol, UK) since Sunday, and the forecast says rain as far ahead as I can see (which is next Sunday). And so last night, I made some soup for our lunches. It seems ridiculous, given that it’s almost June, but we were actually sitting watching television last night with a rug over our knees – I utterly refuse to turn the heating on in the last week of May!
So – in the food processor, finely chop some tired carrots, a weary courgette, and most of a big onion (the rest went to something else). Sweat these over a low heat in some olive oil until they’ve softened a bit.
Add a carton of creamed tomatoes, a mug full of red lentils, and enough water till it seems about right – about 1 litre in our case, but there were a lot of carrots. Add salt and pepper, and some fennel seeds for good luck, bring to the boil, and simmer for about 90 minutes with a lid.
I’m just about to go eat mine now. Apologies for the lack of photo, either the camera is buggered or the operator is – I know where my money is …
Working at home, we generally have a pot of soup on the go during the colder months. However, it’s almost May, and it’s not *meant* to be colder now, but this morning it was.
So I looked in the fridge, and found a motley assortment of rather weary veg: some very tired carrots, a swede, a leek, some celery. Into the trusty Magimix they went. Then I went a bit stir crazy, and chopped up the 3/4 cucumber and the elderly spring onions.
Into a BIG pan with some olive oil, to sweat down for a bit, while I investigated the freezer for stock. I found a box of gravy left from pork with pears and apricots (I never throw food away!). That got nuked in the microwave, then I added about a mug of lentils, a carton of creamed tomatoes (keep this in the cupboard, they’re so useful), and about 1.5 litres of water.
Add sea salt and black pepper, bring to a boil, simmer for – oh – an hour or so. It made a very nice lunch, but like all soup, it’ll be much nicer tomorrow 🙂
Ever since I (literally) went bankrupt, and didn’t know quite know where the next meals were coming from for a while, I’ve been almost obsessive about keeping cupboards and freezers full. We could live for at least two months, probably longer, with what I have stocked away.
Which meant that this morning, when it is so bloody cold in here, I could decant some crumpets from the freezer for breakfast; we have just consumed them, and they were most excellent.
And I had a rummage in the veg drawer – 10 minutes with the veg brush and the Magimix, and a pan of chicken and barley is on the stove for lunch. The chicken stock was in a pan already, waiting to go away for soup for *next* week. The carrots, leek and courgette were swiftly pulverised, saute’d down for 10 minutes in some oil, then lobbed in the soup vat with the stock and some barley from the pulse cupboard. A bit of shredded chicken from the breast left from last Sunday’s dinner was bunged in too. There will be soooop for lunch.
I’m very glad I wrote that last post. It reminded me that the bone from the lamb was sitting in the huge cast iron vat. On the top of the fridge, rather than on the gas, being made into stock.
The tough get … cooking.
perlmonger has been up to his eyes today configuring servers; that’s not something that I can really help with, so I had a cooking frenzy.
- Some soda bread for lunch – my Irish grandmother made a loaf of this every morning, and it’s delicious. I actually use a mix of plain flour, strong white, and wholemeal. Fab – I ate mine with some smoked cheddar, and red pepper relish. And now I want to make chutney.
- I cooked up half a huge gammon – I buy these from Costco, at about £18 a time. Half went in the freezer uncooked, and the other half was cooked up in my splendid new cast iron cauldron (conveyed from Forn Parts by that nice ccomley, cos they’re much cheaper there). It’s so huge we had to rearrange the kitchen to find somewhere to keep it, and I can’t actually lift it when it’s full, but ne’er mind – it is a splendid cooking recepticule. This (half) gammon was cooked with a quartered onion, two star anise and a slosh of maple syrup, and very nice it is too.
- Next up was a piece of top side, supplied by that nice Mr Rawlings. It was too small to roast, so I did it innapot, very slowly, and it’s nearly ready to eat. I put the potatoes in with it today for a change.
- Then a huge pot of soup was constructed for next week’s lunches – I chopped carrots, celery, leeks and courgettes, sweated them down in some olive oil, and added lentils and a carton of passata (something no larder should be without). Once the gammon was cooked, I stole most of the ham stock and bunged it in the soup pan. It will be gorgeous. I hope.
P is now requesting bananananana muffins, but I think I might be too tired. I’ll see.
 Oh yes – I took the half of fresh pineapple that was left, liquidised it, and cooked it down with a little sugar and some cornflour. It’s gone in the freezer as a cheesecake topping or summat similar.
Well, we dined on duck a couple of weeks ago, and then I threw the carcass in the freezer to deal with later.
Pulled it out again at the weekend, and boiled it up for a couple of hours; we were driven demented by the aroma! And last night I stripped the meat off it – I was astonished at how much there was clinging to the bones. There was enough to make a risotto, or a stir fry.
However, according to the Met Office, a cold week is coming. And as we work at home, today I shall add chopped veg – leeks, carrots, celery, courgettes, potatoes – and some barley to the stock, *and* the duck meat … to hell with it.
And we shall feast on duck surprise soup for the rest of the week’s lunches. Yum.