This one is a real mongrel. You’ve probably heard of Nigella Lawson’s gammon cooked in coke – it’s utterly delicious, and I make it often (we’re big fans of buying a large gammon and having it for our lunches during the week).
Rummaging in the shed last weekend, we found 12 bottles of ginger beer that we’d forgotten about, and they were past their sell-by date. “I wonder”, I thought … So we tried boiling the gammon in ginger beer, with a stick of cinnamon added, and it was absolutely delicious.
This, of course, left me with a lot of gingery ham stock, so we fished all the rather tired vegetables out of the fridge and chopped them up – a squash, a courgette, some celery, carrots, and a potato. Cut them into small dice, fried them down a bit, added the stock and half a mug of green lentils.
It has turned out a bit too celery-ish, but other than that, it’s really nice – quite sweet, from the sugar in the ginger beer, but none the worse for that.
The photo was the start – the jug on the left contains the remains of last week’s soup; a starter, if you will. The jug on the right contains the water I cooked the broccoli in for Friday night’s stir fry. The chicken is the remains of a chicken breast on the bone that we bought to tempt Bada when she wouldn’t eat. It didn’t work 🙁
I boiled up the chicken in the broccoli water, and thus obtained broccoli and chicken stock. This went in the soup pot with the other soup, the chicken meat, some marmelised veg (leek, carrots). I’d boiled some borlotti beans up for another dish which I shall write about later, so the water from them went in too! I generally feel “the more, the merrier” with soup.
Then it was seasoned, and I hurled in some barley, mostly because I could. We had it for lunch today, and it was good. Tomorrow, in the way of soup, it will be better.
I boiled up the duck carcass – Pete was a hero and stripped it down afterwards; it’s a job I hate. A surprising amount of meat came off it. And there was, of course, a lot of duck stock.
I had deliberately cooked extra veg with the duck on Monday (carrot and leek in vegetable bouillon, since you ask) and had saved that in a box in the fridge. I put that, the rest of the fresh carrots (they needed using up) and a leek in the Magimix and whizzed them up. I sautéd this veg mix gently in my big soup pot for about 15 minutes, then poured the stock on top and left it overnight. I added a little of the remaining duck meat, shredded very fine.
Put some butter beans to soak in water overnight, and then put them in the stock pot this morning, set it over a very low light, and it was ready for lunch.
We had it with some rye bread, which was utterly gorgeous. Just as well, as the stuff took three days to make … (not full time, obviously, but toing and froing with starters and stuff).
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.