Catching up with Life,
Random Recipes does No Croutons Required
Does anyone else have a problem with unpacking? I have been back home for four days now and still my suitcase is slewed lopsidedly on the sofa in our bedroom with articles of apparel dangling out of the sides and cascading over the top of the semi-opened lid…….boots peep through a stack of unruly jumpers whilst random socks and assorted scarves look like they are about to attempt the “Great Escape”. My toilet bag (what a wonderfully old fashioned term!) is propped up next to the case with creams, potions and lotions tumbling out and one actually had the affront to fall out with a bang in the middle of the night, causing the cat the leap up in the air and lacerate my hand as she performed a feat of truly amazing acrobatics……..so, finally, yesterday I unpacked!
It always seems to take longer to unpack than pack, and how on earth does the space that was left when woolly jumpers and jeans were selected shrink during my time away? I mean, nothing was replaced in the wardrobe and drawers and yet I cannot for the life of me squeeze them back in…….I suspect some evil and hitherto unknown wardrobe goblin who sneaks in whilst I am absent and “fluffs” up all the remaining clothes which expand and fill the space…….that’s my theory anyway! What to cook for a fraught and frenzied day, soup I think, and a random recipe at that. Dom over at Belleau Kitchen and Jac over at Tinned Tomatoes have joined forces this month for Random Recipes does No Croutons Required challenge ~ a random recipe to be selected from a random cookbook that must be soup and vegetarian, no sweat!
So here is how I cheated picked my recipe ~ I placed a few cookbooks on the table that I know have a good selection of soups in them and asked my husband to randomly pick one; he then had to turn to a page of soups and find some veggie options. I then peeped at the recipe to make sure I liked it, asked him to pick a soup for me…..and voila, he chose my favourite soup, Celery soup, what a star, and I had all the ingredients too!
This wonderful recipe was picked randomly from one of my favourite books and one that I have not used for a while ~ The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook published by Collins in association with Yorkshire Television. There are over 1,000 hearty and rustic recipes beneath the cover and many old fashioned and traditional recipes that are not often seen any more. The recipes in the soup section were varied and there were numerous vegetarian ones that would fit the bill for this challenge.
Not only does the book have some great recipes but interspersed amongst the scones, puddings, ginger beer, pies and potted beef are some nostalgic black and white line drawings too….
…….the drawings add a warm and cosy feel to the book and I often curl up on the sofa with it as I plot and plan my menus. Anyway, back to discarded clothing and soup ~ as I was in a bit of a mood due to unpacking, I was delighted to escape the unpacking chore and chop, simmer and stir this soup ~ I served it with a flourish of fresh celery leaves on top and made sure there was a metre of baguette available to dunk in the soup too! I followed the soup with a cheeky little cheese board and both Malcolm and I were replete. Do give this soup a go, it is warm and comforting ~ just the job for a cold November day. Thanks Dom and Jac for a clever joint challenge……now back to that damn case and those last lingering pair of jeans that I cannot fit into the wardrobe…….as well as two hats and a pair of gloves, that I never even got to wear!
See you later,
(By Isabel James, McCarrison Society
The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook)
1 medium head of fresh celery
1 small onion, peeled
40g plain white flour
1 litre vegetable stock
Bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, marjoram and bay leaf tied together
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons single cream
1. Chop the celery including the inner leaves. Save a few chopped leaves for a garnish. Chop the onion.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan that has a well fitting lid and add the vegetables.
3. Stir the vegetables for 1 minute and then put lid on pan and turn the heat down to very low and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes, without browning.
4. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Remove bouquet garni.
6. If you like a creamy smooth soup, liquidise the soup now and return to the pan.
7. Add the milk and seasoning’s to taste and reheat without boiling.
8. Just before serving, stir in the cream and garnish with the celery leaves.
(Sorry about the quality of the photos ~ I’m using a new laptop and have not transferred editing programme yet and light was bad when I took photos…….sigh!)