Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 14: Creamy Curried Parsnip

I had a couple of parsnips left over from yesterday, plus the trimmings of the diced root veg I put in yesterday's soup. I also had quite a lot of yesterday's soup, at least 5 litres, and it was too damn good to through away. In fact, in terms of flavour and stick-to-the-ribs gloopiness, the Miso had mellowed and the pearl barley disintegrated, while most of the diced veg. retained a detectable crunch, so it was arguably better on the second day. In Somerfield I bought for a quid a bag of ready shredded cabbages - a 'medley' of cabbage - to green it up a bit.

Somerfield is where I went for more parsnips, to make a total of about three and a half kilos, plus I bought the carrots/onions/celery there, too. One thing you can say about Somerfield is that a lot of their produce is proudly British and so, in the interests of terroir, I may have to pay more attention. I discussed my supply problems with Alison, who stopped by early and enjoyed a bowl of yesterday's soup and a full and frank exchange of views. She suggested she could solicit cheap ingrediments from contacts @ Borough, but that hardly seems likely when the salient feature of Borough market is silly prices.

I bought bread from Oli's and remembered that we were down to the last scrapings of the Marigold barrel and that I couldn't get any more until Fare Shares opened unless I paid an extra quid for it at Baldwin's, so I reviewed their stock cube options. I bought a six packet of Knorr Rosot Warzywny cubes - Polish stock cubes purchased from a Turkish 24 hour market in Sarf London - which I guessed would make about three litres: 89p. I also bought a block of coconut cream for 49p.

For curry flavour, I had half a tub of mild curry powder that's been hanging around for a while, a couple of tablespoons full; plus turmeric and mustard seeds, a couple of teaspoons of each of those. I added this spice mix to the cooked mirepoix and added parsnips to the pot as I diced them, moistening the pot with some of the Knorr stock to stop the veg from sticking, and then covering the diced vegetables with all the rest of the 3L stock, plus a litre of water, before turning up the heat and boiling the pot for twenty minutes.

I whizzed the soup with the liquidizifier, finished it with creamed coconut melted in a litre of boiling water and served it garnished with chopped fresh coriander and a dollop of Greek yogurt mixed with a little lemon juice to make it runnier. I do like a nice beige parsnip soup, but most recipes obtain that colour from butter 'n' milk, whereas all the Soup Kitchen recipes until now have been vegan, with any animal fats being optional. But I do think that final swirl of yogurt takes it into another dimension.

Having two soups worked well because I was able to offer early birds yesterdays while todays was still cooking and when a delegation from Cottrell & Vermeulen, Architects, came round for a quantity of soup to take back to the office, I was able to offer choice. Other Architects, as seen left, enjoyed the ambience of the Pullens Centre in which to enjoy their soup, of which someone wrote: 'thick, creamy and tasty just how we like it.'

Soup Maker: Russell
Soup: Chopped Parsley
Other ingredients: Creamed coconut
Garnish: Yoghurt, chopped coriander/parsley
No. of bowls served: 27
Expenditure: £16.53
Donations: £26.87
Running balance: +£143.16

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