Inspired by the Chinese New Year, apparently, the basis of this soup is yellow split peas, aka jumbo lentils, soaked and cooked down with paprika and cracked black pepper (the pepper corms roasted in hot oil until they crack) then blended to the consistency of polenta. Carlo made his own vegetable stock by boiling up carrots, celery and onion with garlic - your basic mirepoix mixture - and straining the resultant liquid, which he used to liquidise some peanut butter, seasoned with coriander and more paprika. Then he mixed the peanutty liquid with the creamy split pea base, uttered a few inscrutable incantations under his breath, and voila: another big hit soup!
The next day, Carlo extended his soup from the day before by adding pureed mushrooms and called it 'Morning Glory', oblivious to the English slang connotations of that phrase;-) This, however, was a side attraction to his second weekly experiment in offering a lunchtime plate of food for a set price, £2.80. Today's stew comprised various pulses with tomato, onion and garlic, plus parsnips, carrots, and organic red potatoes, with tofu, flavoured with parsley and coriander. Served on Basmati rice and accompanied by a little salad, it was pretty special.
Jan Duke had walked around the yards, telling everyone that a lunchtime special was in the offing at the Pullens Centre and so, by the time I came over at half-past-midday, the place was rammed and there wasn't anywhere to sit. The February weather was so clement that some people took their plates of rice and stew to sit outside at the benches in Iliffe Yard. Consequently, Carlo fed at least forty people, all of whom were quite content, with many happily giving more than the prescribed £2.80, making the day a roaring success from every point of view. Here's a photo from my P.O.V., when I eventually got a seat:
DSDHA, he will be reviving his 7 Pulse soup from last week. Some kind of vegetable stew-type punch plate may well also be offered. Seba. and Russell will (probably) be ransacking Nine Elms on Tuesday and may be joined by a new soup maker. On Wednesday it's Daisy, Rhiannon and Holly, essaying another of their ingenuous freegan creations. Carlo returns on Thursday and, on Friday, Cafe Cairo will be decking the hall for their event in the evening, so it's not certain what we'll be doing so far as the soup is concerned. But you can be sure it will be tasty.