Monday, March 3, 2008

03.03.08: Freegan Auberginey

In just a few weeks, Olga a.k.a. Ola has established a signature soup style using ingredients she fetches for free from the wholesale market at New Covent Garden, where one can usually pick up sweet peppers and tomatoes-on-the-turn, as well as a variable selection of other stuff. Ola's style is a vegetable potage, thickened with potatoes in the base, perked up with tomatoes in the top and usually incorporating at least one other prominent ingredient.

Today, Olga and Eugene came back from the market with various items, including a few bulbs of fennel and eight or so big aubergines, individually packaged in cellophane. Mmm... Aubergine soup? I advised Olga to slice and roast the aubergines with quite a lot of oil to concentrate their flavour and I didn't stick around to watch, but I guess that's what she did. I know she put the fennel in the base of the soup with onion and leek, carrot and celery. Then, I expect, she added the aubergines that had been roasted with tomatoes and peppers and pureed the lot with Brenda the blender.

Garnished with chives, this was a thick, distinctly 'auberginey' (Eugene's word) concoction that went down very well with 21 people. However, it was also Ola's last go in the Soup Kitchen for the time being. Having beguiled us with her filling and zesty soups, Olga is going home to see her folks in Lithuania leaving not even a picture for us to remember her by. Eugene endures!

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