Thursday, March 6, 2008

06.03.08: Spring Onion

Kai has been one of the Soup Kitchen's most regular customers. He comes in practically every day after 2.30, even when he's overdone it a bit and really doesn't have the stomach for any kind of food. Maybe sitting around in the soup kitchen doesn't beat sitting around at home, but at least it's a change of scenery, eh? Anyways and for whatever reason, Kai declared himself ready and willing to make soup and the Soup Kitchen accepts all levels of ability. Kai rocked up at ten o'clock this morning, as arranged.

He said he fancied Leek & Potato but East Street market was all out of leeks and full to bursting with great big fat fresh Spring onions, so that's the way it went. I got a whole box of Spring onions - 3.5kg, maybe? - for £3.50 from what's becoming my favourite stall (finally!) I also got another 3kg of white spuds from them, plus carrots and celery: a fiver, all in (that's why they're my favourites). Back at base, we got choppin' and there was a lot of choppin' to be done. Because the soup was to be only partially blended and some chunks would remain, I explained to Kai, the potatoes must be diced quite precisely into 5mm cubes. He duly complied.

Like I keep telling anyone who cares to hear, my soups follow the method I was taught a quarter of a century ago by a bloke who had read, digested and taken to heart Michel Guerard's Cuisine Gourmand: stage one, sweat a mirepoix and season it; stage two, add the main ingredient(s), cover with liquid and boil; stage three, blend. Adjust seasoning. Garnish. Serve. Simple, innit?

Kai seemed to get the hang of it. He chopped those spuds mighty fine. At stage three, I removed a third of the cooked veg before blending and returned it tot he pot after, to give texture. People loved this soup: 21 of 'em finished the pot, which is usually about 30 portions, so I guess that half had seconds. Someone wrote in the dairy: 'it put a Spring in my step'.

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