Friday, March 7, 2008

07.03.08: Butter Bean & Parsnip

I soaked a couple of kilos of butter beans over night in the expectation that there would be someone to help me shuck their skins off this morning. Wrong! So, that was an unexpectedly happy hour, which put the time of soup readiness back to nearly one o'clock. By then, Iaxte and baby, plus husband, had been sent away once and returned already, hungry. Happily, they declared the wait for this super smooth soup to have been worthwhile.

The news from my (provisionally) favourite cheap veg. stall down East Street is that the character who runs it has learned a new word and it is the South London diminutive of 'brother' that's usually used only by close friends, innit, bruv? However, it's hard to take exception to inappropriate expressions of familiarity, I've found, when they are made by a Breugelesque bloke of indeterminate Eastern European origin who is sorting you out with 3 kilos of parsnips, a head of celery, half a kilo of carrots and a packet of three garlic bulbs for a fiver, bruv.

I made the soup in my usual way: starting with a sweated mirepoix with garlic, ground jeera 'n' dana (cumin and coriander); adding the diced parsnips to the soup pot, covering with four litres of Marigold bouillon, boiling and simmering for twenty minutes with the de-skinned butter beans; resting the cooked soup for ten minutes and then blending it, adding a further two litres of bouillon, until smooth and silky. I garnished each bowl with a teaspoon of finely chopped Spring onion.

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