Thursday, March 13, 2008

13.04.08: Cauliflower, White Bean & Fennel

Strange day. Uneasy atmosphere, with funereal talk and the news of Irene at no.89 having been burgled. I've got used to shifting most, if not all of the soup and seeing twenty three friendly faces, but today I struggled to serve 14 bowls to lost souls, same as the day we started, on 01.10.07, when cauliflower was also involved. Not that I'm blaming the caulis, mind, nor Kai, who helped to make this soup. It was inspired by the sight of perfectly decent looking cauliflowers on a stall down East Street for 70p each. I bought five. I thought the combination with fennel and white beans was pretty good when I first tried tried it on 14.01.08, but I got left with loads and served it up again the following week. Still, the version with turnips I did at the beginning of last week went down well. So, I thought I was onto a winner. Mmm...

I'd intended to produce a definitive recipe, but now I can't be bothered and so I'll keep it concise: sweated mirepoix augmented with three bulbs of fresh fennel; seasoned with fennel seed and powdered turmeric; added cauli stalks and leaves, reserving the florets, covered with two litres of Marigold bouillon; added three 800g cans of butter beans and another 2l. bouillon; simmered for ten minutes and rested for five before blending. After blending, returned pot to heat and added cauliflower florets with a final 2l. bouillon (making six litres in total) and simmered for ten minutes before blending again, just enough to break up the florets, leaving some texture in the soup. Served garnished with chopped Spring onion and scattered fennel seeds. Yum, yum? Ho, hum!

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