Wednesday, March 19, 2008

18.03.08: Creamy Spring Onion

For my penultimate soup, I wanted a straightforward single-varietal vegetable recipe based upon the traditional mirepoix and maybe made creamy with the judicious addition of coconut. I thought to refine the Spring Onion soup improvised on 06.03.08, when there were no leeks in the market, blending the soup and straining it through a sieve to achieve a silky consistency.

I bought a 3kg box of Spring onions from pals in East Street, bruv, for a quid more than I paid last time, plus a couple of leeks, a kilo of spuds and a bunch of parsley. I went to Oli's for bread and to get a head of their celery, which always seems greener and bushier, and saw that they had wonderful white onions, so I bought a couple of them, too, as per the pic.

Back at base, I peeled and diced the white onions, washed and diced the leeks and half a kilo of carrots, plus a whole head of celery, and sweated this mirepoix over medium-low heat in a splash of oil in the bottom of the soup pot with its lid on to retain the moisture, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent sticking. I peeled the potatoes, chopped them into a rough dice, and added them to the pot. The spuds will cook down completely to thicken the soup.

I washed and then I started to chop Spring onions, adding them to the pot as they were chopped, stirring the contents and adjusting the heat to prevent sticking. Fresh Spring onions give off quite a lot of moisture, so no further liquid was necessary until all the Spring onions had been chopped - which took a minute or 45 - and added to the pot. Then I covered the contents with four litres of Marigold bouillon and simmered for ten minutes before turning off the heat and leaving the pot to cool for ten minutes more before blending.

I blended the soup thoroughly, adding another litre of bouillon and a litre of boiling water with 100g of creamed coconut dissolved into it. However one blends and blends, little bits of onion will always remain, with a slightly slimy texture that's not too pleasant, unless you pass it. Yes force all this soup through a sieve into another pot, using the back of the ladle. It's worth the effort, I guarantee.

One person described this soup in the dairy as 'very Springy' and someone else wrote, 'fucking lovely', but they should watch out, because language like that can get you excluded from Pullens Tenants & Residents Association. A third person put, 'totally gorgeous', which is the same sentiment expressed in a less spunky form. And then there's the woman who has so fallen for my soup that she talks about it in her sleep, to her boyfriend's consternation. She reckons 'soup of souperman are so gooood!!' C'est vrai, cherie. What are you going to do without me?
Defeated ping pong champ sniffs the soup (pic of Victoria by Bruce Webb)

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