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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.130: Parsley and potato soup with garlic mushrooms

    Posted on January 20th, 2012 charlotte No comments

    Definitely no apologies for yet another soup recipe – it is that time of year after all.

    This one from Nigel Slater uses the potatoes, garlic and  parsley in Camel CSA’s weekly veg boxes. The addition of chestnut mushrooms, fried in a little butter then tossed in garlic and parsley, makes it a winner.

    Slater suggests in his Observer column having this soup alongside a crisp winter salad dressed with gherkins and mustard. I’m with him all the way.

    Delicious with some real bread from St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

    Serves: 4

    Preparation: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    For the soup:
    750g floury potatoes
    2 cloves of garlic
    a large rib of celery
    2 bay leaves
    8 stems of flat-leaf or curled parsley

    For the mushrooms:
    150g small, chestnut mushrooms
    2 tbsp butter
    2 cloves of garlic
    2 or 3 bushy sprigs of parsley

    Peel the potatoes, dice them, then put them into a saucepan. Peel and chop the garlic, roughly chop the celery, then add them to the potatoes and pour in enough water to cover. Drop in the bay leaves. Remove the parsley leaves and set aside.

    Add the stalks to the pan with half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a lively simmer and cook for 15 or 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft and on the verge of collapse.

    Chop the parsley leaves. Pour the potatoes and their cooking water into a blender or food processor, add the parsley leaves and blitz till smooth. Take care not to over-blend as it can send the mixture gluey – do it in short bursts. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as you think fit.

    Cut the mushrooms into thick slices, melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the peeled and crushed garlic, then the mushrooms and cook them till nicely coloured and sizzling. Season. Chop the parsley leaves and stir into the mushrooms.

    Warm the soup thoroughly – until piping hot – then ladle into four bowls. Divide the mushrooms between the bowls and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.129: Potage Crecy

    Posted on January 14th, 2012 charlotte No comments

    No apologies for another soup recipe – made with organically-grown carrots in Camel CSA’s veg boxes.

    Potage Crecy is a classic French soup which, characteristically, is thickened with rice. I always use arborio (risotto) rice, as I think it enhances the texture. The thyme is most important to the flavour and it tastes even better if made with homemade chicken stock.

    This recipe is adapted from two versions by Jane Grigson in her Good Food and her Vegetable Book

    Serves 4

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    60g butter
    1 medium onion, chopped 
    500g carrots, sliced
    1 heaped tablespoon rice
    1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
    Sprig of fresh thyme
    Salt, pepper, chopped parsley

    Soften the onion in the butter over a low heat so the onion doesn’t colour.  Add the carrots, put a lid on the pan and let the contents sweat for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the rice and allow it to absorb the juices.

    Pour in the stock, add the thyme and cook gently for about 20 minutes. Remove the thyme stalk and liquidise the soup. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

    More carrot recipes from Camel CSA

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.128: Cullen skink

    Posted on January 8th, 2012 charlotte No comments

    Ever since coming to live in Cornwall I’ve encountered few homegrown Cornish fish soup recipes.

    This is disappointing, as my Scottish upbringing means I LOVE soup. I make vast quantities of it from the contents of my weekly veg box.

    So this week’s local food recipe is a type of chowder named after the small town of Cullen on the Moray Firth in Scotland. My thoughts always stray towards this hearty soup-stew in the cold dark days between New Year and Burns Night on 25 January.

    It’s traditionally made with Finnan haddie (unboned cold-smoked haddock from Findon near Aberdeen).

    In the absence of Finnan haddie, make sure you buy pale straw-coloured undyed smoked haddock – not that nasty yellow stuff you get in supermarkets. And of course use the leeks, onions and potatoes from this week’s vegetable box.

    This version of Cullen skink, from Felicity Cloake’s series How to cook perfect in the Guardian, is as near as you’ll get to the real thing. For the purists among you, leave out the leek.

    Skink, by the way, is an old Scots term for soup or broth. It comes from a Scandinavian word meaning “essence” apparently.

    Serves 6

    Preparation: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: around 30 minutes

    500g undyed smoked haddock, skin on
    A bay leaf
    Knob of butter
    1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    1 leek, washed and cut into chunks
    2 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks
    500ml whole milk
    Chives or parsley, chopped, to serve

    Put the fish into a pan large enough to hold it comfortably, and cover with about 300ml cold water. Add the bay leaf, and bring gently to the boil. By the time it comes to the boil, the fish should be just cooked – if it’s not, then give it another minute or so. Remove from the pan, and set aside to cool. Take the pan off the heat.

    Melt the butter in another pan on a medium-low heat, and add the onion and the leek. Cover and allow to sweat, without colouring, for about 10 minutes until softened. Season with black pepper.

    Add the potato and stir to coat with butter. Pour in the haddock cooking liquor and bay leaf, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potato is tender.

    Meanwhile, remove the skin, and any bones from the haddock, and break into flakes.

    Lift out a generous slotted spoonful of potatoes and leeks, and set aside. Discard the bay leaf. Add the milk, and half the haddock to the pan, and either mash roughly or blend until smoothish.

    Season to taste, and serve with a generous spoonful of the potato, leek and haddock mixture in each bowl, and a sprinkling of parsley or chives.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.127: Spiced squash (or pumpkin) soup

    Posted on December 22nd, 2011 charlotte No comments

    This warming, spicy soup is a great antidote to rich, Christmas food. It’s an adaptation of a couple of classic recipes, using the squash or pumpkin as well as chillies, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley from this week’s Christmas vegetable boxes.

    Serves: 4

    Preparation: 20 mins
    Cooking time: 35 mins

    750g squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tbsp ground coriander 
    1 fresh red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    2 onions, peeled and chopped
    2 carrots peeled and chopped
    1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
    1.25 litres vegetable or chicken stock
    Lemon juice
    Flat-leaf parsley or chopped chives

    Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas 4.

    Peel the squash or pumpkin, remove the stringy bits and seeds and discard them. Chop it into cubes and put in a roasting tray mixed with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the garlic and the spices. Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until soft and brown at the edges.

    Place a pan on a medium heat with the remaining olive oil. Add the carrot, onion, celery and chilli and sweat until softened but not coloured. Then mix in the roasted squash or pumpkin and the stock.

    Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through.

    Blitz with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Taste and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, then sprinkle with some chopped parsley or chives.

    Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche and a scattering of toasted pumpkin seeds or crispy bacon pieces.

  • Seasonal local recipe No 122: Curried parsnip soup

    Posted on November 25th, 2011 charlotte No comments

    Another British cookery classic – this time from the late Jane Grigson. This was one of her favourite recipes and tastes all the better the day after you make it.

    Her daughter Sophie Grigson is carrying on the tradition and makes this soup too. For the carnivores among you – it does bring out the flavour if you use beef stock, rather than chicken or vegetable.

    You can substitute the freshly-ground spice mixture with a half tablespoon of curry powder or curry paste, but it’s not nearly as good as the real thing. I use creme fraiche rather than whipping cream.

    Serves: 4

    Preparation: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    1 medium sized onion
    1 large clove of garlic, halved
    1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
    45 g butter
    1 tbsp plain flour
    A pinch of black pepper
    1 litre beef stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
    150 ml whipping cream
    A handful of chopped chives or parsley

    For the spice mixture:
    1 tbsp coriander seeds
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    0.25 tsp fenugreek seeds
    0.5 tsp dried red chilli flakes
    1 tsp turmeric

    To make the spice mix, dry fry the first three spices in a small, heavy frying pan over a moderate heat until toasted and aromatic. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool, and then grind to a powder with the chilli and turmeric. Store in an airtight jar.

    Sweat the onion, garlic and parsnip gently in the butter, with the lid on the pan, for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and a tablespoon of the spice blend, plus a little salt. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Pour in the stock, gradually. Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the parsnip is very tender.

    Liquidise the mixture, adding water or more stock if you have any to hand, until he soup has a similar consistency to double cream. Taste and correct the seasoning.

    Reheat when needed, stir in the cream and serve scattered with chives or parsley.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 78: Savoy cabbage and coriander soup

    Posted on January 14th, 2011 Trish No comments

    From Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. Based on a recipe by Irish chef Denis Cotter, she says it ‘has lots of different flavours, with a lovely after-bite.’

    Serves 6

    Preparation and cooking: 20 minutes

    450g onions
    ½ savoy cabbage (about 400g)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 red or 4 green chillies, finely chopped
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    about 5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
    2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
    800ml good vegetable stock
    400ml tin of coconut milk
    bunch of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
    juice of 3 limes
    salt and black pepper

    Finely chop the onions and very finely shred the cabbage. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cabbage and onion and cook over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes before adding the chillies, garlic, ginger and coriander seeds. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion and cabbage are tender but still have a bite to them.

    Bring the stock to the boil in a separate pan and add it to the vegetables. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the coconut milk, half of the fresh coriander (if using), the lime juice and finally salt and pepper.

    Serve the soup with extra coriander to taste.

    NOTE: chopped parsley could be substituted for the coriander.

  • Seasonal recipe No 32 – Carrot and ginger soup

    Posted on February 19th, 2010 Trish No comments

    A warming soup with a bit of a kick that makes use of the seasonal carrots in our veg boxes – from the Riverford website.

    Preparation: 15 Mins
    Cooking: 50 Mins

    Serves: 4

    1 tsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    1 level tsp mustard powder
    2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    freshly ground black pepper
    pinch of salt
    1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
    6 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
    natural yoghurt to serve

    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and soften the onion and garlic with the mustard powder, ginger, pepper and salt, adding 2 or 3 tbsp stock after a minute or so. After another 2 -3 minutes, add the carrots, stirring well. Pour in the rest of the stock, bring to the boil, then cover and leave to simmer for 40 minutes. When it is ready, whiz the soup until smooth in a blender, or using a hand-held stick blender in the pan. Stir in the chopped parsley, saving a little for garnish and reheat the soup gently if you need to. When serving, swirl a spoonful of yoghurt through each portion. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

  • Seasonal recipe No 26 – Leek soup with parmesan

    Posted on January 8th, 2010 Trish No comments

    In his Kitchen Diaries Nigel Slater describes this as a “velvety soup for a clear, cold day”- seems very appropriate at the moment. He says he never throws away parmesan rinds – “no matter how dry and cracked they get, the craggy ends are full of intense, cheesy flavour”. You’ll need a couple for this recipe.

    Serves 6leek and parmesan soup ingredients-camel csa 20100108

    Preparation: 10 minutes
    Cooking: 1 hour

    3 good-sized leeks
    about 40g butter
    3 medium-sized potatoes
    parmesan rinds
    1.5 litres light stock or water
    a handful of parsley
    6 tbps grated parmesan

    Trim the leeks, slice into thick rings and wash thoroughly. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan, then tip in the washed leeks and let them soften slowly, covered with a lid, over a low to moderate heat. After about 20 minutes and with some occasional stirring they should be silkily tender.

    While they are softening, peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Add them to the leeks when they are soft and let them cook for five minutes or so, before dropping in the cheese rinds and pouring in the stock or water. Season with salt and black pepper, then partially cover and leave to simmer for a good 40 minutes.

    Remove and discard the undissolved cheese rinds, scraping back into the soup any cheesy goo from them as you go. Add the leaves of parsley and blitz the soup in a blender. Check the seasoning – it may need a surprisingly generous amount of salt and pepper – and bring briefly to the boil. Serve piping hot, with the grated parmesan.

  • Seasonal recipe No 24 – Cavolo nero (kale) soup Ⓥ

    Posted on December 11th, 2009 Trish No comments

    From Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ River Café Cook Book Easy. They add this note, ‘All bean soups are made more delicious with a generous addition of the spicy-flavoured newly pressed olive oil poured over each serving. Tuscan olive oil is pressed at the end of October, which is also when the frosty weather starts and cavolo nero is ready to be picked.’

    Serves: a generous 4cavolo nero soup-river cafe cook book easy

    Preparation: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 45 minutes

    500g cavolo nero
    4 garlic cloves
    2 red onions
    4 carrots
    1 celery head
    1 dried chilli (or good pinch of dried chilli flakes)
    400g tin borlotti beans
    extra virgin olive oil (see note above)
    ½ tsp fennel seeds
    200g tin tomatoes
    500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
    ¼ sourdough loaf

    Peel the garlic, onion and carrots. Roughly chop 3 garlic cloves, the onion, pale celery heart and carrots. Crumble the chilli. Drain and rinse the beans.

    Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook gently until soft. Add the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic and stir, then add the tomatoes, chopping them as they cook. Season and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and stock, and cook for another 15 minutes.

    Discard the stalks from the cavolo nero and boil the leaves in salted water for 5 minutes, drain and chop. Keep 4 tbsp of the water. Add the water and cavolo to the soup. Stir and season.

    Cut the bread into 1.5cm slices. Toast on both sides, then rub with the remaining garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Break up the toast and divide between the soup bowls. Spoon over the soup and serve with more olive oil.

  • Seasonal recipe No 20 – Palestine soup

    Posted on November 13th, 2009 Trish 1 comment

    Jane Grigson gives this recipe in both her English Food and Vegetable cookbooks.   Ideal for the first appearance in the boxes of our own Camel CSA Jerusalem artichokes.

    In general, because they are so knobbly, rather than peeling them raw, it’s best to scrub and parboil Jerusalem artichokes for about five minutes, refresh in cold water and then rub the skins off. 

    Jerusalem artichokes have a bit of a reputation for causing wind so, as Grigson advises, eat: “A little and not too much, too often.”

    Serves 6jerusalem artichokes-camel-csa 13-11-09

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    500g Jerusalem artichokes or 250g each artichokes and potatoes
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    ½ stick celery, chopped
    125g butter
    2 rashers unsmoked bacon or 60g ham
    1 litre light chicken or vegetable stock
    250ml milk (optional)
    salt, pepper
    6 tbsp cream
    chopped parsley and chives

    Scrub, parboil and then peel the artichokes as suggested above. Cut up the artichokes and, if you are using potatoes, peel and slice them. Put them with the onion, garlic and celery in a large pan with half the butter. Cover tightly and stew over a low heat for 10 minutes, giving the pan an occasional shake or stir. Now add the bacon or ham and cook a moment or two longer. Pour in the stock and leave to simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Liquidise or sieve, Reheat, adding water or the milk to dilute to taste. Correct the seasoning. Finally stir in the last of the butter, the cream and herbs. Serve with croutons of bread fried in butter.