Why scary? Well, not too long ago, most of the veg that went into it would have been binned as too old to use yet, clearly, it wasn’t. Looking back at all the wasted money over the years – that’s the scary bit. And tossing veg just because it’s superficially a bit manky is something of which, I suspect, we’re all guilty at times.
Yet another bottom-of-the-fridge soup recipe:-
Vegetable soup with beans.
From the fridge:-
2 good teaspoons home-made lard (use butter with a splash of olive oil if you don’t make your own or want a veggie version – don’t use refined lard!)
2 leeks. Some of the outer layers were slightly decayed but, once removed, what remained was perfectly sound if a little bendy. The dark green fibrous parts were discarded as they were a bit past it (and wouldn’t have been used anyway), the rest, halved lengthways, was checked for grit, and finely sliced. By “finely” I mean 1 or 2mm – no problem with a sharp knife. If making a veggie version, watch your fingers.
2 Sweet Spear carrots. These were perfectly sound (they keep very well), so were just topped and tailed, peeled, and cut into small dice.
1 long, pointed, red pepper, a tad soft, but perfectly sound, deseeded and finely diced.
4 King Edwards spuds, soft and a tad wrinkled. Three were sound, so were peeled and thinly sliced, the fourth had very dark flesh, so was binned.
A handful of coarsely shredded Savoy leaves (from the freezer), roughly chopped. If I ever – it’s rare these days – get a Savoy with its dark, leathery, outer leaves, I shred them and freeze them – they make a good addition to soups and stews. No – they don’t make it taste cabbagey!
From the store-cupboard:-
Some dried basil and thyme – sorry, don’t know how much – just what looks right – try a good teaspoon of basil, rather less of thyme. (NB: You can use fresh thyme, but not fresh basil, which is vastly different from the dried herb. Try dried marjoram instead if no basil.
¼ teaspoon home-made celery salt (or shop bought)
2 Kallo organic vegetable stock cubes
Good handful of dehydrated veg
Soften the leeks, along with the other veg (not the dried stuff), in the lard or whatever. This is a bit arbitrary, as they all soften at very different rates, so when the leeks are very soft, it’ll do.
Add the potatoes, the herbs, and celery salt, the stock cubes dissolved in a little hot water, then add the dried veg, enough boiling water to cover, stir well, bring back to the boil and leave to simmer, covered, until the carrots are soft.
At that point you have a choice to make. Do you want it as is, smooth, or somewhere in between? Personally I like soup with texture, so I’ll give it a seeing-to with a balloon whisk to break up the spuds, and call it done.
Add the beans at this point, leave to heat through, then remove from the heat, cool, and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, reheat gently, check/adjust the seasoning,** and serve.
For my tastes, it’s quite salty enough (always taste after adding canned beans, as even rinsed, they’ll add some salt). Saltier than I would have expected, too, to be honest. Not entirely sure why, though a little lard made from rendering panceta got into the wrong jar. I poured it out again, but enough might have lingered to affect the soup. Lard made from panceta is very salty, and needs using with care. Tastes great, though.
Bugger! No, it’s not salty. The spoon I used to taste it was the one I’d used to dissolve the stock cubes! It could use salt, it could also, I think, use another stock cube (the flavour of Kallo cubes is quite light). You call. Other than that, it’s pretty good.