“Soup” I thought. That’s what I fancy today.
The recipe follows towards the end of this entry.
I really however want to tell you about what I realised about making food. Sometimes, the utensils and books that you use have a history that, somehow, adds to the cooking experience.
I used one of Miss Reeve’s old recipe books. A 1979 edition of Kathy Silk’s First Steps in Vegetarian Cooking.
Well thumbed. Probably much loved as an edition by all those who used it – particularly if, like me, they valued simple recipes with good ingredients and helpful instructions.
I stirred the soup with a wooden spoon that had been Miss Reeve’s; and one which had been my Granny’s.
Both well used, beautifully made and very practical. A wooden spoon is just a wooden spoon you may think. Well, yes. In some senses you are right. But… these wooden spoons were used probably from World War 2 onwards – what was my Granny thinking during that time – as she stirred her soups or her casseroles with it? She was widowed for the first time by the war. She had a young daughter. All around her must have lacked clarity and security. If we could get the ‘vibes’, the memories from an implement, what would we learn?
And then I used Granny’s old ladle for the soup.
I also have some of Miss Reeve’s old ladles. Very old and not very usable any more! Granny’s is old, battered and not ‘perfect’ any more. But it does the trick, and probably always did.
I am quite sure that the soup tasted no different to my taste buds than it would have done had I made it using a recipe from a book dated 2014, with a modern wood stirring spoon, or a plastic ladle. But on this occasion, my mind tasted it, not just my taste buds. And if I am honest my heart tasted it too. Two women who had lived through so much were with me as I made a simple bowl of soup.
And here is the recipe:
Leek and Carrot Soup
2 large carrots, diced; 1 oz butter; Nutmeg; Chopped parsley; 4 leeks sliced; 1 1/2 pints veg stock or water. Salt. Pepper. I didn’t have parsley so used kale which turned out very well.
I melted the butter and sauted the vegetables for about 10 minutes, keeping them stirred to stop any browning.
I added the stock (I freeze mine, hence the block of white!).
I cooked the veg until they were tender (the recipe says 30-40 but I like vegetables in my soup to be crunchy so I did it for less). The recipe says to liquidise it and then season it.
I prepared some as a ‘whole vegetable’ soup.
And some I liquidised.
Both tasted wonderful but I do feel the colour was retained and more distinct on the whole vegetable version. You prepare it as you prefer it.
So, a simple recipe from an excellent book: Kathy Silk’s First Steps in Vegetarian Cooking 1979. (c) The Vegetarian Society (UK). Here is an edition for purchase via Amazon.
And memories, as I stirred and ladled, of Miss Reeve and of my beloved Granny.
Wonderful soup. For so many reasons.