Well, summer soup could be lots of things so we should be more specific: lettuce. It is in abundance around now (late June early July); the sweet young leaves have been around for about 6 or seven weeks and now perhpas we just cannot keep up with eating them all.
So, make some soup and have it with an olive bagel or put it in the freezer for another day.
There is a theory that goes something like this: lettuce soup is tasteless and thin. But this applies to certain situations only and these are known as ‘badly made soup situations’ – the recipe below is outside of the tasteless zone, falling well within the really tasty.
Take about 450 grams of lettuce leaf – this can be a single variety or many. No need to be exact about the weight.
Wash and prepare and pout to one side.
Peal crush and chop five cloves of garlic
Fine chop a medium sized onion
Add a good glug of olive oil (you can use other oil too) to a soup pan (heavy based if you have one so that you can slow cook with ease)
When the oil is warmed add the garlic and turn the heat down. Leave for 5 minutes stiring occasionally
Add the onion; add a good pinch of black pepper and some salt (a teaspoon maybe)
Leave to slow cook for 10 minutes
Add a fine chopped potato or two (depending on how big they are and how thick you would like the soup
Leave to slow cook and cover, stir occassionally to prevent sticking to the bottom and dont be shy about adding a bit more oil if you feel you need to
Add the lettuce and a litre of vegetable stock (I used vegan bouillon powder but any stock will do fine)
Gently turn up the heat and cover for about 5 minutes
Leave to cool and then put in a blender
You can serve hot or cold
Try it with a spoon of with cream cheese, some chopped sorrel or a sprinkle of gamazio and an olive bagel from The Tower of Bagel on the side
You will be wanting to know what’s on the menu board tomorrow:
Carrot and corriander soup with a bagel if you like and a dollop of cream cheese if you like.
Filled bagels: some cream cheese with olives or just cream cheese; I have not forgotten you vegans – some baba ganoush and olive tapinade and also some houmus. I will be bringing beetroot and cumin, sun dried tomato , olive as well as plain bagels
Some lovely salads from the Sheffield Organic Growers:
french bean and roasted squash, Courgette and red cabbage, and a mixed green salad, with some peppery and crisp nasturtium leaves and some gorgeous sorrel
In terms of pricing
the soup, filled bagel and a single salad for a £5
a salad mix and (vegan) ‘buttered’ bagel for £4 (with a filled bagel will be £5)
filled bagel and salad will be £3.50
a filled bagel will also be £2.50
soup on its own will be £1.50; with a (vegan) ‘buttered’ bagel will be £2.50
Long in the planning, slow in the doing and then … suddenly i am there, in new kitchens.
There is a new oven, which is nearly a friend.
We think we need some time to get used to each other; we have high expectations of our skills and i can tell she looks at me through her ‘steam eyes’ when i have a tray of bagels and i am sure she is thinking oh, dear not another load of old bagels.
Or maybe this is just a story i am telling myself and we need to talk.
A new mixer, which is best friends with my shoulders; and a new (to me ) fridge which is best friends with my idea of what being a bagel baker is and with the trolley of trays which go with it. And look how great (and sinister) these beetroot bagels look.
And i am especially proud of my unassuming proving cupboard – made from things found and bolted together, to give a reasonably stable and effective bulk fermentation temperature.
When i turn my head backwards in time i look back at the lovely kitchen at Regather and most of all the really lovely people there. There is a bit of regret; but there is much i can do now that i could not before.
I have more capacity and can starting baking other jewish specialist breads. You might expect Challah is on the list but Gerry does a fine Challah already; so that can wait. Bialys are the thing; of which more another time.
And I can experiment at leisure: first up is gluten free, much asked for and definitely on the product development path. I will be blogging about this in the near future.