The book says: Roasting the vegetables gives this Winter soup a wonderful depth of flavour. You can use other vegetables, if you wish, or adapt the quantities depending on what’s in season.
So I wanted to make a lovely fish soup this time but the pesky Laura Garnons-Williams said she didn’t like “the idea” of fish soup. I explained to her that it wasn’t simply liquidised fish but it was too late, it was already tainted so I decided to choose this one. Just to set the scene, this is the day it started to snow/ the day everyone lost their minds. I scooted around crouch end, one eye on potential ingredients, the other eye roving around for celebs (the roving celeb eye is always doing this). I bought everything relatively easily and cheaply (£3.44) including sweet potatoes, although I wasn’t completely convinced these actually were sweet potatoes, to the extent that I asked the shop worker what they were, he said it was a sweet potato and so for the sake of this, I think it’s for the best that we all believe it was (still unsure).
When almost home I remembered that we don’t have a vegetable peeler so I just popped into our local shop thinking, how hard can it be to find a peeler for peeling my vegetables? Yes that’s right, harder than naive me first thought. No peeler there, only corkscrews and bottle openers, nail clippers etc and this is the same in every shop all the way down the hill back in to Crouch End. How an earth do any people in Crouch End peel anything? I think to myself and who’s a girl gotta screw to get a peeler around these parts? No one in Somerfield and no one in tesco that’s for sure, not a turkish man at any of the veg shops(Leyla says Turkish people don’t use peelers, just whittle things down with big knives I think)… Oh yes I see, it’ll have to be someone at Waitrose and it cost me 6 pounds for the pleasure, this was some high class peeler, the likes of which I am not accustomed too. Oh yeah and when i finally slid all the way back home, we did have a peeler…oh good.
Laura Garnons-Williams had come round for a free feed and she acted as sous-chef. This soup involves a lot of peeling and a moderate amount of chopping but this million dollar peeler really was a dream to use so this wasn’t an issue. Then all the vegetables basically get thrown in a baking tray with oil and rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Go EASY on the rosemary mo’fos it’s strong stuff. I overdid it and soon the house was overly rosemaryish and I feared it was going to turn into rosemary soup- luckily LGW used her asbestos fingers to careful removed about 6 of the sprigs very soon into roasting so this was avoided. The vegetables had to roast for 50 mins, I hadn’t really read ahead and realised this and we ended up eating at half past ten, but that just made us appreciate it more.
Et ‘ow did eet taste? zut alors!
This soup was a souper trouper! Once all the vegetables were all whizzed up they sort of all lost their individual flavours and instead came together as this whole new lovely roasty tastey yumminess- We both agreed that we couldn’t even taste the sweet potato (as LGW had previously expressed she didn’t really like it) but then remembered that it may have just be a rogue vegetable anyway, maybe that was why. With a swirl of sour cream it really was a treat and also felt quite guilt free as there’s absolutely no fat it in apart from the olive oil it was roasted in and you don’t have to go MAD with the sour cream fatties! Anyway, I shan’t ramble on any further but it was quite lovely- the only downside was it was quite thick and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea but this can be solved just by adding some water when re-heating or whilst cooking and you’ll soon lose that peanut butter-like consistency.
Laura rating: a solid 8 out of 10 ladels
Salt and pepper