The book says: This traditional Eastern European soup derives the name from the fact that it is easily digested and therefore thought to be suitable for the elderly. To get the correct texture for the dish, use old potatoes of a floury texture, such as King Edward, Maris Piper or Estima.
First of all soup disciples, please accept my apologies. The mother has been very neglectful of the soups. There is no excuse, I don’t know what happened. I guess we had a fall out and I have learnt my lesson, I would say I am about a stone heavier. That’ll learn me for eating things that aren’t in liquid form!
So I knew I wanted to get on the soup wagon again after watching Julie and Julia, it was weird to watch but I swear I thought of that idea before Julie did, I swear it…I just didn’t make a film about it- show-off. It did inspire me to get going again, although I think it would take me about 2 years to do all 400 soups in my book which incidentally is called ‘The Complete book of 400 soups’- I’ve only done seven so far so I have a longgg way to go. I’m also not looking forward to the whole chapter on egg and cheese soups and the other chapter on chilled soups and especially not egg and cheese chilled soups.
Grandfather soup- now why did I choose this soup I hear you ask? Well…I was initially drawn towards the vegetable soups and the mushroom soups and all those other boring ones but I thought to myself, why not try something a bit DIFFERENT, digestively different….
The ingredients were all easy to get hold of, all things grandads would like – potatoes, CHECK but I didn’t have any ‘old’ potatoes…i mean, old people are pretty useless but should we really feed them rotten food? I just bought normal fresh potatoes from co-op, King Edwards for any of you potato fans out there…and I know you’re out there!! Onions-check-beef stock- check check check (more on this later) and then you just needed some self raising flour and eggs and parsley.
The recipe involved mainly making all the ingredients soft…and stirring them in together. The flour and eggs were combined with parsley and butter to make dumplings. These were later described by my friend Harry as ‘Like floury sausage meat’ which I think it quite the compliment really.
I’m not going to lie, the soup wasn’t a huge success especially with aforementioned Harry (a now ex-friend):
I liked it though, it was very comforting and you barely had to chew at all! If you like gravy and you like dumplings then this is the soup for you, whatever age you may be.
Cost: 2 pounds signs out of 10
Tastiness: 4 taste buds out of 10 (if it was too tasty grandads might have a heart attack…)
Complexity: 3 labyrinths out of 10
Overall: a disappo 4 ladles out of 10
I have put the recipe below so you can make this for your grandparents or maybe friends with delicate digestive systems/bad teeth.
1 large onion, finely sliced
350g/12oz potatoes, peeled and diced
900ml/1.5 pints of beef stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and ground black pepper
For the drop noodles (dumplings)
75g/3oz self-raising flour
pinch o salt
15ml/1tbsp chopped parsley, plus a little extra to garnish
1 egg, beaten
chunks of bread to serve
1. In a wide heavy based pan, cook the onion gently in the butter for 10 minutes, or until it begins to soften and go golden brown.
2. Add the diced potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour in the stock. Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes
3. To make the noodles, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the parsley, then add the egg and mix to a soft dough.
4. Drop half-teaspoonfuls of the dough into the simmering soup. Cover and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes. Ladle into warmed soup bowls, sprinkle over a little parsley, and serve.