Friday, 3 February 2012

Frozen veg...

It's bitingly cold out, and yesterday a serious wind chill gave a real disincentive to going out. Fortunately on a previous shopping expedition I had picked up a bag of frozen spinach to replenish my stock (spinach and peas in the freezer at all times), and I was tempted into buying some diced veg 'for stewing', which included large pieces of winter stalwarts: turnip, swede, celery, carrot, and onion. Unlike most of my friends, I do like peeling and chopping, I find it therapeutic. At the end of a busy day it is best to leave me to it, I am told I have a slightly threatening air when I'm grumpy and holding a knife. Still, even enthusiasts of the menial culinary task of veg prep can imagine there is a short cut, and on that basis I gazed on the diced winter veg with pleasure, dreaming of quick veg stew, veg curry, veg soup, and popped it into my basket.

So, yesterday I decided on soup. Lots of garlic - fresh - olive oil on a low temperature, and the kitchen filled with a heady aroma, joined by some mixed herbs (dried) and I felt optimistic. In went the veg, along with some stock and the lot boiled merrily away for 12 minutes. Tasting the soup, all was good once a little salt was added. Then I tried a carrot, followed by a bit of swede and a bit of turnip. The feeling in my mouth was nothing but fibre, more suitable for rope or possibly paper making than eating. Flavour: nil. I was gutted. Everything was cooked through, the liquid was great, and I wanted some soup, so I threw in a tin of tomatoes, let the lot bubble away again for five minutes and then blended the lot. And ate it with a good piece of toast.

Verdict: fresh winter root veg is the only way to go. 

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