French Peasant Soup for the day that’s in it

My eldest brother emailed us all at 3am this morning to tell he had tried standing outside in minus 10.1C without a coat. my mother responded by sending this recipe for French Peasant Soup. I had already begun making Tana Ramsey’s Beetroot Soup so I’ll do this during the week. I substituted potato for the celery in the beetroot soup and it was even nommier. I use prepack beetroot rather than fresh. Delish and an amazing colour!

Here’s Mum’s recipe. Enjoy!

French Peasant Soup

Serves 6

170g unsmoked steaky bacon in one piece (optional – I use a few rashers cut up)
55g onions chopped
140 g potatoes peeled and cut into dice
55g Savoy cabbage finely chopped (optional)
450g ripe tomatoes or 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes and their juice
11/4 pints (3 cups) chicken stock
1 small clove garlic
salt and pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
olive or sunflower oil
parsley to garnish

If you use the bacon cut it into pieces and fry it in the oil. Add potatoes onions and the crushed garlic sweat for 10 minutes and then add tomatoes and any juice.

Season with salt, pepper and sugar and cover with stock and cook for 5 minutes. Add the finely chopped cabbage and continue to simmer until cabbage is cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning and sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve

Mo bhreithlá (Bean and chorizo stew)

Rinneamar ceilliúradh ar mo bhreithlá thar an deireadh seachtaine. Tháinig deichnúr don dinnéar agus rinne Himself an béile álainn blasta seo leanas:

Cannellini Bean, Tomato and Chorizo Stew with Rosemary.

Omit the chorizo for a delicious vegetarian meal

Serves 4 -6

115g (4oz) sliced onions (or plainspeak 1 onion)
1 clove of garlic crushed
0.5 – 1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
500g (2lbs) very ripe tomatoes in summer (peeled) or 2 x 400g (14oz) tins of tomatoes in winter
salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar to taste
2 x 400g (14oz) tins of haricot or cannellini beans
8 – 12 oz (225-350g) chorizo, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

  1. Heat the oil in a non reative saucepan.
  2. Add the sliced onions and garlic and chilli flakes and toss until coated, cover and sweat on a gentle heat until soft but not coloured. It is vital for the success of this dish that the onions are completely soft beore the tomatoes are added.
  3. Slice the fresh tomatoes or tinned and add with all the juice to the onions.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and sugar (tinned tomatoes need lots of sugar because of their high acidity).
  5. Add a generous sprinkling of rosemary.
  6. Cook covered for just 10 minutes.
  7. Uncover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the tomat softens. (Cook fresh tomatoes for a shorter time to preserve the lively fresh flavour).
  8. Add the beans and chorizo, continue to cook, add chopped fresh rosemary and serve.
  9. Alternatively add lots of choped parsley and coriander instead of the rosemary for a milder flavour.
  10. Serve with potatoes or a green salad or both!

I preceded this with crusty bread and spreads (pesto, tapenade (home made!) and paté) and followed it with profiteroles which I made for the first time. They were easy and scrumptious.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

People are always asking me for this recipe. Dinners being the most recent and as she is off to Kiwiland, how could I say no.

Oven at 350C/ 180F

Grease a tin about the size of a biscuit tin like the ones you get for Christmas from aged aunts.

  • 8 oz butter/ margarine
  • 20 oz sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 oz flour
  • 4 oz cocoa
  • Couple of drops of vanilla essence (optional)
  1. Melt the butter/ marge in a large saucepan – all ingredients will be going in here so…
  2. Remove from heat and stir in all that sugar!
  3. Add eggs one by one stirring after each
  4. Depending on your mood sift or dump in flour and cocoa
  5. If you have it, throw in a few drops of vanilla essence.
  6. Turn into the greased tin and cook for 30 – 45 mins. It can take a while and depends on what consistency cake you like as well.
  7. Enjoy hot with ice cream or cool like brownies for a good few days.

I sometimes cut out a message in paper and sift icing sugar on top while it is still warm and it sticks well. Actually I haven’t done that in years and years…

Pain in the ass!

I just spent the last few minutes writing an entry, decided to look up Atonement by Ian McEwan on the web as I am reading it at the minute and it’s great. Forgot that I had downloaded the new Google Toolbar with BlogThis! on it and sure when I clicked search didn’t it ask me like a big daw did I want to save or exit without saving. I said save but apparently twas not enough. Okay fascinating I know. A lot less fecking fascinating that what I had written before but that’s gone daddy gone.

I did mention however that Himself made a yummyscrummy dinner of chorizo and red pepper risotto. Try it. He added parmesan as we have loads at the mo.

Right gotta go and finish the “fun personality quiz” for soyouwanttodrive.com.

Slán tamaillín!