I don't know was it the fact of being back in Ireland for a few days, or maybe that my lovely brother and sister-in-law gave me Avoca's Soups for a birthday present, but can't seem to get the idea of making soup out of my head..
Even E agreed with me that now was a time to start making soup again!
The weather has taking a turn, aparently it was raining non-stop when we were in Ireland (that was surprisingly sunny!) so there's nothing like a good homemade soup to bring in the Autumn.
Soup's something that E and myself can never agree on. Here in Spain, soup (sopa) is what we would call a broth - boiled vegetable stock with a bit of pasta if you're lucky. E has two favourites one - with cabbage, green pepper and onion (and nothing more!) that has you spending the night peeing (yep, purative qualities!), and the other is with other chopped veg and maybe a bit of pasta. Pasta's the only thing that makes it bearable, so E and I make a good match - I eat the pasta, he gets the stock.. I'm not surprised that Mafalda objected so much to it!!
Irish soups are another cup of tea (or soup) altogether.. thick, creamy (they call them cremas here), even the broth has interesting chunks of vegetables and meat.
Routed out my soup bean mix out of the back of cupboard and left it to soak yesterday.. It's a great mix of pulses, barley and split peas that I can only get in Ireland. Strange that, as I can get ever other pulse under the sun here in Spain, but no one actually sells a mixed pack that contains barley - it would definitely be a money-spinner, especially since they like their broth a lot here (or dishwater shown a bit of vegetable as I call it).
So tonight I'm going to try Spinach and barley soup.. it's a recipe half from Avoca and half from The Silver Spoon
I'll sum it up here:
Spinach, fresh if you can get it - I'll be using frozen, my fridge is bare after Ireland except for a Smoked Salmon, more about that later ;-)
Barley (and lentils)
1 Potato (if I get to the shops in time, otherwise the barley will thicken it)
vegetable stock cube (cheating, i know)
a bit of grated Nutmeg
Dash of cream/milk
Sautée the onion until golden and soft, add cubed potato and sautée a bit. Add stock, barley and spinach (it's frozen). Simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes until barley and potato is cooked, purée, add milk and cheese and pass through a sieve for a smooth velvety soup.