March 5, 2017 by dgarnett2013
Summer Vegetable Broth: Rory O’Connell
This is a master recipe which can be varied a hundred times depending on what is in the garden or the market.
The basic broth can be cooked early, but add the veg and herbs as close to the time of eating as possible, thereby keeping the fabulous freshness of the dish.
Parsley, chives, marjoram, tarragon, coriander are some of the herbs I like to use.
Sorrel, watercress, spinach and chard are great. Young and tender beetroot leaves are slimy and delicious.
Peas, broad beans and their leaves are also terrific and wild garlic leaves and flowers are a spring treat.
Take particular care when making the chicken stock for this. Cook it on a gentle heat, without a lid and with the liquid barely bubbling. You want a clear stock which is not ‘muddy’ in appearance or taste.
- 175g Potatoes, peeled and cut into neat 1cm dice
- 175g Onions, peeled and cut into neat 1cm dice
- 50g butter
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with salt and a knife on a board
- 2 pints/ 1200ml chicken stock (not roast chicken stock – too strong)
- Salt and pepper
- I cup chopped herbs
- 2 cups of spinach or chard or sorrel, strung and torn into small pieces
Melt the butter and allow to foam.
Add the pots, garlic and onions. Coat in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
Cover with a butter wrapper or greaseproof paper and a tight fitting lid i.e the sweating technique, which traps in steam with paper/ butter wrappers.
Cook on a VERY LOW HEAT (smallest ring) to allow the vegetables to sweat gently until BARELY tender. This will take about ten minutes. Don’t overcook and allow the potato to collapse. IT SHOULD STAY IN DICE.
Add the stock, stir gently and bring to a simmer with the lid removed.
Taste and correct seasoning. This is the base and can be put aside until later.
To finish the soup, bring the base back to the boil.
Add the herbs and vegetables of choice and just allow to wilt.
Taste and serve immediately.
Made not in summer but in Spring with chard and cavolo nero from the allotment, and the first forced rhubarb for pudding.