Monday, 17 September 2012

Self Supporters Carrot, Onion and Coriander Soup

Continuing with my self supporters food season.   That's a picture of the carrot peelings.  A feast for the pigs and ducks? Nothing goes to waste.
 Get yourself 4 large carrots and half a large onion and chop them up very nice.
 Saute the carrots and onions in a pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil.  Thought she was Popeye's wife?  When they are soft add one and half pints of vegetable stock and a large bunch of chopped Coriander.  I had to get some dried Coriander because the supermarket didn't have none.  Can Sainsbury's come to West Cork please?  Boil it up then remove and let it cool.
Get yourself a blender and blend it until there's no lumpy bits.
 Then bring it back to the boil and serve with some rolls.  The rolls are frozen one's that we bought and placed in the oven for 8 minutes because our loaf wasn't ready.
There you have it.  Self Supporters Carrot, Onion and Coriander soup.  The rolls cost a Euro and the soup cost a Euro and there was enough for 4 people.  I bought the carrots because mine weren't quite ready.  We did buy them from local growers though.  So a delicious meal was was made for two fifty.

Can you do better folks?

Tune in next time for Self Supporters Steak Puddings.  To quote Tony The Tiger:

"They're g-r-e-a-t!"

Please tell me your self supporters recipes.


  1. Think I will have to learn to count. Mind you we did have to buy the dried Coriander. So we will say that we put in ten bobs worth. Phew..!

  2. Looks good, bet it's even better with fresh baked bread.

    Visited Carlisle covered market today, in the old days before the modernised and improved it, there was a lot of butchers, all together along one side, and a lot of market garden type people selling their produce.
    Now it's down to one old butcher hanging in there, he looks well past retirement age, with a young girl assistant.
    Not a lot on display, he seems to keep most of his stock in the walk-in fridge, but all of it looks top class meat, a few pieces of topside had the dark colour and light fat marbling of well-reared and properly hung beef; I was told it was bought at the local auction (try asking the "butcher" in Tesco that, he probably wouldn't know what country it came from) so there must be a few farmers and butchers left who put time and quality before speed and quantity.
    He was busy chopping the trotters off pork shanks for a young Chinese man, 5 for £1 he sells them for, the young girl thought they (Chinese) used them in soup.
    Also had a selection of Cumberland sausages and his own black pudding (he either satisfies or ignores EEC rules) as well as traditional haggis, I was told they sell quite a bit of this as he's the only local supplier left.
    And some tripe, I can't remember the last time I saw this, there was a tripe shop in Workington, different sorts in huge dishes in the window, but it closed about 50 years ago.

    Mrs wouldn't contemplate the tripe, black pudding or haggis, but I got a decent ham shank, £2.80, a nice heavy meaty one as well.
    So that's ham with new potatoes on Wednesday, and lentil soup for the rest of the week. (Fish & chips were had for lunch at Carlisle so salmon now on hold until tomorrow)

    Cost-wise, the £2.80 gets us a hot dinner, cold cut for sandwiches and a lot of the best soup stock known to man.
    Raggy cat gets the fat and sinews in small doses over 4 - 5 days, next doors dog gets the bones.
    Onion, potato, carrot, any root veg that you've got doesn't cost much, half an 88p bag of red lentils, and let it sit on low setting for a few hours, 2 or 3 days good nourishment, a meal in itself when served with fresh bread.
    I don't blend it, Mrs prefers it chunky, so the veg get chopped fairly fine.
    Maybe not exactly self-supporting, but very frugal and traditional (and we don't grow lentils here anyway)

    Both Mrs and Raggy cat fast asleep, I've been washing dishes, am I doing something wrong?

  3. You're right Cumbrian it's even better with fresh baked bread. In fairness I had been barrowing and piking fym and clearing weeds and I decided to make some soup. I was famished and couldn't wait for the loaf in the oven. So please let me off.

    Thanks for sharing your trip to Carlisle market. It's sad to hear the butchers and market gardeners seem to be dying out. Who can compete against the supermarkets?

    Over here they claim to have traceability through the ear tags..., back to the farm the animal came from. Yet when you ask them what breed it is they don't know? We don't know the difference between a Hereford and a Charlois. The continental breeds even make most money because they are light on fat. Give me some Hereford or Dexter any day.

    Even our vegetables are often not labelled. We don't the difference between a Nantes and Autumn King carrot. The old people long ago would only buy the varieties and breeds that they had been brought up with. Glad to hear the beef is hung for the right time and it's got the marbling.

    Even chips aren't cooked in beef dripping any more. That's we see fields of rape for the cooking oil and margarine, which I believe is actually grey and they dye it yellow.

    You are self supporting Cumbrian because you know what is good and you're prepared to go to the trouble of making real food and brewing you're own ale and wine. You're not just eating processed food full of preservatives. You support the local economy. Good on you for that! A lot of people can't even get an allotment these days.

    Will get the bag of lentils tomorrow - thanks.

    I seem to do quite a lot of washing up myself. I am told that I use every cooking utensil when I cook. I have been also trained to use the washing machine. But I will not use the hoover. Why do we have noisy Hoovers in this day and age?

    Thanks Cumbrian.

  4. Yes, it's a bit sad to see the old market as it was now modernised out of recognition. The stalls are bigger (less of them) and seem to be different, there's still a couple of market garden type stalls, the produce does look very clean and fresh, but there was something about the old ones with carrots presented with soil still adhering and full green tops, potatoes in sacks weighed out to order, and a smell and atmosphere all of its own.

    There's 2 cafes, one Thai, one English, a few domestic appliance displays, a pet food stall (one of the offerings was dried lung, I've never seen that before), clothing and haberdashery, 3 ethnic food stalls, Portugese, Polish and Thai, speciality health food stall, jewellers, a single butcher, a traditional sweet shop with big jars, but no fish any more.

    Tonights trawl of the supermarkets netted 2 packs of lamb breast 35p each; they're starting to fatten up a bit now, so nice pieces with a bit of meat and fat to taste, thet're waiting to make my other speciality, scouse.
    And a bag of 4 lemons for 10p, so lemom curd making is on the cards tomorrow.
    And a small cauliflower, 10p, just the thing with hot ham shank, new potatoes and cheese sauce.

    My scouse is just cheap bits of lamb, potatoes, carrots and onions in chunks in the slow cooker with a couple of stock cubes, any bits of root veg get used as well, leave a few hours and serve with pickled red cabbage. Sadly Mrs won't entertain black pudding, but that would be thrown in as well.

    Lemon Curd Microwave

    • 200g caster sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 3 lemons, zested
    • 100g unsalted butter, melted

    Preparation method
    Prep:10 mins | Cook:6 mins
    In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. Excellent on toasted fruity teacakes or scones.

    You're right, I doubt that any of the supermarket cutters could identify the breed of animal they're cutting up, from what I gather, they get big bits and just cut them to presentable pieces on little polystyrene trays. Some of the best beef I ever tasted was Scottish, Aberdeen Angus I think, beautifully marbled, I was told it takes 3 years steady natural growth and correct feeding without steroids to acheive this to perfection.

    Dripping is another butchers product we don't seem to see nowadays, it was used in our traditional local biskies, that's what made them different. We only seem to get oil, my chip pan's full of sunflower oil.

    Best of luck with the lentils, sure you won't be disappointed, especially if you manage to find a decent ham shank.

    Been cold and showery today, feels like early winter.
    Raggy cat not so keen to go out tonight, still luxuriating in front of the fire.

  5. Hi Dave,
    This will sound awfully simplistic, but when you boil/simmer vegetables in a pan, do you drink the water afterwards. I would guess that you probably use it for some kind of gravy (I used to do this). For the first time in my life, I've started drinking the 'vegetable water' as it is, after it cools down, and it's not only full of vitamins, but also a real tasty drink.

  6. You draw a wonderful words picture of the old market Cumbrian. I see it perfectly. Wouldn't it be great if there was a new cooperative movement that sold self supporters produce in the traditional way without any plastic? It takes five hundred years for a plastic bottle to collapse flat. So all this plastic packaging is no good and so much of it ends up in land-fill.

    You certainly know how to find a bargain Cumbria. Will have a go with the Lemon curd this week - thanks! Keep the recipes coming please!

    Yorkshire chipshops used to always use proper beef dripping. I remeber a fantastic one in Haworth, don't know if it's still there?

    Forgot to say Aberdeen Angus is superb. There's a independent butcher in Tesco in Killarney sells it. It's only an hour or so away.

    Give me roast beef, Yorkshire pudding with roast potatoes and fresh veg and wash it down with a pint or ten of real ale, preferably from the midlands upwards.

    Raggy cat has a good life. Dry here today.

  7. Hi Pat,

    It's a very good question. Yes you can drink vegetable or juice water. You can also freeze it in ice cubes and you have got a vegetable stock.

    Have you never thought of getting a juicer? You make some wonderful vegetable or fruit juices. Like you say it's full of vitamins. Perhaps you might even start making your own soup? It's really easy and incredibly cheap. It just means a bit of washing up afterwards.

    We don't have much vegetable water because we steam most of ours and this doesn't remove a lot of the vitamins like boiling seems to. I can't believe how many people peel potatoes before boiling them. If you can eat the skins you get all the goodness.

    If you could get hold of any Polish recipes (especially that you like)please let me know.

    Do have a go at making soup Pat it's so so easy and it will keep the colds away if you use lots of garlic or onions.


  8. Yes, would be nice to see a return of the old covered markets selling all the local produce, but they seem to be going the way of the dodo like a lot of other things. We used to have one in Workington, I beleive the area was also used (outside) to buy and sell livestock, with a slaughter house about 200 yds away. I've only ever seen the indoor market in a derelict condition and can't remember seeing the livestock and slaughter house, only been told about them. But they're remembered in the name, High Market Place.

    They're now trying to introduce Farmers Markets in a lot of areas, being promoted as such a wonderful idea, buy local, less food miles, support the community, etc. Wonderful ideas, but I wonder if anybody ever told them it's what used to happen everywhere until the advent of motor cars and superstores? Compounded by EEC and H & S regulations.

    Plastic and polystyrene, it seems impossible to avoid, I shudder to think how many tons of milk "bottles" alone go into land-fill daily. Even my traditional butcher in Carlisle market wrapped my shank in a small plastic bag then a plastic carrier bag. Every houswife used to have a shopping bag, although the sheer volume of things people seem to load up their superstore trolleys with would render this totally inadequate. But a lot of things were bought from vans, our village had 3 butchers vans and a fishmonger, all had weekly rounds, and the housewife took her plate out to the van, if stuff needed wrapped it was in greaseproof paper, and not much of it. Milk was delivered fresh daily to every houshold, and the bottles re-used indefinitely.

    France, at least the South-East Mediteranean Catalan area of it, still has weekly markets in most towns, I love to visit them, our favourite is on Friday at St Cyprien, with lots of stalls selling their locally produced stuff; butchers, fruit and veg, cheese, chorizzo of all kinds, even wine stalls, there's one guy sells his own made wine we always talk to, he spent 8 years in London so speaks half-decent English (a lot btter than my French) and invariably insists we sample a few of his wares; it's very good quality if a bit pricey, we generally buy a bottle to help the local cheese and chorizzo down.
    And every village has a boulangerie/patisserie, baking bread and pastry delicacies all day, apparently it's considered an insult to offer bread more than 4 hours old; none of them are wrapped in plastic, just a piece of light paper torn from a roll and twisted round the baguette, smaller things put in paper bags, and really expensive cakes / flans / tarts in fold-down cardboard boxes.
    Even a lot of wine is sold on draught, take your own bottle.

    Got to agree, there's not much can beat roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast and mashed potatoes and fresh veg with gravy from the meat juices, pint or so of real ale to help down.

    Dry this morning, cool but blue sky and sunny.
    Raggy cat came in early, milf and biccies, then established its sleeping quarters on the sofa.

  9. Wow, thanks for that Cumbrian. You wax lyrical so well about the old markets and France.

    I seem to be watching lots of television programmes about France at the moment. Think I will go and have a look in the near future. I love the way the French celebrate food and drink, especially the 2 hour break in the afternoon.

    I can't see why people aren't allowed to sell their allotment produce or their homebrew. I wish I knew somebody who made their own wine, then I could buy a bottle and see how good it really is.

    They introduced a plastic bag levy over here a few years ago and it seems to have worked. No longer do you see the'witches knickers' (torn plastic bags) wrapped around the telephone wires.

    Even organic meat comes in plastic trays and cellophane and there is evidence to prove that plastic can contribute to cancer. I think that supermarkets and manufacturer's should be made to state how much the packaging costs on each item.

    I haven't seen a milk bottle for years. It all seems to be cartons - at least you can burn them in the stove or is it not allowed? I know over here you can have a fire in your fireplace but you can't have a fire in your garden. That's the E.E.C for you. They won't ban cars though or say that each household can only have 2 at the most. I'm back on my rants.

    Our towns are changing but not for the better. What ever happened to shops like the one in Ronnie Barker's "Open All Hours"?

    Thanks a lot Cumbrian.

  10. You'd like the area of France we visit, it still has a rustic appeal, villages with the old style High Street, lots of little old shops selling mostly local produce and road-side stalls with fresh fruit and veg as well as the wine stalls.
    Every village, even very small ones, have a bakery wher fresh bread is available all day, and usually a wine merchant selling their own wine, only available there. They have it in big barrels, take tyour own bottle, normally about £1 per litre for the basic stuff, and very drinkable it is.

    Milk is sadly in the cardboard or plastic containers from the supersheds which are starting to take over, but the markets are still thriving.
    Funny enough, I never see stock in the fields, there's a lot of horses but no cows or sheep.

    Bag levy would be a good thing, I use the "bags for life" as presented to me by the stores, got a new one from Asda last night when the till girl noticed my old one had a hole in it. But some people take a dozen bags every time they shop, there must be millions in land-fill daily.

    The "open all hours" shops tend to be run by Asians as a family venture, we have a "Paki shop" in the village, sells everything, all day till late at night. Some of his prices are on par with Tesco, he actually beats them on some wines and beers, does a huge turn-over at Christmas, people come from up to 20 miles away to stock up on bargain booze.
    So it's not quite dead, just taken over by foreigners.

  11. Hi Cumbrian,

    Just noticed your comment, sorry. The area of France you visit sounds amazing, especially the baker and the wine merchant filling your bottles of wine.

    I stopped drinking milk 2 years ago. It just didn't seem to taste right and I found it very watery. So it's black coffee brewed in the cafetier for me now. I won't drink instant coffee either, it's horrible.

    What happened to the string bag, brown paper bags or even bio-degrade-able plastic bags? We must pay millions for packaging and millions to get rid of it. The supermarkets should go back to selling stuff loose like the shops used to do. No doubt the food hygiene and health and safety police would not allow this because of EEC legislation?

    The Asian shops always seem to have that 'open all hours' shops don't they? There are none down here and most people seem to travel to different towns to the cheaper German supermarkets.

    Thanks Cumbrian.


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