Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Morning in Sunny Derbyshire, and a fine Pumpkin Soup with English Bloaters and Limes from the Axis of Evil...

Knock on bedroom door announces beloved first-born with cup of tea. I have learned over the years that this occasionally heralds an experiment on me. He used to bring me a cup of tea whilst I was working at the pc, or in the garden, and chat to me for a while until I'd had a few sips. "Now, did you notice anything unusual about that tea?" he'd ask.
Lolling across the foot of the bed beloved first-born asks, "Shall we nip to Sainsbury's and get some stewing beef? You haven't taught me how to make beef stew yet, and this is your last chance." Much laughter. Later we watch Saturday Kitchen together, and they show an old episode of Rick Stein making a lot of fuss about pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin, smoked haddock & lime soup (thank you Sophie Grigson)

1lb 2oz peeled and deseeded pumpkin, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bouquet garni
12oz undyed, smoked haddock fillet (or a pair of bloaters!)
8 fl oz milk
Juice of 2 limes
Finely grated zest 1 lime or 2 preserved limes

1. Mix the pumpkin, onion and bouquet garni and sweat in olive oil, over gentle heat for 10 minutes. Mash to pulp.
2. Place haddock in dish and cover with boiling water. If using preserved limes, add with the water now. Leave for 5 minutes. Flake haddock and keep water, making up if necessary to ¾ pt, or 450ml.
3. Add the haddock to the pumpkin, together with the water, seasoning well. Bring to boil, reduce heat then simmer 10 minutes. Add the milk, and bring back to a simmer, if using fresh lime juice add now. Serve sprinkled with lime zest.
I bought a huge bag of preserved limes in Damascus a year or few back. I finally found a use for the damned things.