Cream Of Jerusalem Artichoke Soup.

A number of days ago my uncle Greg kindly knocked on my door bearing gifts from the allotment: Jerusalem artichokes. Bit of a first for me here, but not wanting to waste them I jumped on an internet enabled laptop and found this corker for a recipe courtesy of HFW. The only thing I have changed is the oil topping. In his recipe Hugh makes a chestnut and parsley pesto, which on this rainy Sunday morning felt more effort than it was worth. Instead I used what I had around me: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, white wine vinegar, parmesan reggiano and basil. The zestiness cuts through this rich soup beautifuly. Just as good if not better I dare say.

50g salted butter
1kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cubed
350g leeks, washed and finely sliced
100g potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.6 litres chicken or vegetable stock
100ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Basil oil, to finish (optional, but advised)

In large, heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat, then gently sweat all the vegetables until soft – about 20 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the artichokes can be easily mashed against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Leave to cool slightly.

Liquidise the soup until smooth (you may need to do this in batches), then return to the pot. Warm over a medium heat, add the cream and season generously. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with a spoonful of the basil oil and enjoy with some crusty bread.

oiloilJerusalem artichokesvegdone

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Bread Addiction – Elm Grove.

Today I finally got round to getting my hands on a sourdough from one of Elm Grove’s newest addition  Bread Addiction. I left it too late in the day on my last attempt and was greeted by empty racks as I walked in. Bummer.  However I can totally see why though, this is everything a sourdough should be: crusty, chewy, light and savoury. I’m not normally one to rave on about bread but this was truly heavenly. I can see my trip to BA becoming a Saturday morning routine. Give them a like on their Facebook here.

bread addiction middle

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A competitively price (but great) IPA and some Thai pig snacks. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tesco simple IPA

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Ale Watch – Thornbridge Jaipur.

What can be said that hasn’t already about Thornbridge’s flagship IPA? It’s punchy citrus nose make it the number widely available IPA in my books. Appropriately hazy golden in colour, Jaipur is perfect for the IPA drinker wants to go a strength above Punk IPA. A nice price of £2.25 for a large bottle in Marmion Road Waitrose always helps too. Top drop. 9/10.

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA

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Sourdough & Boursin.

The simple things are often the best.

sourdough & boursin

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I must admit that I didn’t know a huge amount before going to Budapest. I knew that a holiday was due, I knew that I enjoyed Eastern European cities that hold cultural and historical significance. I also knew that I had friends and family there. The writing was on the wall and flights were booked. My musically gifted friend Tom has lived in Budapest (or Budapescht if we are going to get local about it) for the past year with his girlfriend Karin. His daily email updates of hearty food, cheap drink and vibrant night life had me in a state of constant intrigue. A two and a bit hour flight from Gatwick later and we were there. As I took my first steps into the unknown the first thing that hit me almost instantly was the size of the city, in both height and length. The beautiful four storey buildings that line each street are blackened with the soot of time and simply ooze history. The feeling of what happened during turbulent occupational times is palpable. Heck I could start a photoblog of the city’s ornate doorways alone. I seriously recommend a visit to Budapest, it is an edgy city that mixes the old with the new with a sense of style and creativity. Imagine a slightly more rough and ready Paris, but more creative and bohemian with whiffs of communism. Derelict buildings become perfect places for pop up bars and restaurants The food is great, the beer cheap and the bars endless. Massive thanks to Tom for being such a great guide, we shall certainly be back.

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Spontaneous Frittatas.

Like many of my friends know, I was never one for cereals. Any kind of quasi-mexican savoury breakfast dish that uses it up leftovers wins every time. Add the ever-faithful baked beans, lashes of Tabasco and a cup of Early Grey: what a way to start the day.


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