It’s been a few months since the comedian Victoria Wood passed away. Her 1986 “two soups” sketch was so hardwired in my brain that whenever I made, ate or thought about soup thereafter, those two words (in that creaky Julie Walters voice) always echoed inside my head. To this day, there are few British women I know (and it is only women) who can order “two soups” without repeating those two words in that Julie Walters voice (either guffawing externally or in secret, internally). I bet the new PM does. I bet Her Majesty does. Even my daughter does it, and I don’t think she’s ever seen the sketch. Pavlov would have had a whole new branch to his career if he’d been around to witness the “two soups” effect.
With it being mid August we are now formally entering the “Glut Zone” on the grow-your-own calendar, and we start to riffle through cook books and Google for recipes to pickle, preserve, bottle, ferment, brew, freeze and dry our precious bounty. Lots of these recipes take time, extra-special ingredients, and equipment which need a bit of forward planning. There’s no point in making cordial without a stash of sterilised glass bottles, chutney without turmeric or sweating over hot jam to remember you still haven’t bought a wide-neck funnel.
Which brings me to the glorious redeemer that is soup. Soup accommodates and forgives most vegetable gluts and, as long as you keep it simple, is always worthwhile (Celia Imrie’s ‘Acorn Antiques‘ voice coming in now). What you can’t eat now you can easily freeze, and just as easily reheat, to enjoy later.
I mean, what could possibly go wrong with “two soups“?
With the second sowing of carrots catching up with the first, and a third sowing already catching up with the second… A bulk carrot recipe, aka soup, was required. The giant courgette needed dealing with too. Here’s one I made earlier in the week: lots of carrots, half a giant courgette, basil and chicken stock, cooked for 15 minutes and blended).
Carrot with coriander is the fashionable combination but I prefer them with basil. I also happen to have a lot of basil!
“Baaa-sil!” Now, that’s another tale altogether.