It’s spring, therefore it’s wild garlic season, hooray! Ha, who am I kidding? I’d never even seen wild garlic before some arrived in my Riverford box this week and if you’ve never seen it either, it looks like this.
Wild garlic (also known as ‘bear’s garlic’, ‘devil’s garlic’, ‘gypsy’s onions’ and ‘stinking Jenny’) has a milder taste than its bulby counterpart and grows – as you’ve probably guessed – wild, in forests and, as you can see, it’s the leaves that are eaten, not the bulbs.
Wild garlic can be eaten raw in salads or wilted in butter and used like any other leafy green vegetable. Because I’d also received a cauliflower in my veg box, I decided to make a vegan wild garlic and cauliflower soup and very nice it was too. It turned out a beautiful pale green colour (admittedly, it looks slightly like Angel Delight but don’t let this put you off) and, thanks to my new Froothie Optimum G2.1 Platinum Series high powered blender (review coming soon), velvety smooth and creamy. If you haven’t got a high powered blender (I definitely recommend one though; I’ve never had such a smooth soup in my life), you could use a hand blender instead. This is a thick soup so if you like it slightly thinner, just add a bit more stock. Despite the thickness though, it’s a fresh, light soup; perfect for spring.
Despite this soup being the easiest soup in the world to make, it wasn’t the easiest soup to guess in my Guess The Soup game. I didn’t think it would be so difficult; it’s just one vegetable, after all, and a seasonal vegetable at that (I’m assuming it’s seasonal – it came in last week’s veg box, anyway).
Maybe the stock discoloured it. I don’t know what goes into most ready-made stock powder and cubes (I should probably be ashamed of this) but this stock was a home-made one, made from The Gentle Chef’s Instant Chicken’less Bouillon Powder, which is easy to make and much nicer than anything you’ll find in the shops. Just make a batch up and store it in a jar until you need it.
These instructions are for a Von Chef Soup Maker. Your settings might be different. If you want to make it on the hob, just simmer all ingredients for about 20 minutes then blend at the end and add the soya milk.
Author: Planet Veggie
1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp home made or store bought bouillon powder
3 cups water
salt and pepper
50ml soya milk (optional)
Put all ingredients except the soya milk into the soup machine
Last night’s dinner was a disaster and ended up in the bin. It was a tofu stir-fry with some ready made sauce. I don’t know how Cauldron have managed it, but they’ve made their tofu even more soggy than it used to be and there was no way I could squeeze enough water out of it to adequately fry it until it was in a less blancmange-like state. It was like boiled tofu and absolutely vile. The stir-fry sauce I used with the tofu and vegetables (sugar snap peas and broccoli) was too strong and bitter, even though I’d watered it down. I served the saucy tofu/veg combination on some noodles, The Meat Eater ate a couple of mouthfuls before declaring it inedible and he heated himself up some leftover chilli, while I bravely ploughed on, eating the noodles but pushing the soggy tofu to one side.
Tonight, however, I redeemed myself. This asparagus, tomato and feta frittata out of 200 Veggie Feasts was absolutely delicious and I served it with new potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the leeks and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until tender. Leave to cool.
Cook the asparagus in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and pat dry. Cut into 5cm (2 inch) lengths.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the leek mixture, asparagus, feta, half the Parmesan-style cheese and salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a 20 cm (8 inch) square baking dish and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan-style cheese and bake in a preheated oven, 190C, Gas Mark 5, for 25-30 minutes until puffed up and firm in the centre.
This is simply cauliflower cheese with mashed potato and cheese on top, then baked in the oven. I used the BBC Good Food Cauliflower Cheese recipe (halved to serve 3), forked some mashed potato that we had leftover from the night before on top of it, covered it in grated cheese and baked in the oven at 200C for about 15 minutes.
My favourite day of the week arrives and I’m at work with a hangover after celebrating Gary’s 40th last night with wine, lager, vodka and champagne and I’m wondering if my vegetables will get stolen as my recycling bin hasn’t been emptied and one of the spare recycling bins still has two pairs of trousers in it that the clothes thieves didn’t take when they took the other clothes that were in the bin and the other bin is full of snow but when I get home the organic vegetable delivery people have emptied the bin that was full of snow and now the bin is hiding my vegetables.
And today I’ve got purple sprouting broccoli (took me a while to work out what it was before I saw the purple bits), robinta potatoes, leeks, carrots (yawn), cauliflower and parsnips (spicy parsnip soup for lunch next week then, hooray).