I have over 100 cookbooks and booklets, about one third of them are vegan and the rest vegetarian. Despite this bounty of recipes, I still find myself cooking the same 20/25 recipes over and over again. It strikes me that perhaps some of the vegetarian cookbooks might be better appreciated by someone else and that maybe the time has come to start looking out a few to take to the Oxfam bookshop. My initial goal is to get rid of 10 books - eeek! As a prelude to this I looked out and catalogued all of my cookbooks and chose one to cook a recipe from and then to let go of. I'm starting small - parting with books is hard for me, even when they have been sitting unopened on a shelf for a decade or two. Today's book is The Today's Vegetarian Book of Soups. I suspect that this may have been a free gift with a vegetarian magazine. I've had this wee book since the early 90s and I don't think I've ever cooked anything from it before today. I chose Aduki Bean soup as I had a can of aduki beans in my store cupboard and a pack of fresh winter herbs in my fridge comprising all the herbs required by the recipe. I substituted a tub of tomato salsa which needed using up for the can of chopped tomatoes called for by the recipe.
Aduki Bean Soup
100 g/4 oz aduki beans, soaked or 1 can of aduki beans
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed (I used 3)
1 Tbsp tomato puree
1x 225g/8 oz can tomatoes or 1 tub of salsa
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme
900 ml/1.5 pts vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
Saute the onion for a couple of minutes in olive oil or a small amount of vegetable stock. Add the celery, carrots and garlic and saute for a few minutes more. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
This was a quick and straightforward soup to make. Would I make it again? Probably not: to be honest it's nothing special and doesn't begin to match up to my current favourite soups. I've also had a quick look through the rest of the recipes and don't see anything I can't live without trying. So the book has gone into my Oxfam bag. That's one down, another 9 to go...
Today was a bit of a difficult day and I definitely needed cheering up. Fortunately my uncheery self was in the vicinity of Coco Chocolate in Bruntsfield - I managed to restrain myself and came away with just one enormous chocolate praline, a bag of chocolate coated orange peel and one choclate coated fig. Why is it that things don't look so bad anymore when viewed through a haze of chocolate bliss?