THe Ploughing Championship

Well, four days on, and I am still only recovering from the PLOUGHING … what a blast, what a massive gulp of fresh country happy air that it was! A little like forgetting the pain of childbirth, all of the pain of the monumental traffic queues, the mud, the weather, is instantly forgotten, as soon as the stream of country folk come over to your stall and bring back those cosy childhood farming memories. I was a ploughing novice till last week – coming from a farming background myself, it may at first appear strange that I had never been as a child; however, being the youngest of nine children, with the first half of the family all (precious) boys, the odds were always against me securing a spot in the family car for the trip to the Ploughing.

With the date for the event slyly creeping up on me in the last week, the sister from London (of the chocolate Pops variety box household) was implored upon to come and help out on the stall (I reckoned she owed me this at least). And help out she did – we were able to serve eight hot soups each day, satisfying even the most fussy “plain vegetable” soup eaters (Message to Batt : Mary will be down to help with the fencing on Thursday; I haven’t yet told her about the bullocks).

While there, I was asked to do a soup making demo, which went fine, with the exception of the tins of tomatoes which refused to open (tip for anyone else doing a demo : don’t rely on the ring pulls on cans to work as they normally would, two can fail at a time, probability 1:1 million). See recipe below.

Just Food Organic Carrot & Coriander Soup

  • 1kg Carrots
  • 200 g onions
  • 100 g potatoes
  • 50 g celery
  • 50 g leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 g butter
  • Pinch ground coriander
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1.1 litres water
  • 100 ml milk
  • 20 g fresh coriander leaf, finely chopped
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 10 g salt, or to taste

Process the first six ingredients until finely chopped. Melt the butter over medium heat, add the chopped veg, stir, add ground spices. Cover and sweat for a few minutes.

Add water, bring to boil, simmer for approx 10 mins. Blitz with a stick blender, add milk , bring back to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped coriander and serve.

Note 1: Older and larger  carrots actually have more beta-carotene than younger ones, so you can feel virtuous hauling the oldies out of the back of the fridge (and I am hopeful that this “older and larger is better than younger and smaller” applies to all manner of things)

Note 2: We don’t use any stock cubes/commercial stocks – instead, the combination of veg added at the outset creates the stock which is the basis for the soup – in this way, you get a lovely fresh tasting soup, with all of the fibre of the retained veg, and none of the nasty additives that lurk in commercial stock cubes.

Note 3: We never use flour to thicken our soups, so all of our soups (excluding chicken noodle) are gluten free – our soups are naturally thickened by the addition of extra veg, providing extra fibre and associated health benefits.

Note 4: This soup has 2.5 of your recommended 5 a day servings of fruit/veg in each 400g portion. Job done!

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