Friday, 21 October 2011

Warming Thoughts

Zuppa di Cavolini di Bruxelles e Romanesco con Salamino Piccante
Brussels Sprout and Romanesco Soup with Spicy Salami

I hate to throw away food, I think it is a shame and I know there is no reason for it. With so many people starving in the world, I think it is wrong to take for granted what we have and to be wasteful with perfectly good food on whim. I just don't get it when people don't want to eat the same thing two days in a row... just do something different with it! If it tastes boring to you- it is because you are doing something boring with it! End of speech

I had maybe a quarter of a Romanesco cauliflower left over, and the hearts of the Brussels sprouts that I plucked the leaves from 2 nights ago. To me, that says vegetable soup. Along with a few slices of spicy salami for a bit of extra "oomph!" and seasoning, a nice combination on a cold evening...

First of all, I chopped a clove of garlic, a couple of spring onions and a half stick of celery finely and sautéed them in a little clarified butter with a pinch of sugar. Whilst that was going on, I chopped the Romanesco into small pieces and the sprouts into slices. These get added to the onion, garlic and celery, along with some cumin, caraway and just a few fennel seeds, salt, pepper and some finely chopped parsley. Stir them together and let them steam with the lid on in their own juices for a few minutes. 

After 2-3 minutes, add some boiling water (so as to not interrupt the cooking process and cool everything down again) and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Check the seasoning after this time to see if you need to add salt or spice. Now add a good cupful of milk and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg, more finely chopped fresh parsley for some fresh flavor and color and a handful of thinly sliced, spicy salami. Continue simmering until you see little pearls of fat on the surface, from the salami... that is the sign that it has given off its smokey and spicy flavor into the broth and done its service... and it will be juicy and nicely cooked by now too.

Serve with a dusting of white pepper and a sprinkle of caraway seeds- a simple, warming and honest supper for a cold evening. What more could you want?

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