Saturday, 21 September 2013

Farmhouse vegetable soup with croutons

Last weekend the weather was crappy and we had nothing but a bunch of odds and ends left from our veggie box so I thought a good old fashioned farmhouse soup was in order.

I remember this as a Sunday evening staple in winter while I was growing up. It is filling, tasty and extremely versatile. I had no appreciation of it as a child, but its also a pretty inexpensive way to feed a horde of hungry children.

I find it oddly comforting.

As part of eating nutrient rich foods to support my fertility, I've added bone broth to my diet, mostly in the form of chicken broth which I make after a roast chicken dinner.  I normally end up with about three litres and freeze it in 500 ml portions for use in other meals.  I dont really follow a recipe for that but here are some instructions at Natural Fertility and Wellness.

We've had lamb chops a few times this year and it seemed a waste to throw out the bones, but I never had enough to make a proper batch of stock with them. I've slowly been amassing lamb bones in the freezer two by two.

Normally I make my soups with chicken stock from the freezer but I'm all out out and there didn't seem to be much point in buying more lamb bones to make a proper batch of stock and therefore increase the stuff I need to use up from the freezer before we move.   So I kind of made the stock at the same time as I made the soup by starting with the frozen lamb bones (I had about eight chops).

You can pretty much add anything to this soup veggie-wise.


Ingredients
  • Lamb bones and water or pre-made bone broth
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Carrot
  • Bay leaf
  • Peppercorns
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Barley
  • Quinoa
Method
Place the lamb bones in a large pot with a close fitting lid and cook the bones on a low heat, stirring occasionally so they get evenly coloured.  Chop the veg into bite sized chunks. When the fat is melted the bones are browned add a splash of water to deglaze the pan and pick up all the browned bits of lamb/fat stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Add the chopped veg and stir around until they get a bit soft and a bit coloured as well.  Tip in enough water to cover everything completely along with the bay leaf and peppercorns and simmer, covered, on a low heat for an hour.  Fish out the bones and set aside.  Throw in a handful each of rice, barley and quinoa (or pasta or lentils or whatever else you have on hand) to absorb some of the water and thicken things up.  When the bones are cool, pick off any remaining meat and add to the soup.  It is ready when the grains/pulses you've added are cooked.  You may need to add more water as you go.

To make the croutons simply butter some bread on both sides, chop into little squares and fry in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Serve in bowls topped with croutons and garnished with grated cheese and parsley.

2 comments:

  1. So happy to see a post about bone broth! Simply amazing nourishing power and flavor. The only thing I would add is to recommend using organic meat and bones since the vinegar is essentially leaching everything out of the bones and quality is important.

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    Replies
    1. Good reminder re quality. We're really lucky that there is an organic butcher at the end of our street and that is the only place I buy meat. Its nice to be on name terms with the local supplier too. Going to have to find something equally good in Australia.

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