We tasted this new soup for lunch.
When Dianne P. from New Hampshire posted her memorable photos taken 33 years ago, in autumn of 1978 on the set of The Europeans in New Ipswich, New Hampshire on Flikr last night, it put me in mind of the late Ismael Merchant’s cooking.
He was the producer half of Merchant/Ivory productions–Jim Ivory is the director of their movies.
I played the frustratingly “unable to commit” Robert Acton, opposite the much lamented and talented Lee Remick, in their film of Henry James’ novella.
Ismael was a wonderful cook and would sometimes use his talent to smooth the ruffled feathers of nervous creditors when the film threatened to overrun.
One of his curry feasts, I remember, bought us enough time to finish the film!
There’s a soup in his book Indian Cuisine called “Claverack Carrot Soup“.
We used to have it often, but after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it came “off the menu”, because of the potatoes and carrots in it.
I had some fennel and a sweet potato I wanted to use and a nobly piece of ginger–and autumn has arrived with the clocks going back; so I thought I’d experiment–with a nod to Ismael and thanks again to Dianne!
1 medium onion–chopped roughly
1 tablespoon of olive oil
12 oz of cleaned and chopped fennel—
12 oz of peeled and chopped sweet potato—
1 clove of garlic–chopped fine
a thumb-nail size piece of fresh ginger–peeled and chopped fine
1.5 pints of stock–I use organic vegetable stock
a little single cream or yogurt to swirl on top in each bowl
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion.
- Soften it for 10 minutes without browning it.
- Add the fennel and the garlic, mix it in with the onion and gently sweat the mixture–covered–for 15 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato and the ginger, mix it in and sweat–covered–for a further 15 minutes.
- Season the mixture–keeping in mind that the stock will have salt in it.
- Add the stock and cook it for another 10 minutes–uncovered.
- Let the soup cool for a few minutes before liquidising it.
- I use a hand-held liquidiser/blender.
- Serve hot with a swirl of cream or yogurt on top.
- Meredith thought a single piece of crispy bacon for each bowl would be good too–we’ll try that next time.