A couple of days ago I announced that I was thinking of making fennel soup for supper (we need a photograph of it for the new book).
“You should use all those veggies in the crisper,” said Meredith, in practical mood.
After years of taking a moment to understand what “crisper” meant, I now know it’s the bottom drawer of the fridge where salad and (forgotten) vegetables are stored.
It still sounds odd to me–crisp and vegetable?
“Any road”–as Aunt Mary used to say–I found a treasure trove of useable vegetables.
I chopped into small dice:
2 small celery sticks
3 garlic cloves
and sweated these over a low heat for a good half hour or longer in
3 tbsp olive oil
I then added:
2 fennel bulbs–outer casings removed and chopped into larger dice
more celery–similarly chopped
more carrots–similarly chopped
a handful of mini onions–peeled and halved
some cauliflower florets
Then I spooned in 3 tbsp cooked white beans, from a jar preferably (I prefer them to tinned/canned),
tucked in a small bouquet of parsley and bay and a piece of parmesan rind (I happened to have one to hand!)
I poured in 1 1/2 pints of stock–in this case made from organic vegetable cubes,
and seasoned well with freshly ground black pepper and a teaspoon of salt.
Brought this up to the boil, turned down the heat to low and simmered it for an hour.
Then I added a handful of green beans–escapees that were loitering in the crisper–snapped in half–and 2 medium courgettes–the last from the garden, sliced.
Cooked all this on until these last were tender.
Served it with a swirl of best olive oil and grated parmesan.
(The crisper promoter showed her approval by having thirds.)