Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Parmigiana Di Melanzana (almost) was an organic experience

Well August Bank Holiday brought my only day off of the week and we were going to go walking but by the time we got up and finished off the curry we'd had boxed from the night before, it was afternoon!!  Then we got to thinking about what farm shops or markets might be open in the area.  We looked up a few on the Internet but most seemed to be shut on a Monday - all except for Kenyon Hall Farm near Warrington.

Fran informed me that they were in fact an award winning supplier of local/organic food so we thought we must go spend some cash - so that is what we did.

It wasn't particularly local but we managed to avoid the majority of the Bank Holiday traffic and 40 mins later we found the place.  It is a great place where you can pick your own fruit or (like us) just go and buy produce that someone else has harvested.

After a successful little shopping trip and we ended up with this array of delights:

Organic delights

We bought red wine vinegar, cheese, tomatoes, new potatoes, a massive courgette (for 10p), patty pan squashes, a couple of lettuces, a chilli plant and a sweet basil plant (as ours didn't appear to want to provide any more leaves!).  With this we thought we could make a lovely meal. - And we did, although we had to use some things that we already had in so it wasn't a totally organic meal - but tasty none the less.

Parmigiana Di Melanzana (Baked Sliced Aubergines with Tomato, Taleggio and Parmesan Cheese)

Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes was once again the book of choice.  As we had organic tomatoes and tomatoes form a big part of this dish we thought it would be perfect (we also had an aubergine that needed eating!).

The only change we made was the Taleggio Cheese which we couldn't find so we replaced it with some Emmental in the hope it would react in a similar way.  Our recipe (also adjusted for 2 people) was:

1 large aubergine
Extra virgin olive oil
150g Emmental cheese
Large handful of basil leaves (shredded)
300 ml tomato sauce as shown here
Parmesan cheese (grated)


Slice the aubergine length ways and salt the slices and leave to drain for 30 mins.  Pat the aubergine dry and fry over a medium heat for 2 mins either side and put to one side.  When ready you can begin assembly.

To assemble, lay half the aubergine slices over an oven-proof dish.  Scatter over half the basil and spread half the sauce.

Then add the slices of cheese and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese.

Repeat the layer with the remainder of the ingredients and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 mins - until bubbling.

To serve, I stir fried some of the Patty Pan Squash with salt, pepper and Greek oregano and finished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a just some organic lettuce on the side.

Parmigiana Di Melanzana, Stir-fried Patty Pan Squash and Organic Lettuce

Monday, 30 August 2010

Aashiana, Denton, Manchester

Aashiana Indian Cuisine

Being the bank holiday weekend we decided to treat ourselves to a sit-down curry. After some live music at Stockport Market we came home to Aashiana, the closest restaurant to where we live. We hadn't been here for a while, mainly because it is practically next door to a very good Indian takeaway (Blue Crown).

The restaurant, and menu, had been done up since our last visit, but even then the Chef's Recommendations did not have familiar names, which is something we like.

Aashiana's new menu

We ordered one Papadom each, and it came with the usual try of sauces. Not much to report, but instead of four standard items there were five - which we did pay for. Onion chutney, Mango Chutney, Mint Sauce, Hot Sauce, Plain Yogurt.
Papadom and bits

We decided to go for curries and sides that we hadn't had before, or in a while so I ordered the Salmon Shosha which promised to be cubes of salmon in a mouth-watering sauce consisting of cucumber and tomatoes and Tim went for the Shatkora Lamb which was apparently cooked in exotic spices and shatkora, which the menu says is a bitter fruit grown only in Bangladesh. We ordered one Pilau Rice, one Cauliflower Bhaji and a Tarka Dhall.
The two main curries, with the rice and dhall.

My plate of yumminess

We had a lovely meal, and they served us quite quick. It was quite busy, but the service was very good. The new (although not sure how new it actually is) refurbishments and decor were very nice, with nice subdued lighting and hints of green. The house white wine, however, was not good. So a more careful choice next time I think. We generally recommend the Aashiana, and coming in at less that £30, including two glasses of wine, we can't argue with the value. It does have tough competition with us though, as the range of different flavours available from Blue Crown seems more varied. Although, don't think they actually do a salmon curry with cucumber or use the lime-like exotic fruit from Bangladesh. Maybe we should suggest this?
P.S. We did ask, but it does seem that most food here is gluten free. Bonus!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Caribbean Food

Last night, after wondering what to make for tea, and reading various recipe books, we settled on perhaps one of our most adventurous books; Caribbean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots. We'd previous made something from this book, so knew that the recipes were good, and that any crazy ingredients had alternatives, but really we should be able to source anything in Manchester.

We settled on the Caramel-Lime Chicken, which the book puts with the Caribbean Mash and the Caribbean Griddled Aubergine. Even though there wasn't anything too unusual in the ingredients, we did need a separate list to go shopping. We got hold of the Scotch Bonnet no problem, but despite previously having Tamarind Paste in the cupboard, we couldn't find it. With the advice from a very nice Pakistani lady shopping in Morrisons, we bought actual Tamarind along with instructions and reassurances from her that it was very simple to make the paste. And at 30p for the Tamarind, I guess it is so much cheaper than if we were to find it in a bottle. This was a new one to us but we gave it a go.


First of all the Tamarind had to be soaked in warm water for 30 minutes. I guess that natural tamarind might be different, and that this is dried and therefore needs the soaking. It then needs to be pushed through a sieve, and what we get is the paste.

We actually got the right amount (1.5 tbsp) that we needed for the Aubergine dish as we were halving the amounts. We think this is the way forward for Tamarind in future, even though the sieve took some cleaning.

To start the Aubergine dish, soften 1 and a half yellow peppers, about 75g butternut squash (about two slices from the thin end), 1 and a half sticks of celery (now I don't usually like celery, but I was willing to trust Levi on this), with a finely chopped garlic clove.

Meanwhile, griddle slices of one large aubergine.

When that mixture has softened, add one finely chopped scotch bonnet chilli (we couldn't find any gloves to use, and we weren't going to risk the hotness, hence the sandwich bag!), 1.5 tbsp tomato puree, same of demerara sugar and the tamarind paste, plus 3 tbsp of water and let this cook for about 5 mins.

After that has cooked and the aubergine has been griddled, put it all in a heat proof dish (that can be covered) and stick it in the oven at 180C or Gas 4 for 20-25mins.

The chicken recipe has less ingredients, and less crazy ingredients.
To start with we tossed 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in 1 tbsp of pepper and a pinch of salt. The recipe said 8 thighs for 3-4 people, and Morrisons had them in packs of 6. We kept the same proportions of everything else, as quite frankly, trying to work it all out is too much brain strain.
Put 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan (with lid) with 2 tbsp granulated sugar and heat. Don't stir! I've never worked with sugar, as it scares me. Maybe its because of the temperatures it can reach and basically the chemical reactions that occur at the different temperatures so this was new to me. Levi says that if you stir it, the sugar will clump, and even though this was with oil and not water, which is the common ingredient for syrups etc, I thought it would be best to trust him. It did all melt and come together. The chicken thighs then go in and the pan is covered and it is left to cook for 10 mins.

After the 10 mins, the chicken is turned to reveal a lovely caramel colour and to allow the other side to cook. 50 ml of lime juice is then added to the pan, which Levi says is about 2 limes, but we managed to get it out of  1. It is then covered again and left to cook for another 10 mins.

After that cooking time, the chicken is lifted out, and the sauce is boiled for a bit for it to come together and thicken. We didn't see much thickening in the pan, but nevermind. It did thicken as it cooled down. This sauce was poured over the chicken.

We finished the meal with Caribbean Mash. Or just mashed sweet potato with a pinch of nutmeg as we didn't have any ground allspice in as the recipe said. The aubergines came out of the oven and were garnished with parsley. These were in for the correct amount of time, but we felt that they could have been in for longer, and that any extra time would not ruin the dish.

Caramel-Lime Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash and Caribbean Griddled Aubergines

The meal was lovely, and very different to what we've eaten recently. So many exciting flavours, and lots of happy, sunshine colours (and you couldn't really taste the celery, even though it still gave a crunch - bonus!). We'll definitely be cooking more from Levi's book.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry

A few weeks ago I made a really nice beef and sweet potato curry from a recipe I found on the internet.  For some reason I thought we'd had chicken which was the reason I couldn't find the recipe this time.  No problem as I could remember the basics so decided to have a bash myself but use chicken instead of beef.  Now in this I do use Pataks Rogan Josh paste but I think of it as an ingredient in its own right so do not see it as cheating.  Also, it seems that it is gluten-free which is a bonus.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry
I think I may have changed the cooking method slightly and used tomatoes too which weren't in the original recipe.  Anyway, I cooked it last night and it was delicious so thought I would share it with you.

You will need:

1 Tablespoon of Oil
6 Chicken Thigh Fillets
300g Sweet Potatoes (chopped into 1 inch cubes)
500g Tomatoes (Chopped)
2 Medium Onions (Chopped)
5cm Chunk of Ginger (Peeled)
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Chilli (leave seeds for a bit of heat)
3 Tablespoons Rogan Josh Curry Paste
1 can of Coconut Milk
25g Chopped Corriander
Juice of 1 Lime


Heat the oil and cook the onions till softened
Blitz the ginger, garlic and chilli in a mini chopper with a bit of oil and add to the onion
Cook for 5 mins more
Add the curry paste and cook for 5 mins
Add the chicken and cook until browned and coated in paste and flavours
Add the tomatoes and stir through 

Add the coconut milk, cover and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally


Add the sweet potato and half the corriander and cook for a further 15 minutes
Add lime juice and serve garnished with the rest of the corriander


The proportions would serve 4 hungry people or 6 with a side dish perhaps.  Fran tells me it was yummy and I happen to agree with her.  We tasted it midway and would say that the lime juice is the killer ingredient as we felt the dish was missing something before it was added. 

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Pizza Express and GBK

Generally, a lot of people know what Pizza Express and the food is like (especially when the pizzas are on offer at Morrison's - or is that just us?), and some will know all about Gourmet Burger Kitchen. But on these visits with friends I was trying their gluten free things.

Wednesday, me and a friend visited Pizza Express in Manchester, not the one at the Triangle, the other one, whichever street it is, I never know till I find it. (Although it is next door to Grill on the Alley, which we need to try). We'd been there plenty of times before and knew what to expect. We were seated quickly upstairs, a drinks order taken, then another waitress tried to take another drinks order. I'd already looked up on the internet about their gluten free dishes, and their website has a rather detailed spreadsheet of all their dishes and which is allowed for people on various diets. Basically, my choice of food was already made. I thought it would be simpler just to remember the options rather than try to ask the already confused staff about what was available.
I ordered the Mozzerella and Tomato Salad, followed by the Pollo salad (with no croutons or dough sticks). My friend had the rather exciting looking Bruschetta con Funghi and then the Pollo ad Astra pizza on the thin base.
I will, at this point, point out that we had one of those two courses for £10 vouchers, and if feeling the need we could go for a dessert between us, which would probably be ice cream, with no wafer straw.

The food arrived. Mine was exactly as expected. Mozzeralla and Tomato. With some pesto and one basil leaf. My friend's was far more exciting. (no picture, as really I'm jealous)

Tomato and Mozzerella Salad

The Salad was OK. Not particularly flouvoursome tomato, but the cheese was nice and the pesto was tasty.

Pollo Salad

The main courses arrived. I can say mine looked rather dissappointing, next to the massive pizza. I was considering not posting a photo of the humongous pizza, just because while we were there, all I craved was that crispy base, rich tomato sauce and exciting toppings. But I will post it in all its glory.

Mmmm. Pollo ad Astra

My Salad was OK. Not so much of anything really. Not even a whole tomato, maybe the other half of the one I had for starter, few bits of pepper, and some lettuce. There was quite a bit of chicken - I had expected less, and quite a bit of lovely creamy (not the crumbly type) goats cheese - again I had expected less of it. I'm afraid to say it did reinforce my opinion that salads for a main course are not worth the money when they are comparable in price to everything else on the menu (apart from maybe at Kro2 where I remember the Ceasar Salad being huge). Is that just me? I could, after all, make this at home with hardly any trouble. But yes, we were not actually paying full price, so I could kind of live with that.

We decided to not go for a dessert, as my friend couldn't even finish half of the pizza, which even the plate failed to contain - it became her lunch the next day.

My verdict is that at least they have gluten free options, but I would not choose there to eat over other places now my diet is restricted. The next step could be to follow Carluccio's maybe and do standard pizzas on gluten free bases. Let's just hope.

Tonight, (what, two nights eating out in a row?) was a trip to GBKwith another friend, and another voucher. We'd previously eaten there and said I was avoiding wheat, and they very impressively arranged the burger and filling, minus the bun, on a plate, but this time it was gluten-free I was looking for. The GBK website isn't that helpful really, but does say to speak to the staff and they will explain what is safe and what isn't. Perhaps they do this so that they can change recipes and not have to change the website - but surely its not that hard is it? The website does say (and so did the wairtress) that the chips are not suitable to coeliacs as they are cooked in the same fryer as breaded items. Since I don't know the extent of my inability to eat gluten, we did order a side of the fries between us.
The watiress told us the various sauces and dips that I couldn't have, and said that all the chicken is breaded. Perhaps the best dip, the Smoked Chilli Mayo is no-go. Disaster! We settled for the very strong garlic mayo to go with the chips. I decided on the Chilli burger, and my friend had the Barbeque burger (because she can!).

Chilli Burger

The burger was lovely, cooked to medium (apparently), and the chilli sauce had just the right amount of kick not to be overpowering. Regarding the chips, so far so good, that level of possible cross-contamination doesn't seem to have an effect, might do later though....But to be fair, surely in my own kitchen there are dangers of worse cross-contamination which haven't yet become apparent to me. Maybe GBK covering themselves so not to harm those who are extremely sensitive.

My verdict is, unlike Pizza Express, the actual essence of GBK is not taken away with the gluten, plus without the bread it seems you don't leave the place stuffed and unable to move if you finish your plate (either that, or I can just eat more than I could). I would choose GBK again - the Blue Cheese Burger is gluten free!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Chicken with Chorizo, Courgettes and Butter Beans

Tea tonight was a dish adapted from a Rick Stein recipe from his Mediterranean Escapes.  I say adapted as it should be made with Sobrasada rather than Chorizo but cannot find anywhere that stocks it.  (Anyone know??)  Not even Rick Stein's Deli in Padstow stocked it!!  Also I have changed some of the proportions from the book to satisfy Fran's sauce requirements!!

Chicken with Chorizo, Courgettes and Butter Beans

For my version you will need:

2 Chicken Breasts
Small tin of Butter Beans - drained
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Teaspoon of Crushed Chilli Flakes
90g Chorizo (Gluten-Free)
2 Medium Courgettes
Handful of Chopped Parsley Leaves
Salt and Ground Black Pepper
300 ml Tomato Sauce (see below)

To make 600ml of tomato sauce (half can be frozen or fridged after for another day)

2 Tins Plum Tomatoes
20g Garlic Finely Sliced (about 6 cloves)
6 Tablespoons of the best olive oil you can find
Salt and Pepper

I made the tomato sauce this morning and left to cool for the day, here was how:

Finely chop the garlic
Heat the olive oil and add the garlic till it sizzles

Add the tomatoes

Season well with 1 teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of black pepper
Simmer for about 20 mins while breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.  The sauce should reduce a little and thinken.

Then a bit nearer teatime I started the chicken:

Season the chicken and fry in olive oil for 5 mins on each side
Move chicken to one side and fry the chorizo and chilli flakes till the oil is released

Stir chicken around all the lovely juices

Add the courgettes and a little more oil, cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 15 mins

Add the tomato sauce and butter beans and cook for a further 5-10 mins

Sprinkle with parsley and serve

There turned out to be a bit too much sauce after all (the portions would work with 4 breasts) but not to worry as it will probably make a pasta sauce for another day!  So out popped the freezer tub - always the economist!!

All in all a success I feel.  It was spicy and moreish but we can't help wonder what it should have tasted like had we used sobrasada as per the recipe.  According to Mr Stein the sausage would melt a little and so produce a different textured sauce.  We will keep an eye out and report back if we find a stockist.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Magnificent Roasted Monkfish (not Monkfish) and a Small Forage

Last week, after buying some proscuitto crudo from a Farmers' Market (not sure what Farmers' Markets actually are anymore, as I also bought some soap....), I was wondering what to make. We could have just eaten it on its own in an antipasti mix type thing, but it didn't seem that long ago since we did that, so I thought of an excellent Jamie Oliver recipe that I had tried quite a few times before.
Basically it is Monkfish wrapped in Parma Ham which has been spread with a paste of sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

Jamie Oliver's Magnificent Roasted Monkfish

I wasn't going to buy Monkfish, because, quite frankly, even if Morrison's happened to have it in, I am too tight, and anyway, it wasn't technically Parma Ham I was using either.
I used some random fish (Coley I think), after asking the guy at Morrison's for a meaty fish that wouldn't flake too much. He suggested this which was more in my price range and he said it was quite meaty, like cod. I thought cod was flakey, but hey ho.

I knew the basics of the recipe as I have done it before - yes, with actual Monkfish and actual Parma Ham, but couldn't quite remember the quantities. I dug around among the thousands of cookbooks we have for all the Jamie books, then searched through each one to find the recipe.When I found it, I shouldn't have bothered. "Small jar of sun-dried tomatoes" and "2 large handfuls of basil". Well I knew that much. What is a small jar anyway? Sun-dried tomatoes seem to come in jars of one size. Is this small? Who's hands full of basil?

Anyway, I followed the recipe, sort of. And I have to say it really didn't turn out as elegant as the pictures in his book. I was making it for 2 rather than 4, so I used half of the standard sized jar of sun-dried tomatoes, and "some" basil. I knew the consistency I was looking for anyway. You whizz up the tomatoes and basil, with some of the oil from the tomato jar, and some balsalmic vinegar to make a paste. You then, rather messily, spread this all over the (not Parma) ham. Stick the fish on it, and roll it up. The fish turned out to be huge, so instead of the nice sized portion in the book, we ended up with a great slab of fish on the plate which was very tasty and also very filling.
Suppose it didn't help the portions, as I attempted a Dauphinoise Potatoes for the first time, which turned out to be quite rich. And didn't really match the fish. There was quite a bit of oil/juice from the fish, which didn't work with the cream. Both were nice, but not meant to be together I'd say.

Magnificent Roasted Monkfish (not Monkfish)

I had made an Apple and Blackberry crumble for dessert - again, a bit rich and heavy, but still lovely. It was my most recent attempt at using the gluten free flour which we'd bought for the purpose. I am not convinced that this flour will make decent pastry, even though there are pie recipes on the packet, but surely there can't be an issue with it making crumble.
There was, however, an issue. The batteries in the scales had gone, so quantities were estimated by eye. I think there may have been too much butter, but as I know, gluten free stuff tends to be very dry, so I added more to be safe.
Back to the actual fruit. The other week I had noticed that there were quite a few blackberry bushes (are they bushes?) nearby, and I thought it could be worth a forage. I'd gathered some really juicy, ripe berries a few days before, washed, and tried them. They were ideal. Stupidly, I hadn't gathered them on the crumble day, so when I came to use them, I found that the majority had started to decompose and were becoming one with each other. Again, thanks to Morrison's being 2 minutes away, we still had Apple and Blackberry crumble.

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

The crumble itself worked, although not sure if it would have tasted the same, or had the same texture if I was able to weigh out the recommended quantities. The only thing about it, in this instance, the gluten free flour still had the familiar slightly odd taste and texture to it. But it wasn't that off-putting.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Beef and Peppercorn Stew

Well there is no more chicken left so time again to think about food for work.  Thankfully there were just enough microwave trays after Fran's red and grey soup to freeze another stew.  This seems a good time to introduce you to a favourite recipe book of ours.  It is packed full of great stews and soups (and mashes) and is conveniently called "Soups, Stews and Mash".  Quite a number of my family members had this book and we were lucky enough to find it on ebay for 99p!!  What I like about this book is that it is adventurous but not ridiculous - there is no "shin of a virgin calf" type of ingredient.  Everything can be found in the supermarket and there are bags of ideas.

The dish I decided to do is tried and tested and is the ultimate in comfort food.  It is very filling having beef and potatoes and it has that very satisfying black pepper kick.  Probably best as a winter dish but I think the summer is over now anyway.

Beef and Peppercorn Stew

You will need (these are my proportions and gluten-free):

800g Stewing Steak
2 Teaspoons Cracked Black Peppercorns
40g Butter
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Onions
3 Gloves Garlic
1 and half Tablespoons Plain Flour (Doves Farm Gluten and Wheat Free)
2 Tablespoons Brandy
750 ml Gluten-Free Beef Stock (2 knoor cubes)
1 Tablespoons Gluten-Free Worcester Sauce (Life)
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
500g Baby new Potatoes
(Some) Cream
Parsley (if you wish)

Toss the cubed steak in the peppercorns, heat some butter and oil and brown the meat in batches and set aside.

Cook the onion and garlic in the juices.  Then add the flour and cook for 2 mins.
To the pan add brandy, mustard and stock.  Put the steak back, cover and simmer on the hob for 1.5 hrs (keep checking and stir occasionally).

Add potatoes and simmer uncovered for 30 mins.

Add cream, stir and remove from the hob. 
Parsley to serve.

I like to have it with a pile of green veg at home of an evening or just a simple bowl of it at work with a roll  makes a very satisfying dinner.

The proportions made 5 good size work meals - but probably about 4 evening meals.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Red Soup and Grey Soup

Grey Soup and Red Soup

After the recent extravagance of the eating out, even though at last meal was a bargain, much of what we'll be doing in the next week or so will be of the Eating In variety. Kinder to the wallet, liver, and waistline.

Something tasty, healthy and relatively cheap which I've been doing recently is soup for lunches. Although if you ask my work colleagues, this is not recently, this has been for ever! I've generally been making roasted tomato soup, sometimes with added peppers, sometimes pepper soup with tomatoes, and sometimes half and half. Even though you can taste slight difference, this is generally known as Red Soup.
The choices are made basically on supermarket/greengrocer offers and availabilities of peppers and tomatoes, more often than not, the pepper offer wins over, and Red Soup is more peppery.
This week it has been more tomatoey.

Almost Red Soup

This week I started off by roasting 1kg of normal salad tomatoes (or big bag from Lidl), with 1 onion, a couple of bashed garlic cloves, the 2 left over red and yellow pepper halves (from a fish dish) and one whole green pepper. Sometimes I put some thyme in there too, but couldn't be bothered - maybe it was raining and I didn't fancy going out to cut it. Oh, and some balsamic vinegar. All in a big roasting tray with quite a bit of olive oil. I leave it at 200C until the tomatoes have burst and things are turning a little black, and the house has started to smell of lovely roasting things. Then with enough veg stock to make it soup-like I blitz with a hand blender. This time I needed a bit of sugar, but no tomato puree - sometimes the tomatoes aren't very tomatoey - not a necessity for the "other" type of red soup, as peppers don't need to be tomatoey.

I am not one of those people who can't eat the same thing every day, but even with the subtle differences of the different varieties of Red Soup, it was getting a little monotonous, so I fancied re-trying another soup I used to make.

The inspiration for Grey Soup came from the Farmers' Market in Manchester - when it was called Farmers' Market. Since it became the "Real Food Market" the soup man seems to have disappeared. Maybe he'll return at Christmas? He did lots of homemade, fresh tasting soups. All made with proper ingredients, including a Mushroom, Garlic and Parsley soup. Each time a selection of soups were available buy in cups to eat there and then, or in tubs to take home for your fridge. I did notice that the ingredients on the tub for this Mushroom soup were little more than the title ingredients, but with the addition of flour to thicken. Alas, that means even if he does return, I won't be able to eat it. So I tried once more to recreate it.

I chopped up 350g (box from Lidl) of closed cup mushrooms, very small, plus 1 onion (which I don't think was on the soup man's ingredient list) and about 3 cloves of garlic. In previous attempts I think I put too much garlic in, as it mainly tasted of garlic, for the entire day. I then cooked the whole lot, with a bit of oil, very slowly for ages. I don't really time my cooking, I just do it til its done. Not very helpful I know. I then added a handful of chopped fresh parsley.

Nearly Grey Soup

This was then blitzed down with a hand blender. It made just a big mush, so I added about 3/4 pint of veg stock to make it soupy and it seemed to work. One concern I have with mushrooms, is that they can be too mushroomy. Not sure exactly when, or if this occurs during the cooking process, but I know what I mean. But thankfully Grey Soup, on this attempt was neither too mushroomy or garlicky. A success I feel. The only annoying thing is, this amount of mushrooms and cooking time only made 2 portions, whereas Red Soup can stretch to a full week's worth of lunches.

Maybe next week; Green Soup. And perhaps Brown Soup.