Thursday, 10 January 2013

NCR Spring onion soup

Life is busy with painting a doll's house, a Homeland DVD and a local singing circle.  Yesterday I baked bread and brie.  Those will be shared another time.  Today I will tell you about what to do when you send your partner to buy a few spring onions and he returns with 2 bunches.  E hadn't been sure how many I needed.  He didn't realise I can take weeks to use up a whole bunch.   and erred on the generous side.  Fortunately Kirsty's dad had already found that Ottolenghi has a solution for too many spring onions.

I made changes.  After all I have never heard of kashk.  At least Ottolenghi offered creme fraiche and parmesan as an alternative.  I went with what I had.  Despite my complaints about the spring onions overload, I had less than Ottolengthi's 700g.  And I thought my parsley would be enough but apparently 80g parsley is quite a bit.  I only had 60g.  It is good to know that the recipe is forgiving.

Making the soup was more fiddly than my usual chuck-everything-in-a-saucepan soups.  I was probably tired as I cursed Ottolenghi for making me chop so many spring onions that I had tears in my eyes and no room for all the little pieces.  When it came to removing some soup and blending some, I spent my remaining energy finding my blender, which had been put away in a cupboard that is hard to reach.  It just went into all the soup and roughly blended it.

By the time I served the soup, we were both agreeing that the soup better be good after waiting so long to eat.  We also agreed it was excellent.  E thought it like French peasant food and would have benefited from a chunk of rustic bread.  I had made Mexican rice to serve with it.  We were polite for a while and ate the soup and rice from separate bowls.  Then we started to mix bowls and it was very good, if perhaps not what Ottolenghi had intended.  E was very pleased with his mistake in buying too many spring onions.

As E had been buying the spring onions for our New Year's Eve haggis nachos, I am sending this soup to Lisa for the January No Croutons Required, the vegetarian soup and salad event she coordinates with Jacqueline.  The theme this month is leftovers.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Child-Friendly Almanac - recipes, eating out, playgrounds
Two years ago:  Sylvia's dinner - hit and miss
Three years ago: New Year's Raspberry Punch
Four years ago: Miso Soup for after the feasting!
Five years ago: WHB Vegetable Stories and Potato Salad Glory

Spring onion soup
Adapted from Ottolenghi
serves 4

550g spring onion, chopped in about 2 or 3 cm chunks
1 generous tsp butter
1 slurp olive oil, plus extra to finish1
1 whole medium garlic heads, cloves peeled and roughly chopped
3 bay leaves (from our garden)
300g frozen peas
1 medium zucchini (courgette), diced
1 litre vegetable stock
3/4 tsp french lavender salt (or regular salt)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper
60g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 dessertspoon of greek yoghurt
40g parmesan cheese, finely grated
20g mint leaves, thinly chopped (I used scissors)
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Fry spring onions over low to medium heat in butter and oil for 15 minutes.  While frying, chop up garlic and add.  Add bayleaves, peas and zucchini and fry for another 5 minutes.  (I didn't hear the timer and fried them for longer.)  Add stock and seasoning.  Bring to the boil.  Turn off the heat and add parsley.  Roughly blend with a hand held blender leaving some texture rather than trying to make it really smooth.  Stir in yoghurt and parsmesan.  Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with mint and lemon zest.  Keeps well overnight in the fridge.

On the stereo:
Original album series box set: The Incredible String Band


  1. Too many onions? One can never have too many onions! (Says the weirdo who likes eating them raw! haha!)

    This soup looks DELISH! I've never made my own soup before, but this one is so bright and colorful and I think I must try to make it!

    1. Thanks Dayna - I use heaps of onions but am not so keen on them raw - or even chopping too many because they make me cry - and if you love onion then I am sure you would love onion soup but I suggest starting with a simpler one if you have never made soup before (like a tomato or pumpkin soup for example)

  2. Wow - that uses one heck of a lot of green onions!! I go mine pretty fast so it is never a problem. I used to freeze them, though. Then it was easy to add just a bit to soups and stir-fries. :)

    1. Thanks Janet - it is a lot of green onions - I go through them slowly enough that the last ones in the bunch that I use can be a bit scraggly but not always - never tried freezing them

  3. I often find myself with excess spring onions and herbs so this is a great standby to have! :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - we get enough excess herbs too - problem is I often forget I have them :-(

  4. You've probably given E such reinforcement that he'll be buying surplus onions forever now! I hardly ever use spring onions so I'll have to tuck this recipe away for if I ever send Mr B to buy fresh produce...he would be entirely capable of purchasing 2 bunches of the vegetable I use least ;)

    Very impressive looking, Johanna!

    1. Thanks Kari - I suspect that E would be buying lots of spring onions if only had hadn't had to wait so long for the soup :-)

  5. Your story of E buying an excess of spring onions reminds me of a tale from my mother in law. She sent her husband to do some shopping and had written 6 spring onions on the list, he returned with 6 bunches!

    I do love onions of all varieties and never have any trouble using them up. It looks like such a pretty green soup even if it was fiddly to put together (The Ottolenghi recipes I've tried have been quite time consuming but usually taste great).

    1. Thanks Mel - ouch - 6 bunches of spring onions would be a challenge! I usually find myself simplifying ottolenhgi recipes because they are fiddly and I end up skipping steps - would probably taste even better if I followed to the letter

  6. I can't wait until spring onions are available here again. This soup looks so refreshing!

    1. Thanks Joanne - I love how spring onions are such a summery veg - I don't use them much in winter but love them when the weather warms up and we eat lots of salads

  7. That sounds and looks wonderful Johanna. Thanks for sharing with NCR and all the best to you for the New Year.


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