Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's..uhh.. smokey-flavoured..?

We've had enough cold weather recently that I've started looking at the soups again. There's nothing like soup for lunch on a cold day. I figured I'd have time to make some during the four-day weekend, so I bought the ingredients for old fashioned vegetable soup (p88) on Thursday evening.

I hadn't intended to make it straight away, but on hearing that Mum, Dad and Nana would be dropping in around lunchtime on Good Friday, I figured it would make as good a lunch as any. It was 7pm before I got started; not the best when you're making a soup that has to cook for several hours.

I began by trimming the fat off a kilo of beef bones, then put them in a pot with some split peas, lentils, pearl barley and water. This sat simmering for about 2 1/2 hours, then I took out the beef bones.

I tried to salvage as much meat as possible from the bones, but (unlike bacon bones) there wasn't much there. It didn't take long to pick the bones clean and return the meat scraps to the soup. I also needed to remove as much fat as possible - I decided this would be easiest if I left the soup to cool overnight and allowed the fat to set on the surface.

In the morning, I scooped the layer of fat off the surface and put the pot back on the heat, adding chopped potato, parsnip and carrot. The soup had to cook for another 30-45 minutes - just long enough to cook the veges - so I left it simmering while I busied myself with the simnel cake.

Around the time I was putting the cake in the oven, I became aware of a burning smell in the kitchen. Sticking a wooden spoon in the soup pot, I found a thick layer of pearl barley and potato had burnt to the bottom. Hoping to save the soup, I poured the unscorched soup into another pot and kept cooking, stirring regularly to keep the bottom from burning.

It didn't work. The burnt flavour had permeated the soup to the point where it tasted like I'd poured in the contents of an ashtray. It stunk like smoke and tasted likewise: completely, totally inedible.

We had homemade burgers for lunch.


  1. Mmm. Burgers.

    I had an ostrich one at borough market yesterday. Tasted mostly of mustard, though.

    Happy easter by the way :)

  2. Hate it when burnt flavour permeates food. I've had that before. So disappointing.

    Homemade burgers are always good though :) haha

  3. What's the point of an exotic-sounding burger if all you can taste is mustard? That said, I'm a big fan of mustard so I would probably like it anyway.

  4. It was a shame about the soup Robs but the burgers and cake sure were good.c


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