Saffron in my Soup
Vegetable Soup Recipe
I had a cheap “stew pack” of vegetables from the supermarket (total cost, an almost unbelievable £1, included a small swede, 3 decent-sized carrots, a leek, a parsnip and an onion) , and a few fine green beans hanging about in the fridge with nothing to do. So, veg soup it was — I am fed up with stews and casseroles. But, just to add an extra little perk, I added in a pinch of my precious Omani saffron, bought down the souk in Muscat a couple of years ago.
With saffron, like all herbs and spices, it’s a case of use it or lose it, they do lose their spice essence after a while. Saffron adds fantastic yellow-orange colour to dishes, and a taste that is like a sharp honey (well, to me anyway).
Method (makes enough for 3-4 adults as a starter, two as a main):
- Put the parsnip back in the fridge, it makes the soup too sweet. Dice the onion, carrot, swede and green beans. Slice the leek finely.
- Sweat all the the veg apart from the swede for a few minutes in a little oil + butter, until the onion has softened.
- Add in a couple of pints of chicken stock, a SMALLISH pinch of saffron and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Perfectly do-able with vegetable stock too of course, I just wanted the “body” that chicken stock can give soup.
- Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, then add in the diced swede.
- Simmer again for another 10 minutes or so until softened.
You could puree this soup by blending it, you could add embellishments like parsley and what not, but actually it doesn’t need a thing other than some nice, crusty bread and butter.