Saffron in my Soup

 

Saffron Vegetable Soup
Saffron Vegetable 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.
  • Serve.

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.

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