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  • caldun09


Updated: Dec 18, 2020

I love the odd drop of soup during the cold winter months . It is such a delicious lunch when served with a good slice of home-made brown bread. This should be generously covered with a goodish layer of Irish creamery butter topped off with a thick slice of Wexford Cheddar Cheese.

When I was walking through the aisles in the supermarket last week, I noticed a lot of shelf space taken up with packet soups, cuppa soups and ready-made gear in plastic containers. There were some very nicely named concoctions contained therein. I was shopping in a subsidiary role with the trolley pusher function assigned to me.

I did however stop to peruse the ready -made soup section and deposited two cartons in the trolley. One of them was named cream of mushroom soup and the other was labelled tomato soup.

Now all I needed was a lunch time and a pot to heat up the mushroom soup. On the following day I suggested we might try out the latest mushroom soup purchase and once I had a nodded agreement the said soup was heated. The brown bread was sliced, and we were ready to sample our latest gastronomic feast.

Now I’m a fair connoisseur of mushrooms being from an era when grandmother and I rose at 5 am to pick the cupeens .We brought them home to fry on the range, with a little knob of butter in each and ate them when the juices started to pour out over the top.

Now I must say that this mushroom soup that I was imbibing bore very little relationship to the tastes I experienced in my range frying days. Whoever was in charge of the mushrooms for the alleged soup must have stood a fair distance from the pot and was pretty miserly with the amount allotted.

My experience was not good and so having consulted with the head chef we decided it was the time of year to make some home brewed soup.

Following some chat about favoured tastes we examined the fridge. We had some broccoli, Cauliflower, celery, and leeks and so the soup brand would be determined by availability of the said veggies.

The commis chef swung into action cleaning the leeks and celery. Then with our latest purchase of a Neven Maguire chopping knife I proceeded to chop them into fine pieces.The head chef then proceeded with putting them in a largish saucepan. They were then covered with greaseproof paper . The lid was placed on top and we sweated the living daylights out of them.

Next for the chop was the cauliflower and then finally the broccoli. It was essential to trim the broccoli stalks properly and to put them into the pot for added flavour.

Lastly, we put in some stock and allowed all the participating veggies to simmer gently and coalesce into one unified body.

Finally it was all blended and boy oh boy ,we had some really serious organic wholesome soup

Now you had the real thing in the form of soup that had the right colour, taste and texture. This was no fake soup. This was real organic broccoli and cauliflower home -made soup. I loved it with the home- made brown bread and whole grain mustard. Yummy, Yummy.

When we have the soup lunch there is nothing nicer as a chaser than the ever-popular cup of tea and a biscuit.

When I was growing in Tralee, we had a Lipton’s shop in town and we got used to their own brand of loose tea. Later with the demise of Liptons in Tralee we transferred allegiance to Barry’s Tea which was blended in neighbouring Cork.

Now for our post organic soup treat we have a cup of tea and a biscuit .Tradition dies hard, people say, and so we go back to our roots . The kettle is boiled off, the teapot is scalded and the two spoons of Barry’s Loose-leaf tea, Gold blend, added to the pot. This is 100% black tea and the taste and flavour are hard to beat.

It is left to brew on the hot plate for a few minutes and is ready for pouring .Then we add a small amount of milk according to taste. A couple of digestives are a very tasty accompaniment to finish off the lunch.

Barry’s is an Irish company , operating in Cork since 1901 The gold blend comes from the finest tea gardens in India’s Assam Valley, Kenya and Rwanda and is blended by their Master blender Denis Daly.

So, there you have it ,the home- made soup, a bit of a ramble through my personal tea history and finally the ever-popular cup of tea and a biscuit to finish off a nice lunch. We have plenty more organic home-made soup now in the freezer, so we have some quickie lunches ahead.

I’ll drink to that.

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