Friday, July 28, 2006

Brocolli Soup and Big Bear week

Note: If you've come here looking for Gordon Ramsey recipes for broccoli soup, you might want to try this recipe or this video. If you want to see what I've done with a stripped down version keep reading...

To make a point, Gordon Ramsey made a "simple broccoli soup" on an episode of "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares". So simple that for some time I didn't use it as there was no room for improvisation without losing the the whole point of it.

Then, during the recent heat my Mum mentioned cold soup. I'm not a big fan, but I flashed back to a perfect cold soup on a boiling day in Canada, a memory that's 13 (or so) years deep. This was a way that I could make "Simple" Broccoli soup my own.

Simple Broccoli Soup

2 heads of Broccoli
Yoghurt (optional)

Cut up then boil the broccoli heads in the salted water until soft. Drain the broccoli, retaining the green broccoli water. Blitz the cooked broccoli until it's not quite smooth. Add broccoli water to the broccoli to make a thick gloopy consistency (how gloopy is up to you, but as it chills it becomes more gloopy). Leave to cool.

An hour and a half before serving pour into bowls, put a blob of yoghurt in the middle of the bowl and cool in the fridge.

As you might imagine, how much you like this is dependent on how much you like broccoli [1].

Originally I'd only been going to chill them for half an hour (just enough to make it cooler than the baking hot patio) but our dinner was delayed by "Big Bear Week" on BBC1. Six months ago this would have been required viewing, three months ago I'd had enough of bears, but now I was dragged in when I discovered that one of the spots they were watching bears was on Whistler Mountain, a place I'd visited 13 years ago in Canada. That wasn't where I had chilled soup, nor did we see any bears that day, so it wasn't a big coincidence. But "Big Bear Week" is fascinating. Watching polar bears spend six months wandering around aimlessly without eating is strangely compelling.

For some reason Big Bear Week doesn't seem to have an offical BBC online presence. On the other hand Big Cat Week (or "Big Cat Diary") has plenty of coverage. The BBC also provide three (3) recipes for chilled soup. This situation can legitimately be blamed on Meg, or, possibly, broccoli.

[1] My Dad reported an unfortunate side effect of eating this soup, but from experience I feel this may be an unfortunate side effect of my Dad eating most vegetables.
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