Foraging and using up leftovers

It was well worth dragging Missy B and her friend for a hearty walk on Sunday – three big jars of sloe gin are quietly doing their thing in the cupboard. 


I got through an unfeasibly large amount of gin making these (it all went in the jars, I promise), so I used the rest of the sloes to make two cute little jars of sloe and bramley jelly. A lesson: don’t answer the phone when you are making jelly. Even if is is Grandma Battenburg needing technological help. The jelly will be a bit more solid than planned. Still tastes good though.

J was round the other night, as well as brother-in-law. It was meant to be an evening of light dining, so I did a bit of foraging in the fridge and turned to an old favourite. Ottolenghi’s savoy cabbage and parmesan skin soup. The first time I made this, I really only did it because I had most of a savoy cabbage left after a magnificent roast dinner. Didn’t actually like the sound of it all that much. So Mr Ottolenghi, I owe you an apology – it is so much more than just a way of using up some leftovers. J asked for the recipe: in summary, chop up an onion and sauté it in some olive oil, add a crushed clove of garlic and half a teaspoon of caraway seeds (them again…). Add most of your cabbage, shredded, and a medium potato, peeled and diced. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add enough vegetable stock to cover the vegetables (about a litre) and bring to the boil. Add 80g of parmesan skin and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season. Blitz the soup in a blender. It’s served with a topping made from a couple of cabbage leaves, shredded, and a thinly sliced chilli, fried in a little olive oil. The first time Missy “I don’t like soup” B tried it she thought it was leek and potato. I didn’t tell her the shocking truth that it involved cabbage until the end and now she is quite a fan.


I served it with a fougasse I had made earlier. There is something very enjoyable about flinging your loaf into the oven on your very own bakers’ peel. 


Now I have to turn my attention to the large Sunday lunch en famille. One brother is mostly vegetarian, the other is allergic to all things capsicum-related. Grandpa Battenburg doesn’t care for fish, eggs or garlic, to name but a few of the items regularly on the menu chez Battenburg. Oh, and another bag of apples turned up yesterday from a kind colleague of Mr B…