Scotch Broth; broccoli – 23 October 2013

We had made lamb broth/stock by boiling the bones from some lamb chops we had eaten, along with one carrot. I took it out today to make this soup, which, in its Campbell’s incarnation, was a favorite of my childhood. D says this version is better, and I suspect he’s right. I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

main131023I said at dinner that this was a Scottish soup cooked as an Italian would make it. I chopped a half onion I found in the fridge into a small dice, and also two farmers’ market carrots – I would not use such wondrous carrots except they were from a previous week and I saw they were superseded by two more bunches from yesterday’s market. I cooked the onions in peanut oil (kept in the fridge b/c we use it so rarely – I thought the taste of olive oil would not be right for this soup) while I cut up the carrots, and then added the carrots to the pan and cooked both together. When the onions started to brown, I added them to the lamb stock. There was perhaps a cup of thick stock (it was consomme texture in the fridge), to which I added 2 parts water.

131023-settingThis morning I moved a packet of “lambits” from the freezer to the fridge. They needed more defrosting, so I ran them through “autodefrost” in the microwave for 5 minutes, which was plenty. The ball of lambits was about fist-sized, which I thought was way excessive for the soup – turned out I was right, but it was less excessive than I thought. I heated peanut oil and also some butter, for taste, in a cast-iron frying pan and dumped the defrosted lamb pieces into it, salted generously, and cooked till they started to brown pretty seriously. Then I chose out the smallest pieces of lamb and tossed them into the soup, and also chopped up some of the larger pieces and added them. I probably left about 1/4 of the total lamb out of the soup. I put in 1/4 cup of barley, and ran off to take a shower. I don’t know how long the barley cooked in total, but 25 minutes is typically good. I salted the soup – about 1/2 tsp worked, but that depended on the amount of salt I had added to the meat, and what was in the stock, so it has to be by taste. I also added several sprigs-worth of fresh thyme leaves about 10 minutes before the barley was cooked. It turned out to be a really delicious soup!

bread131023D bought an Acme Italian Batard today, and cut great, thick slices of it to go with the good rustic peasant soup.

I cut up some broccoli, steamed 4 minutes, dumped out the water, added a Tbsp of butter, and reheated the broccoli in the butter, salting it a bit in the process. I think cooking a bit less than 4 minutes would have been preferable, but still, it was very yummy.

We had two leftover wines with dinner, both good survivors. One was the Volteo Tempranillo, the other the Epicuro Salice Salentino.

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