We are in the middle of decorating having had three rooms plastered. Why, then, is the whole house in tatters? Time for something warm, hearty and vegan/gluten-free on this miserable October day.
Peel and chop one leek, one clove of garlic, four parsnips and a stick or two of celery. Sweat the vegetables with a bay leaf or two and a sprig of rosemary in the bottom of a pan for 10 minutes using some good quality olive oil and half a cup of water. Add that cup full of vegetable soup left over from yesterday, a tablespoon of Energita (yeast flakes) – or alternatively about 500ml of vegetable stock (I use Marigold). Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add that pear that’s been going a bit soft on the windowsill – peel, core and chop it into the soup, adding 250ml of Oatly or Almond milk. Cook for five more minutes. Allow to cool, then whizz with the stick blender. Taste, and add a bit of gremolata if it needs seasoning. It probably will.
Today, whilst himself drove off to Diss to buy a paint kettle (don’t ask) I made the soup and some gluten-free soda bread. With some fake Parmesan.
Sift 250g gluten free white flour and 250g gluten free wholemeal flour plus 1.5 teaspoons of salt and the same of bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add a good handful of fake Parmesan. Add 400ml Oatly or similar, into which you have squeezed the juice of half a lemon (it encourages the Bicarb to fizz, in case you are wondering). Mix it all together till it just binds, then turn out onto the work surface that you’ve drifted (like Snow White) with coarse semolina. Gently form into a round, slash the top, prick the quarters to let the fairies out then place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof. Sprinkle with more fake Parmesan. Slide into a very hot oven (225) for 10 minutes then turn the temperature down to 200 and cook for a further 20. Turn the break over for the last 5. When you knock on the bottom it should sound hollow. A bit like me. If it doesnt, give it 5 more.
By the time David returned (with a paint kettle plus an inspection lamp – going to Screwfix for him is like me going to IKEA – lunch was ready.
Now he is painting and I am cutting back the Verbena and bringing the pots into the greenhouse. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it! Anyone who knows me that idyllic is not me!!