I had a big jug of chicken stock in the fridge and decided to make a minestrone for supper over the weekend. We love big soupy suppers. You can pile lots of bits and pieces into them without the recipe losing too much of its integrity! They can lean in the general direction of all sorts of places - Thailand, the American North Eastern seaboard or the deep South amongst others, and of course Italy. A generous grating of Parmesan, a drizzle of good olive oil and some fresh basil or pesto on top and you are away. I like to put shredded cabbage in my minestrones and I noticed recently that the farm shop just outside the village has started PYO veg. Just the ticket.
We had a lovely family walk with the dogs on Belhaven Beach. It was warm and sunny and, as always, we came back with all sorts of bits and pieces in our pockets, most of which ended up on my ever-increasing pile of shells, rocks and driftwood.
On our way back from the beach our young weekend guest and I dropped in to the farm shop. I was looking forward to having a nosy around the vegetable field. I was armed with my camera. Vegetables are just as beautiful and varied as fruit and flowers and, as the afternoon was wearing on, the light was changing to that lovely late September gold.
We were having a wander amongst the fennel and french beans when a very engaging young man appeared on the scene and offered to show us to the Savoy cabbage patch. Who could possibly resist such an unexpected bonus to our visit! We were given a wonderful guided tour through the array of vegetables on offer, broccoli with heads the size of cauliflowers, cabbages the size of footballs, beautiful purple kale, pumpkins, Cavolo Nero, lemon basil, chervil, celariac, and we tried a slither each of three kinds of beetroot - candy, golden and original and a munch on a Chantennay carrot.
I now know where to come in four weeks or so when Halloween comes around!
We jested that a bride could easily hold a head of broccoli as she walked down the aisle. It would save a lot of faffing around with wiring and balancing of blooms. The bride would have to be careful when tossing her bouquet away though, she could knock a bridesmaid out with one of these! You could feed a small family for a week and all for 80p! Brilliant!
I hadn't expected such an array of produce and certainly more than enough to convince me that I will be a regular visitor from now on. It is an Aladdin's cave of veg and I am delighted to have all this on our doorstep. The best part is that we can eat with the seasons and the food miles amount to about 3. What could be better.