Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Weird and Wonderful Wednesday Recipe

Today it's officially the first day of Spring in the Netherlands but the thermometer tells me otherwise. It's cold ( 6 degrees Celsius) and a bit windy, not at all what we would normally associate with a genuine spring day.

We gardeners are all looking forward to Spring, to work outside and enjoy our gardens, to warm our hearts and souls with the colours, the smells, the sounds, the taste, the touch and feel of our gardens. Not so today, at least not here. So to warm those of you up who need it, I have the following weird and wonderful recipe which was inspired by the fact that so many of my fellow garden bloggers worldwide had bought this lovely flower in vast quantities :

Vegetable soup with violets! If that doesn't get you warm and comfy, then you're a very difficult person to please. :-)
Serves 4

Ingredients to make the stock:
- 3 carrots
- the white bit of 1 leek
- 1 clove of garlic
- half an onion
- 1 shallot
- 20 cl white wine
- 1 small bouquet garni (= a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf and parsley stalks all wrapped in a leek leaf and tied with a bit of string)
- 1,5 liter water
- some olive oil

The stock is made 1 day in advance. Cut the vegetables into small pieces and fry them with the clove of garlic and the bouquet garni in olive oil for a minute or 2. Add 1,5 liter water plus the white wine, bring to the boil and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the fire and let it cool down.

The next day we add the following ingredients to the stock:
- 4 cubes of vegetable stock
- 100 gr of violets (the flowers, not the stems)
- a little bouquet of violets for decoration
- black pepper
- sea salt
- 4 slices of bread
- some butter

Pour the vegetable stock though a sieve and bring it to the boil again. Crumble the cubes into the stock and let it boil a bit longer. Add some freshly milled black pepper and sea salt. Lower the heat to its lowest point and add the 100 grams of violets. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the soup through a sieve and serve immediately, together with some toasted or grilled bread, some sea salt and butter. Decorate the soup plates with the rest of the violets. Enjoy!

Now fades the long last streak of snow,
Now burgeons every maze of quick
About the flowering squares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets grow.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-1892


Green thumb said...

Wow! That's definitely a weird and wonderful idea. It sure seems exciting and sounds interesting. Now my garden is going to be a few violets short!! The result i'll share tomorrow.

A wildlife gardener said...

Exquisite photographs of the violas...and a great recipe too. Thank you!

Gardener Greg said...

Great photo's I almost got a very lovely pot the other day but it was burnt in the bottom. Now I know why I should have taken it. It would have looked lovely with flowers in it. I love the tiny little purple flowers. I was looking at some like that just last evening.


Bert said...

Springtime is here! And with a nice soup with flowers, it will be a deliscious start of this spring!!
Thanks for your recipe

Thalia said...

Lovely pictures and lovelier flowers!

Lis said...

Hier ist es auch sehr kalt, da würde so eine warme Suppe mir schon gut schmecken. Ausserdem sieht sie ja mit den Veilchen auch noch hübsch aus :-)

Anita said...

Oh, I ADORE you pansies! What a pity that we had such a cold first day of spring today!

I hope all the new pansies I planted last week will survive these colder days.

Lieve groetjes!

the enigma said...

your garden is so beautiful! i understand your passion in it by looking at your wonderful pictures. i can even feel the bliss. yes, you can easily saw cats around my works because they're my favorite animal:) oh, and your neighbor's cat is so cute!

the enigma said...

i have just scrolled down your blog and found lots of cute kitties here! heheh. love them all. i especially like the story of Kadootje, how she became your pet. that's a really sweet story. you're a good writer. :)

Carol said...

Have you tried this recipe? I don't think I have the cooking skills or patience to make a soup that requires all these steps over two days! But if you do, then I admire you even more.

I prefer to eat my violets raw in salads!

Annie in Austin said...

As Carol has noted, that soup takes two days! That might have been useful in January, when adding some heat and moisture to the house is welcome, but we're in shorts and sandals now, and the cooking is fast or outside.

But what a good reason for photos of pansies and violets!! They are lovely.

Yolanda Elizabet, are you sure you're not a fictional character living in a romance novel? With the greenhouse, the conservatory, the kitchen garden, the wardrobe and the Assistant??

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all,

Thank you all for visiting my blog and leaving such kind and sometimes funny comments. I appreciate it!

Thalia, Bert, Greg and Wildlife Gardener thanks for popping round and for commenting. WG it must be rather nippy in Scotland too at the moment. Greg I hope you find a nice pot to put lots of lovely flowers in soon!

Green Thumb, can't wait to hear what you think about this soup with violets.

Lis, you are right of course, now that it's cold here, some warm soup will taste very good and the violets will make it look pretty and cheer us up!

Anita, we had some night frost here but luckily pansies and violets are strong so I think that yours will survive the cold. Mine have too, so far.

Enigma, thank you for your compliments and I'm glad you love cats, I do too. :-) Come again because soon I will write down part 2 of Kadootjes story and there will be a part 3 too, with lots of pictures for you to enjoy!

Carol, yes I have. I love to cook, so does my husband. He cooks in the weekend and tries out very complicated recipes. I usually cook during the week and I love to try out new recipes, some very complicated, others very simple. This recipe is a walk in the park for us.

Annie, how I envy you the lovely weather you're enjoying at the moment. Here it's cold. Six degrees Celsius means wearing warm winter coats, shawls and warm boots when you go outside. Brrrrrrr! So that's why I put the recipe for the nice hot soup on my blog, over here people need it! :-)

And yes I'm real and my life has it's drawbacks too, just like everybody elses. But thank you for thinking my life is like living in a romance novel. Oh, must dash I'm afraid: "Mr Darcy, please wait for me!" ;-)

Hillside Garden said...

Hallo Yolanda, deine Stiefmütterchen haben eine wunderschöne Farbe. Ich finde sie hier einfach nicht. Vielleicht klappt es beim nächsten Gartenmarkt!


sisah said...

The weather is as bad here if not worse we even got snow and I could do now with a warm soup just coming home from work. But I am afraid there is nobody there to cook it for me.... only the violets I could provide out of my garden. May be I collect some for the vase and pretend it is spring...

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello Sigrun and Sisah,

Those violets are indeed a lovely shade of lilac with a matching pot. I found them last weekend when I was in a garden center nearby. Today I found a watering can in exactly the same shade of lilac. Isn't it a wonderful find?

Today the weather was a bit better here Sisah, so hopefully it will be better soon where you live as well.

Whether you'll put them in the soup, in a salad or in a vase, violets will cheer you up! Hurray for our violets!

Gotta Garden said...

How fascinating! Okay, please forgive my ignorance, but is there a particular kind of violets? And, do they change the color of the broth? I think I would like to try this! I have a little violet called Freckles that is not yet in bloom...maybe when it is, I will give this a shot!

YE, you are amazing! And, very interesting!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi GG,

That depends on the colour of the violets. If you use deep purple ones then they do affect the colour of the broth, but only slightly. Give it a try, you know you want to! ;-)