Monday, 29 October 2012

Souper Mix - Now self-sufficient in veg stock cubes


The thrush invasion continues unabated, with hundreds coming in across the fields. In with them today I picked up the calls of six Bramblings (5 together) and, following on from the first ones last week, a Redpoll, which briefly landed in a young birch tree.

It was a lovely day, so I decided to witness this spectacle while working outside.

It's been such a disheartening year in the veg garden that some of the beds got abandoned until next year, but now it's time to start digging them over so that winter can do its work and break down the soil.
In amongst the encroaching couch grass I found the remnants of a harvest.

Just a few carrots, nibbled by slugs and a few onions which had got lost. A little garlic too, alongside some shallots which will do for next year's starter bulbs.

Monday 29th October 2012

The sheep have had the leaves off the celery and the celeriac, but this did not affect the harvest.
My parsnips have done really well and a couple of slight frosts meant I could justify taking my first harvest from them. One was a puny little thing, the other a giant which went down forever. Despite my best efforts I left the tail in the ground.. The leeks are coming along well too. A bit smaller than I'd like, but there'll be enough for the two of us.


So today I picked a bit of everything, along with cutting a mountain of herbs - thyme, sage, rosemary, hyssop, mint, coriander, pot marjoram and anything else I could find.

For there was a plan.

And the plan was Souper Mix, from The River Cottage Book of Preserves.
Simple really. All you do is whizz up about 1kg of mixed vegetables, blend in a whole load of herbs and then add salt to preserve. It then just goes into sterilised jars and hey presto - your very own vegetable stock. Just add 2 - 3 teaspoons to 500ml of water.


I'll let you know how it works, but if all goes well that's another supermarket product which we no longer need to buy.

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