I just promised, in a comment on ‘s LJ, to post this recipe, so I’ll do that, before descending into today’s rant (and trust me, it’s a doozy). This is the soup I made for and myself on Saturday night; I also made a veggie version that worked quite well; see the Notes for more info. Many thanks to James Coates and Brian for the basis of the recipe.
Ingredients (to serve two or three)
- 400g Toulouse sausages†
- 200g Haricots blancs†
- 100g Lardons†
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced†
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced†
- 1 litre stock†
- 1 bay leaf†
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt, pepper, fresh parsley
- Fry the lardons in the oil until golden brown. Obviously, don’t do this bit if you’re making a veggie version. If you’re quick, you can prolly get all your vegetable-chopping done whilst the lardons fry.
- Sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and celery for five minutes.
- Add the stock, bay and salt and pepper “to taste”†.
- Add the sausages whole, cover and simmer for 25 minutes (or until a convenient change of scene in your DVD).
- Add the haricots and simmer for another ten minutes (or until another convenient change of scene in your DVD).
- Fish out the sausages, slice them† and return them to the pot.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley† and serve with warm, fresh bread†
- Sausages: you can substitute the sausages of your choice, if you prefer. The veggie version worked really well with Wicken Fen’s Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable gourmet sausages, which Alan found in Procter’s Sausages on Colchester High Street.
- Haricots: I can’t remember what haricots blancs are in English; sorry. We used borlotti beans and butter beans; one can of each split one-third in the veggie soup, two-thirds in the meaty one.
- Lardons: If you can’t buy lardons, just take a similar quantity of bacon and dice it.
- Carrots: Dicing carrots is far too much of an arse, so I slice them and halve some of the slices.
- Garlic: Obviously, two cloves means three large ones. And don’t press the garlic, bloody crush it properly. Get a large knife and top and tail the clove first. Then put the blade sideways, so the clove is under the broadest part and crush it under the weight of the heel of your hand. Pick out the skin and chop at it. I used this as an opportunity to play with my new mezzaluna.
- Stock: Alan bought some Knorr Vegetable stock, in a little round tin, which was fucking gorgeous, but any vegetable stock would do. Chicken Oxo would be an adequate last resort if you were feeling particularly sacrilegious.
- Bay: Don’t sweat it if you don’t have bay leaves; we didn’t and it worked fine.
- “To taste”: This is technical term for “wave the pots above the pan for a bit”.
- Sliced sausages: I find quartering them works for me. Transversely, since you asked. Fishing them out is kinda delicate and dropping them on the floor is certainly not recommended.
- Chopped parsley: Easiest way to chop parsely is to put some in a glass and hack at it with scissors. Don’t bother substituting non-fresh parsely, cos it’s nicer without, frankly.
- Fresh, warm bread: Or fresh, cool bread. Just something a bit nicer than Tesco Value shit.