Hi. I’m still in Australia. It’s raining at the moment which is (i) most unacceptable and (ii) really uncalled for. Also I’ve been quite officially sick since I got here. Still, I shan’t moan.*
* I shall. I’ve been moaning constantly.
Anyway below is a picture of the quality foodstuffs I’ve been indulging in whilst home. That’s a dim-sim you see in my hot little hands. It’s filthy and gorgeous.
So, to the guest post. It’s by someone I don’t actually know. I just read her foul-mouthed tirades on Twitter and thought, ‘oh yes, that’s my kind of person’. I believe she is American and so is a fellow foreigner in a strange English land. I asked her to do a guest post and she has. She is, therefore, GREAT. I’ve still to meet her, obviously. We’re hoping to meet up for a no-doubt awkward and alcohol-fuelled evening soon. I’ll let you know how that goes.
PS: I can’t endorse her recommendation you go to ASDA. I’ve never been to the place in my life and intend to never darken its doors.
B asked me if I would mind doing a guest post for when she’s at home in Oz enjoying great weather, fighting off bird-eating spiders the size of dogs and getting chewed on by sharks while watching Neighbours. Or whatever it is Australian people do for fun. At first I was like, “Wow, that’s really nice of you. I mean, I WOULD, but I’m shit at cooking”, and she was all, “You’re hired!”. So here I am.
This is a nice, light chicken (or in this case, turkey) meatball noodle soup, which is great for spring…when that elusive season finally arrives. The recipe is adapted from one Epicurious.com. Epicurious is an American site, which means ingredients are measured in cups. Please stop moaning and just go to ASDA and buy a set of measuring cups for £2. And when I say, “adapted”, I pretty much just mean “ballsed up”. But it tastes really nice if you do it not at all like I did and just follow the recipe. Also, you can use any old veg that you’ve got in your fridge for this.
Please to be collecting:
1 cup ground chicken (this is a bastard to find. Use light turkey mince, not thigh mince like in the photo. I got that wrong.)
½ cup breadcrumbs (don’t buy the Polish ones I bought. They’re too fine which makes the meatballs too heavy. Maybe don’t be lazy and make some yourself?)
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus some to top the soup (hi. I fucked this up too. Are you seeing a pattern? Don’t buy the cheese I bought, unless you can’t handle cheese that tastes any stronger than a bar of Dove. Even if you REALLY WANT to save that 50p, just buy the real deal.)
4 garlic cloves (or 1tbsp of the squeezy stuff like me because this is 2012)
as much chilli as you like, minced (or squeezed)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (recipe calls for chives but they’re disgusting so no.)
1 large egg, beaten
2tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, sliced into rounds
2 onions, chopped
1 courgette, peeled and chopped
6 small carrots (or 3 large), cut on diagonal to make it pretty
½ or 1 head Savoy cabbage, depending on how much you like cabbage
5 cups chicken broth
¾ cup itty bitty pasta (ditalini, conchigliette, etc.)
First you have to make your chicken/turkey meatballs. I myself decided, after having made the recipe once before, to treble the recipe. That means I ended up with a metric assload of meatballs. I ate them all over the course of 3 days, obviously, but seriously, MAYBE double the recipe but for the love of God, don’t treble it. Also, make them small so you can pop them into your mouth whole…straight from the frying pan…because they’re really yummy. If any eventually make it into the soup, pat yourself on the back.
To make the meatballs, combine chicken/turkey, 3tbsp Parmesan, chilli, ½ tbsp garlic, parsley (or chives, blurgh), egg, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper in a mixing bowl. Make all 70 or whatever of your mini meatballs and chuck into frying pan in your olive oil. Fry them until brown all over (or just on 2, maybe 3 sides, like mine) but don’t cook all the way through. They’ll finish cooking in the soup later. Set aside…and then pick through to find the ones that look like they are probably cooked enough to be salmonella-free and eat them while you cook the soup. Then have some Haribo Tangfastics just to ensure you’re not at all hungry for dinner when it finishes cooking.
Next, get out a pot and prepare your soup base. Add leek, onions and courgette and cook slowly until they soften. Then, get mascara in your eye from crying over the cooking onion, run to the bathroom with burny eyeballs, spend ages sorting that out and come back to find your onions and leeks have burnt bits on. Disregard this and continue.
Add to the pot the other ½ tbsp garlic, stir about a bit. Add broth. The recipe says 5 cups, but if you used loads of additional veg due to clearing out your fridge, add more until everything’s well covered. Bring to boil. Add pasta and carrots. Simmer until about 5 minutes from pasta being done, according to timings on packet. Add meatballs and cabbage and simmer until pasta and carrots are done. Add the last 3 tbsp of cheese, finish seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve up with buckets more cheese on top. Tell dining companions this is really light, no fat at all except for what’s in the meat, and then binge. It’s very nice and will have you feeling all happy and spring-like despite the bucketing down English rain outside.