Wednesday, June 13, 2007
G is for Green Bean and Garlic Soup
We stumbled on eddoes and tracked down the daikon, so it seemed a little tame to be dealing with something as straightforward as a green bean. The letter G doesn't appear to have many vegetable candidates so I have promoted the green bean in the Great Big Veg Challenge. For years I used to place the obligatory five green beans on Freddie's plate in the hope that he would eat them. He never did. He might grimace and self-consciously nibble on the end of a bean. More often, he would quietly edge them to the outskirts of his plate and then when I wasn't looking nudge them off the plate, onto the table and thence to the floor. At the end of the meal I would find green beans scattered at his feet. Like a scene from Toy Story, they were motionless but I knew that only moments before, with the help of this pint-sized veg phobic, they had all been part of a brilliantly-planned escape.
They may seem to be harmless but there is a quality to green beans that provokes a violent reaction in my son. And he's not alone. If you look on You Tube, there is a home video entitled "The Green Bean Stand-off". It's almost painful to watch. No doubt some desperate mother posted it to let the world know her frustration. She is gently encouraging her young son to eat a few beans. His response is a professional outburst. If there were Oscars for tantrums, this boy would have wiped the floor. And all this over a green bean.
Freddie told me that the reason he doesn't like green beans isn't their taste but their texture. So to give them a fighting chance I relied on my trusty hand-held blender. We call this the Bits-Blitzer. And it played a vital role in our Green Bean and Garlic Soup recipe.
Green Bean and Garlic Soup
750ml vegetable Stock
400gr Green Beans, topped and tailed
4 tbsp Creme Fraiche
2 medium sized potatoes
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves of roasted garlic
Salt and pepper to season
Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Gently saute in olive oil with the finely chopped onion. When the potato has softened and the onion is translucent add the green beans which must be destringed, topped, tailed and chopped! Add the vegetable stock and on a medium heat allow to simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally. Take your roasted garlic cloves and squeeze the soft contents into the soup. Gently simmer for another 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Using a handblender, or a liquidizer, puree the soup till it is smooth. Stir in the creme fraiche and serve.
The Green Bean and Garlic Soup scored a respectable 8 out of 10. Our next move will be to see if I can persaude him to eat a green bean without pulverizing it!