Last weekend was another first for us as a family. We were invited to the Abergavenny Food Festival to give a talk. Alex's advice to me the day before was wise. "Mum, just in case there are children in the audience and they get bored with you going on about vegetables, bring along some cakes." So that night we cooked past midnight, baking Beetroot and Chocolate Cakes and Petit Pois Muffins to take with us. And there were lots of children in the audience and the cakes were very useful.
Abergavenny is an ancient market town in South Wales, surrounded by beautiful mountains and countryside and this is a two day festival devoted to celebrating fantastic local produce and expertise about food and cooking. On Saturday night we walked up to the ruined castle for the festival's tenth anniversary party. We sat round fire braziers munching on delicious welsh lamb skewers, staring at the fireworks and the stars and listening to jazz bands, harp music and stand up comedians. I know Abergavenny from my school days, but this was my first visit to a festival which has been voted the greatest event in Wales. If you love good food, cooking in a beautiful setting, you will love the annual festival in Abergavenny.
Where ever I go I seem to collect new vegetables. In one of the hundreds of market stalls there was an organic vegetable growers and I spotted some some purple cauliflower, grown in South Wales. So on Sunday night when we returned home I made a special Purple Cauliflower Festival Soup as a thank you to Abergavenny for inviting us for a great weekend.
Purple Festival Soup
1 large purple cauliflower, thicker stalks cut off
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons Hillfarm rape seed oil
900 ml ( 1 and a half pints) chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (or English mustard!)
3 tablespoons of creme fraiche from Rachel's Dairy in Aberystwyth
a little grated beetroot to decorate
Salt and pepper to season
Heat the oil in the pan and saute the onions, finely chopped garlic for 3 minutes on a medium heat. Add the potaotes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring them all to stop them burning. Add the vegetable stock and dijon mustard and the purple cauliflower florets. Chop up the stalks and add. As soon as the stock reaches boiling point, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the creme fraiche and puree in a food processor or with a hand blender. Serve with a little finely grated raw beetroot for added purple power.
This is my entry for The British Food Fortnight Blogging Event which is being hosted by Antonia at Food Glorious Food. The aim of this event ( details here) is to celebrate British produce and to raise the profile of much maligned UK cuisine. So I thought our purple cauliflower festival soup would do the trick....Cauliflower, potatoes, onions and beetroot grown in Wales, creme fraiche from Rachel's Dairy in Wales and Scottish garlic. The rape seed oil came from Hill Farm in Suffolk and the only interloper was a spoon of delicious French Dijon mustard. I know - I should have used English mustard but I slipped up!