So, as threatened, here goes for a bit of food-blogging. The Catalan recipe I’ve chosen to start with should really be the last one to be posted, though, as it is perfect for an evening when you’re feeling stuffed, bloated, after pigging out on a plethora of other rich Catalan food. But, a promise is a promise – I rashly promised a friendly soup-blogger that I’d post a Catalan soup recipe and as I don’t know how many food posts I’ll be doing, I’d better get this one done now! Shut up Brian and get on with it...
Thyme soup / Sopes de frígola
Ingredients – a nice ripe tomato; dried wild mountain thyme – especially good if you collect it at the right time of year, the magical summer solstice; a “spring garlic” (i.e like a spring onion in shape but really a young garlic stem/plant before the bulb starts to grow to its usual size if that makes any sense); stale bread (we use yesterday’s baguette); salt; olive oil; and water.
1. Put some sprigs of thyme in about a pint of water (I’m guessing numbers here from watching the missus making it in the following photos). Bring it to the boil and keep on a low boil for a few minutes till the water goes golden-coloured, i.e thyme-flavoured.
2. Meanwhile, as that’s boiling away, chop the “spring garlic” thing up into really small bits and place in a bowl.
3. Get your tomato and “roast” it on an open fire – i.e. hold it in tongs and burn the outside while it hopefully goes soft on the inside over embers.
4. Peel off the burnt skin (the tomato’s, not yours) and chop the tomato up nice and small into the bowl.
5. (If you don’t have an open fire, skip points 3 and 4 and open up a tin of tomatoes from the supermarket and chop one up!)
6. Bang a bit of salt into the tomato and garlic mixture.
7. Chop up your stale bread (e.g. 3 inches of baguette should do the trick – as the actress said to the bishop), and heap it into the mixture.
8. Lashings of locally produced (unless you’re living in the north of England) extra-virgin olive oil over the mixture. Mix it all up.
9. Your thyme “broth” should now be ready. Sieve it and pour this liquid over the bread-tomato-garlic mixture. Mix well.
10. Enjoy it!
Especially recommended as a light meal to help you digest on an evening, and/or to keep the winter blues away. This quantity should serve one or two people depending how much you like it! Now for the photos....