In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It has not happened before. I have not heard my heart speaking to me about what to eat before! But I am pretty sure that is what happened tonight. A most absurd, insistent, calm, compelling voice which I did not dare disobey: “Prawn and celery soup”.
Weird… I know…
So I picked up a few gifts of Turkish Delight & hot chocolate, some Vaseline for my mosquito-bite-infested face (yes, it’s as bad as it sounds), the ingredients for my supposed soup which I hadn’t made before, and on a whim, a tub of woodsmoked mussels.
It was a good 40 minute walk home from the sups, and I listened to Yanni and Phantom of the Opera and songs from the Nutcracker Suite on the way home. (If music be the food of love, play on indeed!) The houses and trees and streets looked so beautiful in the paling sunlight.
I was so glad for the mussels, as I was pretty hungry by the time I got home! I squeezed some lemon on them, added a little parsley – they were delicious as hell. I ate them while I smashed the lemongrass stalk, chopped half a shallot and 2 cloves of garlic, ginger.
Recipe for my impromptu soup (a hearty dinner, plus leftovers)
1 lemongrass stalk, smashed (to release flavour)
small knob of ginger
1/4 celery, sliced
7 brown button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic (lightly smashed)
1/2 shallot (chopped)
1/2 medium saucepan-ful of water
approximately 2 tbsp soy sauce
dribble of sesame oil
dribble of mirin
- Method to my madness:
Bring water to boil. Add ginger and smashed lemongrass stalk, and leave to continue boiling for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, briefly fry, in another pan, shallot and garlic in a bit of oil – I used olive oil.
- Add fried shallot + garlic, celery and mushrooms to the saucepan. Also add in soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil – to your taste. Cover and let boil for more minutes.
- Lastly, add the prawns in. When they are cooked (it doesn’t take long), the soup is ready.
It’s not as flavourful as the soups you cook for hours (my Grandma is very skilled in the art of these soups) – but it really is deeply satisfying.
Time to get on with the rest of my night… ciao-ciao.