You may have been fooled into thinking that our allotment only grows courgettes, and you would be forgiven for thinking this. I have after all posted three consecutive posts about them, and what with last nights stuffed marrow and tonight’s meatballs and courgette based ragu, I could easily post another right now wholly devoted to this vegetable.
We did however plant other seeds in the ground which have also come to fruition recently, and the two that I’ve enjoyed this week have been runner beans and chard. Runner beans appeared in my courgetti recipe in the format which I’m pretty sure they must always appear- topped, tailed, de-stringed, sliced then boiled and served. Can you serve them any other way? I mean they’re beasty looking beans, I shall look into more interesting ways of serving them. We planted rainbow chard, so it is sprouting huge leaves on bright pink and yellow stalks. It looks impressive; leafy and full of vitamins. But we’ve let it grow huge and that is mostly because we don’t know anything about chard. I mean, I know people liken it to spinach and things but you never really pick up a bag of it in your local supermarket- do you?
My Mum reckoned that chard was fairly like pak choi, so on account of the fact that my allotment is bereft of Chinese vegetables I decided to improvise with one of my favourite family recipes using organic veg grown by my own hand.
Ben’s Chicken Noodle Soup was a fairly regular, post Sunday roast chicken meal growing up, and I absolutely love it. When I first suggested it to my fella he was souper sceptical, as though the prospect of a boiled chicken carcass was just going to taste bland and disappointing over a meal served with gravy. He was astounded with how tasty it is.
My slightly modified version of my brother Ben’s traditional recipe is this….
- Take the excess meat off the chicken (coz I’m scrimping so I freeze that separately and use it for something else- there’s enough left on the carcass in all the hidden places to give the soup enough meat.)
- Cover carcass in water, bring to boil then simmer for at least 1 hour
- Strip the carcass and discard- keeping the liquid.
- Add onion, carrots, chillis, and celery to the broth and simmer until carrot is soft
- Add in sweetcorn, chopped runner beans and orzo pasta. Simmer for 4 mins
- Add in chopped chard then simmer for further 5 mins
- Serve hot and steaming in big bowls.