Woke up this morning to rain hammering across the roof tops: its a cold wet end to May this year.
We planned to drive to Harrogate to the car boot fair. Its a great place to find unusual kitchen ware and coloured cooking objects: old tea cups for baked eggs, bright rustic coloured platters from Spain, old paella trays for indian cooking, unusual le creuset or other cast iron casseroles full of love and caring from anothers table but this morning it wasn’t to be.
We drove instead to Otley to a little local farmer’s market and by the time the market opened the rain was holding off enough for us to step out of the car and stay dry. The market was nestled in a cobble stone market square and held about a dozen or more stores covered in green and beige tarpaulins. The weight of the rain was causing the tented roofs to bow and hapless shoppers their collars turned up against the wind were being caught in a steady drip of water from the puddled, pooled canvas. The local produce ranged from vegetables to rare breed eggs, from gluten free sausage to wild mushrooms with hand made candles and honey from a nearby hive.
My eye was drawn to the plants which were thriving in the rain, their leaves and petals shining from the trapped water. We brought two persian slipper lupins for our garden – one purple and one yellow – both irresistible for their scent and unrelenting boldness in the prevaling wind. We found a huge array of herbs, handgrown by a local Otley man who had brought the plants straight out of his greenhouse to sell that morning. We settled on four: scented lemon thyme, tuscan wild mint, lemon balm and common broad leaf sage both of us charmed by the tagged descriptions on each label: the tuscan mint (see picture) – used extensively for its “woodsy mintyness” and perfect with mushrooms to accompany the paleo inspired wild mushroon soup for tea tonight.
We will serve this with courgette fritters, like perfect tasty courgette cakes fried and then baked in the oven.
Wild Mushroom Soup:
1 1/2 llbs of mushrooms (sliced)
1 tbspn thyme
7 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
3 tbspn ghee
1/4 cup of parsly (fresh)
2 tbspn tapioca flour
sea salt and pepper
Melt the ghee, add the shallots and fry for 3 – 4 mins
Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for approx 10 mins
Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, turning down to simmer for 15 mins approx
Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for a further 5 mins
Stir in the tapioca flour
Mix in the chopped fresh parsley, season and serve